What kind of Kylie Minogue am I? According to some super scientific research, I'm 'Loco-Motion Kylie' and since I'm full of happiness and energy (and with the best fashion taste imaginable, ha-cha!) then I should be energetic over Minogue's latest sound venture, Kiss Me Once.
I'll be honest. I wasn't really excited about Kiss Me Once. I even plum forgot about it's release date.
Crazy and irresponsible, right? I mean, it's Kylie Minogue. With over 25+ years in the game, I have always trusted her to bring the glitter and the gleam of inhibited aural frolics. So what was the issue? Rather let's plural that issue. After indulging in orchestral covers of her signature cuts on The Abbey Road Sessions in 2012, Minogue decided to test pilot promotional singles, "Timebomb" and "Skirt", and they were well, kinda crappy and really beneath her skills. A switch to Jay Z's Roc Nation family tree didn't ease the discomfort as was the announced studio time with
Kiss Me Once could've of gone many ways. As a veteran practitioner of pop, Mingoue is in a position where she's competing with those she's influenced, but even as she hits 45 years of age she has often steered away from the "cool mom-ness" and attempts to recapture past glories as some of her peers. Her chameleonic abilities, as well as the smarts to not work with the same producer twice on each new project, have added merit to her catalog. Even when she has had many producers and writers whispering in her ear, Minogue has always retained a sense of herself in her music.
It's hard to hate a majority of anything on Kiss Me Once because Minogue is so aw-shucks sincere about it all. She spins away from the baroque Euro-pop that embodied 2010's Aphrodite, and whirls into Americana pop, recapturing the spirit of 2007's X, which was a soft nudge towards the US finally recognizing Minogue beyond that of a two hit wonder. Like X, Kiss Me Once is stark, and uneven, but purrs with sex kittenish frisk. Going from frothy disco swirls to R&B workouts back to firework crackling electro-pop, without much regard on trying to compete or cut an edge, and all of this is glazed over with her signature coos to make an album that is so uniquely her. Minogue knows she's making pop music, knows her audience, and she's not putting on airs to deem herself above everyone (see Lady Gaga). Minogue is in on the fun, and she's having it on her own terms. Is this her best work? Not really, but in times of political correctness and the fear and selfie-lothing culture, the embodiment of Kiss Me Once reminds one of the innocent nostalgic times when pop music didn't need to be taken to serious heights to be considered listenable.
*If you disregard "Sleeping With The Enemy" as a bonus track, it makes for the lone ballad here, and really it hasn't a right to be an afterthought. Greg Kurstin knows how to craft a pop number, and this is one that has Minogue floating in a sea of string radiance that haunts long after it dissolves.