This month brings with it a new album Kiss Me Once from one of Pop’s favourite and most-respected singers, Aussie princess and current The Voice UK judge – Kylie Minogue. Since the release of her last album Aphrodite, things have changed a lot behind the scenes in her own career. Getting rid of her long-standing management to join the very hip Roc Nation management roster as well as taking on new producers and songwriters to collaborate with, on this new album – it’s been a sea of change for Kylie.
This album has been over two years in the making to make it right and ready to be released into the world. It’s something you can feel she curated and worked hard at. Although we were given the very urban/Dubstep-leaning buzz track “Skirt” last year, showing a very different change in her artistic direction (which did worry some Kylie lovers and fans alike), Kylie has kept things very Pop and Disco whilst blending other genre touches with a true updating of her sound to give us one of her best and most cohesive albums to date.
Getting into the album, lead single “Into The Blue” is an euphoric self-empowerment anthem that sets the album’s artistic direction on the right foot and naturally sets the tone for it. It’s a majestic, thumping dancefloor anthem with a killer chorus and a beautiful bridge that is just pure Kylie. “Million Miles” starts with something that Kylie hasn’t had on a track for a long time, it’s a guitar intro! It can throw you off but the throbbing beat soon comes in and rescues the track. A true guitar-infused Dance-Pop tune talking about feeling detached from sexual activity and obviously enjoying it. It keeps the pace of the album going and keeps it all mid-tempo.
“I Was Gonna Cancel” is a brilliant album highlight and yes it has that ‘Midas Touch’ from producer extraordinaire Pharrell Williams. It feels upbeat and full of encouragement (the song is based on a real life experience from Kylie having a bad day and bursting into tears at the recording studio with Pharrell) with disco-grooves in all the right places. An atmospheric choir in the background, Kylie harmonies, groovy Funk/Electronica beats and Pharrell’s trademark cowbell sound make this a must-listen – definitely potential single material!
“Sexy Love” is another potential guitar-driven single that screams summer vibes. It’s sexy and full of feel-good bounciness. It’s full of beautiful melodies and huge hooks – it’s the type of dance-pop that Kylie shines on. Addictive and another potential single material! “Sexercise” is co-written by multi-talented Aussie singer/songwriter Sia Furler (if you don’t know, look up her credentials) and oozes sexual innuendos galore. It’s Kylie but just not as you know it! Great electro bassline with some undeniable dubstep nuances and string arrangements driving it forward. It’s fresh and contemporary and suits Ms. Minogue unbelievably well.
“Feels So Good” had a previous life of its own, under the song title of “Indiana” which was released last year by Tom Aspaul. Kylie’s cover version is virtually the same but has been given a lush electro mid-tempo makeover by the UK’s very own Grammy Award-nominated producer MNEK, who gives Kylie a fresh feel and this married collaboration really makes for a hypnotic production that feels very smooth. Another album highlight!
“If Only” is addictive in its use of futuristic synths, stuttering marching drums, angelic subtly enhanced vocals, dramatic production and its complex textures. It’s experimental with one of the best Pop hooks I’ve heard this year. It sounds big and unique – brilliant! “Les Sex” is a cheeky tongue-in-cheek track with one of the funniest choruses – “les love, les sex, les hand on les leg”. It is an urgent flurry of synths and delicious modern pop sounds that demand your catchy ear to listen to it. Another track oozing sexual innuendos galore and again it works.
The album title track “Kiss Me Once” has again been co-written by Sia Furler and is an enhanced euphoric track that has such mighty sweeping lush blissful production with chiming bells lifting it to higher musical heights. A wonderful love song that talks about love conquering all, “Kiss Me Once” is a nice departure from the sex-filled songs on the album.
“Beautiful” is a track that shouldn’t work in hindsight and also seems to be an unnecessary addition to the album. The Enrique Iglesias feature doesn’t look good on paper either, but this somehow works and isn’t a bad track at all. The electro-ballad is a grower and it’s a track you’ll appreciate more and more with each new listen. The chorus is glorious and the robotic vocoder voices from both artists marry together in such a unique subtle way. “Beautiful” makes for a surprisingly good track.
“Fine” is a cracking album closer here. Mirroring some of the good pulsing vibes of her previous album Aphrodite and meshing it with 90s-influenced House and Dance-Pop, this track uplifts and empowers the listener on a positive note. It’s mature and rich in its lyricism and production. It’s modern, contemporary and doesn’t feel forced. A great track to end a great album!
Kiss Me Once is up there with Kylie’s sexiest albums, oozing sex in a way that Kylie pulls off so well. It’s more of a cheeky wink and acknowledgement of it than a Rihanna-esque “get everything out for the lads” kind of way. It’s believable and undeniably Kylie. It truly feels like a journey and another opening into Kylie and her mind. She truly sounds happy, is enjoying her music and sounds like she is just enjoying life and expressing herself again. This is someone who doesn’t have anything to prove as her career and time at the top has shown what a star she is – she oozes longevity in this disposable musical age.
This is a glittery, well-produced and executed refreshingly modern Pop album that has got to rank highly as one of her best albums to date. It’s a great update to her sound and sounds so cohesive considering that a team of producers and songwriters came together to produce this impressive body of work for Kylie. It’s nice to hear a Pop album full of really good music that shines and shimmers its love songs into your head for a high replay value!
Purchase: Kylie Minogue – Kiss Me Once (iTunes)