Monday, August 2, 2010

Kylie Minogue: A Study in Pop Perfection

The heir apparent to Madonna's throne, Kylie Minogue has unleashed her 11th affair Aphrodite to applause since its July release. The year of 2010 is an important milestone for Minogue in other ways. It marks two anniversaries in her discography: 1990's Rhythm of Love and 2000's Light Years. Minogue's power has been her pop purity, the full on froth that springs her that musical exhibitionism. Three records, three decades, one woman, each connected by the need to keep pop  changeable and creatively charged.

Rhythm of Love
Minogue's first big step, Rhythm of Love held a defined sonic that acknowledged an edgy, dance tone. With clubby pulses moving underneath them, Rhythm produced four staples: "Better the Devil You Know," "Step Back in Time," "Shocked," & "What Do I Have to Do." The album tracks also boasted gold on the bouncy "Secrets" and flirty title track. A marked vocal improvement made Minogue an unmistakable presence on Rhythm and she tried her hand at songwriting here as well. Not bad for the Stock-Aitken-Waterman doll many were writing off three years prior to Rhythm's release.

Light Years
Emerging from the exploratory deConstruction epoch, Light Years was Minogue's debut for her new home Parlophone Records. Decked out in mainstream and underground disco motifs, Light Years was equally credible and camp. The surging rushes of "Disco Down" and "Butterfly" were daises for the savant Minogue became during her deConstruction years. Minogue occupied boogie down brilliance on "Spinning Around"  and "Under the Influence," the latter a cover of the Love Unlimited classic. The pool party of the millennium started here.

Partnering with Stuart Price who led projects for Madonna (Confessions on a Dance Floor, 2005), Seal (System, 2007), and the Scissor Sisters (Night Work, 2010), Aphrodite is Minogue at her most European. At first listen, one dismisses the high gloss as perfunctory, but by the second listen "Get Outta My Way," "Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)," and "Cupid Boy" are beyond enjoyable, they're euphoric. There are surprises in the baroque  "Closer" and the saucy switch of "Better Than Today." Within the lead single "All the Lovers" and "Aphrodite," we find thematic spirit of the album.

Eleven albums deep into a career that has seen Minogue dominate the globe, barring America which houses a loyal, cult following, Kylie Minogue is more than a mere "princess" to Madonna's "Queen Mother" stature. In reality, as the new album proclaims, she is above such human monikers, she is one of the few goddesses of the pop realm.-QH

[Editor's Note: Like majority of Kylie Minogue's pre-Fever work, both Rhythm of Love & Light Years are available as affordable imports, or within larger, music specialty shops. Visit for more information.-QH]


And. said...

I can't not ever read something you have written without wanting to hear the artist straight after. Once again, a well crafted, unbiased article.


un_taco said...

BRAVO! Have you sent this to Kylie, it's well deserved praise she'd like to read. =)

QH said...

No, I need to. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I love your article, but I can't believe you forgot to mention the Body Language album!
It outshines the rest!