Kylie Minogue Leaves You Wanting More Than Just A Kiss
When asked about her twelfth album, Kiss Me Once, Kylie Minogue said it would be “emotopop.” What did that exact word bring to mind? The heart wrenching “Dancing on My Own” from Robyn may come to mind but– wrong. Minogue went above and beyond with her latest masterpiece, cleverly disguising the emotional lyrics with her own sparkle of pop, dance, and (surprisingly) hints of EDM. The lead single, “Into the Blue” was reminiscent of the euphoric “All the Lovers” from her previous album, Aphrodite, and remixed later on with the help of Roger Sanchez and Patrick Hagenaar. Pharrell Williams lent his songwriting/production skills to the album, providing “I Was Gonna Cancel,” riddled with bells and funk. If “Love at First Sight” had a sister, it would be born in the funktastic/disco “Sexy Love.”
Halfway through the album is where things begin to mold into the trendy EDM world that is flourishing in the pop world.
While the title may indeed be unusual, “Sexercize” is a wonderful blend of trap and dubstep that builds up before coming to a relatively short climax that leaves you wanting more. Minogue covered Tom Aspaul’s light and airy track, “Indiana,” only renaming it as “Feels So Good”. The synth/electropop “Les Sex” is a standout from the album, with its music box teasing listeners before sex is offered in the form of whatever you want to call it.
Last year, Kylie tweeted she had an interesting collaboration in the works. While rapper Brooke Candy was one of the planned guests, Kylie did a 180 and surprised everyone by featuring Latin sensation Enrique Iglesias who wrote “Beautiful” (also appearing on the deluxe edition of his upcoming album Sex+Love). Though its place on the album leaves many questioning this duet, it’s apparent that the vocoders should be left to Imogen Heap. The perfect closer to the album ends with the only song co-written by Kylie, “Fine,” which immediately kicks off with Minogue assuring you everything will be fine as long as you look forward. It is the most emotional pop song on the album that leaves you looking forward to the unknown future.
One of the bonus tracks, “Mr President” was produced by Tommy Trash and serves as one of the main highlights from the album. An original composition in 2011, the song was slightly tweaked to give it a pop edge but retains most of Trash’s production where the singer gives (and offers) her best Marilyn Monroe impression, moaning “ah! Mr President”. Karen Poole, a longtime collaborator teamed up with Matt Schwartz to produce “Sparks”, a Japanese bonus track with a pulsing electro beat and tribal sounds that clash well with Minogue’s heavenly vocals on the chorus.
Minogue does what she does best, and it’s singing about love while mixing a bit of disco, glitter and glam into the equation. As a goddess of pop, Kylie Minogue proves that during her 25+ year longevity, she will always surprise you, keeping up with the latest trends in the music but tailoring it her own which no other artist can pull off. As a wise friend once said, Kylie Minogue is the cure for sadness and the emotopop found in Kiss Me Once will reassure you all will be fine in the world.
Personal highlights from the album included: the pause in “Million Miles” before it goes hard, the crickets from “Indiana” being kept in “Feels So Good, bringing a sense of home and comfort, and the majority of “If Only” with the lines “if I set you free and you actually came back to me” tugging at my heartstrings. As a massive fan of the Aussie diva, Kiss Me Once is one of Minogue’s best works in a long time and deserves much more recognition in the United States.