Kylie Minogue is a pop star that needs no introduction. Bursting onto the pop scene way back in 1987, she has gone on to become a global icon, serving up chart toppers with all the ease of a waitress serving cocktails. Now gearing up to release her twelfth studio album, and her first album with new label Roc Nation, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Kylie may have lost her magic touch after 27 years in the biz. But you’d be wrong.
Kiss Me Once opens with lead single ‘Into The Blue’, a quintessential Kylie song, camp and catchy and destined to be a staple of gay club playlists for years to come. This is followed by ‘Million Miles’, and even catchier track and one of the album’s highlights thanks to its addictive beat, reminiscent of earlier hits ‘Come Into My World’ and ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’.
The long awaited Pharrell collaboration, ‘I Was Gonna Cancel’ is a slick slice of electro-pop inspired by a stressful day at the studio and though the rest of the album is similarly immaculate in its production, it’s a shame that Pharrell only lends his expertise to one track when his distinctive style could have been used to great effect on other songs.
Sex provides the prominent theme for an album that is as fun as it is erotic. The word ‘sex’ crops up in no less than three titles of the eleven tracks, the best being ‘Les Sex’, the album’s highlight and a likely choice for the next single. It is an instantly likeable, powerful pop song that similarly to every track on this album, boasts a sleek, glossy, but never over-done, production. Although sex may seem like a generic theme for a pop album, Kylie’s sultry vocals and interesting use of musical styles (the dubstep influenced ‘Sexercise’ is perhaps her sexiest track since 2003’s ‘Slow’) make it work.
That isn’t to say that the album doesn’t hit a few bum notes, though. The Enrique Iglesias featuring ‘Beautiful ‘is a slow, uninspiring track that lacks the energy and vitality of the rest of the album, while the title-track Kiss Me Once is a disappointing, lackluster affair that feels as though its only purpose is to make up the numbers.
Notably absent from the album is 2013’s track ‘Skirt’, a departure from Kylie’s previous efforts thanks to its reverberating beat and minimalist production. What made the track so remarkable was that, unlike the majority of her singles, it was not overtly camp. It’s a shame that such an innovative single was discarded from an album that while being consistently enjoyable, never strays into new territory.
While Kiss Me Once is sure to delight die-hard Minogue fans and whet the appetite of any self-respecting pop fan, it nevertheless fails to break any new ground. Given her move to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, many had been expecting a shift from the familiar tried-and-tested camp pop that has characterised most of Minogue’s output. But then again, when you have such a winning formula as Kylie, why would you ever feel the need to change? The album is released on the 14th of March.