Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite

2010-08-17 15:50
 Kylie Minogue's continued success is remarkable because it's been about 22 years since her first album topped the UK charts; it's also frightening because it seems to have taken precious little to repeat that feat in 2010. "Aphrodite" and its success is either a testament to the Aussie's seemingly universal appeal, or the simple nature of a brand-saturated public.

We're betting on the latter, because Kylie was never a great singer or a fantastic dancer, but she always had recognition for her particular brand of sex appeal – you could say her first impression was a lasting one. Or maybe, in Kylie's case, her second impression – and that dress – is what we're remembering.

Not that "Aphrodite" is intolerably awful. It just isn't 22-plus-years-in-the-business good. All up-tempo and club-targeted with breathy, girly vocal lines about nothing really interesting bobbing around near the top, it's an album that's custom-made for a flashy stage show – you can almost hear them thinking in the studio: "This will look great on stage!"

The album's production reeks of Madonna's last Stuart Price-produced efforts ("Confessions on a Dancefloor" in particular), echoing that producer's muscular beats and basslines to great effect in places. For a number of reasons – lack of invention among them - Kylie's melodies don’t work as well, which really should be the case in pop that is as apolitical and candy floss as this.

"Get Outta My Way" is potentially a standout radio track - you can put this on repeat a dozen times if you like 5FM-toned migraines. But "Everything is Beautiful" does show what could have been. It has the space that allows the song to breathe (breathing, apart from Kylie's bedroom-y hissing, is rare on "Aphrodite"). This is where the album should have gone more consistently, if they were making a record to actually listen to.

But this is club music, ready-made for the remix treatment and the flashy world tour, which will no doubt sell out at least in Asia again, where Kylie is God(dess).

So there's probably something to be said for knowing your market and giving them more of what made you a star. Still, that doesn't mean you have to record an album that Madonna already made a couple of years ago.

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Kylie's ability to remain top of the pops is impressive… and a damning reflection of the market.

What to read next: Kalahari

Overlaud4.0 2010/08/12 11:13 AM
(sigh) Ok, for all you haters below who were absent the day they taught reading comprehension, this review above sez: 1. The album isn't bad 2. it's light and poppy and not meant to be much more than dancy, clubby fun that can spark a tour effectively 3. Kylie's live shows are big in Asia. To help you the rating he gave it (3) says fair to good... It does NOT: 1. Diss Kylie and her career in any way shape or form, other that to state the obvious - she's not known for her brilliant vocal talent or her dance ability 2. mention anything baout the merits or demerits of pop music So WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT?
Fabulousness 2010/08/12 6:09 PM
What's new? She's always been trailing Madonna in every area and doing a budget (in some cases Carry On) version of what Madonna was doing years before. Kylie's a bit of a non entity outside of the gay community hence her low sales. I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the album being number 1 in one country, it was a low sales week with no competition and it's yet to even acheive half a million worldwide. It's a flop, even by her standards.
Pop music fan 2010/08/31 11:21 PM
This album is much better than a lot of others being released this year and most definitely the best she has done since the Light Years album many years ago. Good fun dance music that doesn't take itself too seriously. Not pretentious junk like the latest Scissor Sisters cd with absolutely no listenable tune in sight. Kylie deserves at least 4*.
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