Kylie Minogue's 'Kiss Me Once': What You Need To Know
Fresh from her ongoing stint as a judge on BBC One’s The Voice, the pint-sized pop princess is back with her first new studio album proper since 2010’s Aphrodite. Over the course of her 26-year career, the Aussie singer’s output has varied quite a bit. From her beginnings in the late 1980s churning out Stock, Aitken and Waterman-powered bubblegum pop, Kylie went through a bit of an indie phase at the back end of the 90s with her album Impossible Princess, working with the likes of Manic Street Preachers and Nick Cave, before finally coming full circle with 2000’s Light Years. Since then Kylie has pretty much stuck with that winning pop formula, so what can we expect from Kiss Me Once? Here’s everything you need to know…
What’s the background?
Since the release of her last studio album, Kylie has parted ways with Terry Blamey, her manager since her recording career began, signing up instead to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation in January last year. She’s embarked on not one but two tours, the first being her biggest to date in support of Aphrodite, while the other, dubbed The Anti-Tour, was part of her ‘K25’ project celebrating her 25 years in the music industry. On top of that, Ms. Minogue has appeared on tracks with Hurts and Italian singer-songwriter Laura Pausini, released a ‘Best Of’ and The Abbey Road Sessions featuring orchestral, reworked versions of some of her material and even featured in two films – Jack & Diane and Holy Motors – with a lead role in the latter. Then there’s The Voice, of course…
Kylie herself is listed as one of two ‘executive producers’, the other being fellow Australian singer-songwriter Sia Furler, but there are a range of writing and production credits on the album from the likes of Greg Kurstin, MNEK, Cutfather, Mike Del Rio and Pharrell Williams among others Overall, we’re still very much in pop territory here…
What are the standout tracks?
Lead single and album opener ‘Into The Blue’ sets the scene nicely, kicking the record off with a flourish of big piano stabs and swelling strings before giving way to a stomping, four-to-the-floor beat complete with soaring chorus hook. The Pharrell-produced ‘I Was Gonna Cancel’ is typical Williams fare with its pumping R&B drum rhythms and funky clavichords, while ‘Sexercise’ almost veers into dubstep territory – its bassline isn’t quite up to Skrillex levels of brutal distortion, but it's clearly a nod in that direction.
Another highlight is ‘Sexy Love’, which owes more than a little to Nile Rodgers’ work with Madonna in the 80s, packed from the offset with funky guitar chops and slap bass. Elsewhere, there’s ‘Les Sex’ (are you noticing a theme here?), one of the real standouts and a slice of pure ‘Kylie Pop’, while ‘Beautiful’ is a shift downwards in pace, dripping with auto-tuned vocals and vocoder effects, giving the album a moment to take it’s foot of the gas before the closing number ‘Fine’.
Hardcore fans will, of course, be after the deluxe edition, which gets you a couple of extra bonus tracks in the form of ‘Mr. President’ and ‘Sleeping With The Enemy’, as well as some video goodies including ‘Into The Blue’, a making-of video, a behind-the-scenes mini-documentary and a commentary from Kylie herself.
Does it deliver?
If you were hoping for more of what Kylie does best – that’s dancefloor-friendly pop with big sing-along choruses and crisp production – then Kiss Me Once won’t disappoint. We hope we haven’t seen the last of musical experiments like ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow’, but if we’re honest Kylie is in her element when she’s churning out big, danceable pop tunes and we’re sure the new album will please her army of loyal fans.