The Abbey Road Sessions: Reinterpreting Kylie Minogue’s Discography
It’s the coolness of the air, a gentle breeze that flickers through. It’s the leaves falling down, a reminder that a new season is in town. People scatter about yet I’m here revisiting my favorite records. A warm cup of tea in hand with Kylie Minogue seemingly playing nonstop. I’m preparing myself for her Christmas album that’s about to drop next week. Not only will it fit the festive mood, the album will go hand in hand with an album she released several years ago to commemorate her presence in the music industry. Minogue decided to visit one of the world’s most famous studios at an attempt to re-record some of her greatest hits with her Aphrodite touring band, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and her longtime producer Steve Anderson. The Abbey Road Sessions reinterprets Kylie Minogue’s iconic songs, often turning them into orchestral masterpieces.
How do you decide what songs are going to be re-recorded, especially for an album that celebrates your career? There’s no better start than “All the Lovers.” The song radiates love and euphoria, becoming a powerful anthem. Stripped to an acoustic sound with strings, the breakdown is as amazing as the original, if not more intense. With a proper band backing her, “On A Night Like This” turns into a fervent moment. “Better the Devil You Know” is a classic. Anderson and Colin Elliot’s production of it turns it into a lavish and soothing number. The updated version of “Hand on Your Heart” is a treasured moment. Based on José Gonzalez‘s cover, the Stock/Aitken/Waterman original is toned down to a soft moment, as if you’re driving down the country road during the twilight hour with the windows rolled down and one hand out in the wind.
“I Believe In You” is such a powerful moment. Like “All the Lovers,” all remnants of its synthpop origins are replaced, opting for a moving ballad. Continuing the ballad path is “Come Into My World.” The Grammy award-winning song is translated well into its new form, giving a proper release to the version Minogue performed in 2005 and 2006. Minogue began “K25” with a treat each month; its inception began with the video for “Finer Feelings.” The long forgotten gem from 1991 is an outstanding piece, deserving an ovation for its return from the dead. One of the album’s haunting moments resides in “Confide In Me.” Another standout, the tone is quite ominous, perfect for a thriller.
“Slow” is a little lounge moment, taking a breath from its predecessors while keeping intimacy at a close. I let loose every time I hear “The Locomotion.” Its rockin’ vibe is one for the dance floor, one that Scott Bradlee would appreciate. It would be wrong to leave out “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” Reduced to a fast paced orchestral piece, the strings are what make the song stand out. What you knew and love about the singer’s most famous song has been transformed, given life as a Bond song. Every album needs a murder ballad, no exception. “Where the Wild Roses Grow” is a glimpse into what Minogue can achieve, especially with Nick Cave at her side. Stripped back, the song is one of the few to remain true to its origins.
The Abbey Road Sessions offers one new recording: “Flower.” Written many years ago for Minogue’s tenth album, X, the song was rejected but made its appearance on KylieX2008. The ballad is a love letter to the child Minogue has never had. It’s a beautiful poetic moment Minogue shares with fans. “I Should Be So Lucky” is one song I’ve carelessly sung along to without knowing. The lyrics often mirror what I feel, and it’s a cathartic moment when the song is transformed into a torch song. Do you believe in love at first sight? It’s an age old question and I will always scream for my answer. “Love At First Sight” is revisited in a whimsical approach, the new style coating it with sugar and sweetness that made people fall in love with the singer in the first place. “Never Too Late” strikes me as beautiful and sad. Unaccompanied by backing vocalists, Minogue croons out her heart, aching to find someone to dazzle her.
Some editions of the album carried bonus tracks. Minogue is known for her brand of dance-pop and revisiting a select few reminds us why she still remains relevant in an ever-changing landscape. “Wow” is stripped down to an acoustic rendition while “In My Arms” serves as the album’s dramatic moment. Though it wasn’t able to make the final cut for any edition, Minogue treated fans to the video for “Breathe.” Not much is different from the Impossible Princess track, but it’s another moment from the singer’s creative era. In further promoting her album, Minogue even performed at Proms in the Park, treating the audience to “Spinning Around” with a full band backing her.
The Abbey Road Sessions barely scratched the surface of a lengthy career. Kylie Minogue has brought joy for many years, and is worthy of having her name grace every iPod. Every version of the songs listed above have made its appearances on tours but it wasn’t until 2012 that Minogue’s plan to re-record some of her classics came to fruition.
The Abbey Road Sessions is available now and be on the lookout for Kylie Christmas, November 13th!