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Kylie - Showgirl Homecoming

2007-04-11 12:41
Showgirl is a live recording of the tour’s opening night in Sydney that translates into a retrospective album. It proves that there was life before Britney, and that Kylie’s American contemporary, the Queen of Pop, had some competition on the way, after all. Or at least some influence.

Kylie’s career began in the eighties, survived the nineties, and continues on into the naughties with increasingly fewer clothes to cover for her marginal talent as a singer. But the Kylie phenomenon is a lot more than a thin-voiced beauty backed by big budget labels. Her enduring charisma has captured the imagination of the commercial entertainment world, her professional commitment has carried her beyond both critics and cancer, and her penchant for stripping back the layers (at least sartorially) means that the more we see of Kylie, the more we buy into her brand.

This compilation pays homage to the different steps of her career in no particular order, playing out like a Vegas show replete with swelling orchestral effects and theatrical crescendos melting into belting, bouncy bops and disco beats. It’s Barbie in Cristal.

The live recording affects a catch 22, increasing the hype with the roar of the adoring masses, and antagonising her chances for real critical acclaim by stripping the veneer that her sassy beauty builds. Her vocals are mediocre, thin at times, and unexciting. So are her songs, held together by synthesizers and sex. But that’s pop for you; this Aussie star knows how to use the southern reaches to sell sound.

If you listen to nothing else on this double album, the glam, jazzy version of maybe her most memorable hit, “The Locomotion” is worth your time. It’s the single song of merit and a point of departure from the hits we cringe over and sing along to at the same time.

The bottom line from the Sheila with the best bootie in the business is that Pop is timeless (at least in that it doesn’t change much.)

- Jess Henson
No longer the girl next door, Kylie’s come a long way from the days of Neighbours, changed (costume) many times, and is now a household name in showbiz.


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