Kylie Minogue: Kiss Me Once

Posted March 18, 2014 by in Dance pop



3/ 5


Genre: ,
Producer: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Genre: Dance pop, electronica
Producer: Cutfather, Daniel Davidsen, Mike Del Rio, GoodWill & MGI, Greg Kurstin, Chris Loco, Metrophonic, MNEK, The Monsters & The Strangerz, Justin Raisen, Ariel Rechtshaid, Jesse Shatkin, Tommy Trash, Peter Wade, Joshua "JD" Walker, Peter Wallevik, Pharrell Williams
Label: Warner Bros., Parlophone
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 38:46
Release Date: 18 March 2014
Spin This: "Sexy Love," "I Was Gonna Cancel," "Million Miles"


New adventures add contrast to Minogue's library; familiar tunes are the LP's highlights


Lyrical direction leaves very little to celebrate; second half seems to unimpress

Dancing queen tries to find new ground by frolicking with new flavors while under new management

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Dancing queen tries to find new ground by frolicking with new flavors while under new management

Relatively consistent and artistically relevant since breaking out as a ‘80’s dance-pop star, Australian-born Kylie Minogue – an offspring of Madonna’s frosty dancefloor workouts – shows no signs of stopping. After dropping 2010’s Aphrodite, she experimented with orchestral pop with the detouring covers LP, The Abbey Road Sessions, and found her face on reality-TV as a coach on the UK’s version of The Voice. She’s also giving her homeland the same kind of treatment as a coach on the Australian version of The Voice. A career change seemed apparent as she split from her longtime manager Terry Blamey and signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, the same company that oversees the careers of Rihanna and Shakira.  It seems as if none of these things are slowing her down as she drops Kiss Me Once, her twelfth solo album and first under Hova’s watch.

Although she’s played with everything under the disco ball from Jamaroquai funk (“Spinning Around”) to Madonna-goes-Motown (“I Should Be So Lucky”), the eleven-track set supervised by Minogue and Sia Furler shows off a few new designs for the dance queen. Helping to make that possible is the unique collaborations with MNEK (Bastille) and ever-popular pop king Pharrell Williams. “I Was Gonna Cancel,” her sole contribution with Pharrell, warrants a good listen as it shows off tolling bells, an opera singer background singer and Daft Punk-like keys while Minogue works her cutesy pipes around a sing-a-long chorus. The opening track, “Into the Blue,” tosses her into the electro art world that ambitious young deejays like Calvin Harris, Zedd and Avicci are dominating. The chorus and sultry strings are striking to the ear, but it isn’t the album’s strongest presentation, especially as it safely acts as it borrows the color-by-numbers template abounding in mid-‘10’s dance. But the throwback funk of “Sexy Love” and the adoring “Million Miles” (both produced by Daniel Davidsen, Peter Wallevik and Cutfather; the brains behind 2010’s “Get Outta My Way”) definitely takes home top prize for Minogue. The latter shows off her purring girlish pipes as if she’s a cleaned-up Britney Spears (“I feel like a mil-e-yun miles away”). Thankfully, Minogue’s playfulness possesses more character and personality that it transcends much of the electropop overload inside modern radio. She even takes a few careful risks with MNEK’s “Feels So Good,” which blends Björk sounds with steamy

But not everything creative and adventurous turns out for the best, as the second half of the disc reveals a few irritations (“If Only,” “Sexercise”). The lesbian-friendly, robotic “Les Sex” acts like a tease, never reaching its lyrical potential: “We could keep on teasing/We could mark the depths/We could throw for hours/Or we could make it up”). And when she decides to slow things up for AC tastebuds, the Enrique Iglesias-penned “Beautiful” hardly harnesses the attention span. The Minogue and Iglesias duet sounds like a skewered trio as cyborg programming enters the scene.  Plus the song never blossoms into the bombastic power ballad it could have been, focusing instead on queasy romance and lukewarm foreplay. The back side’s redemption is found in the Sia-penned title cut and “Fine,” which puts Minogue back on the dance floor where her vocals properly belong.

Minogue isn’t totally surrounded by the best of songs, which hardly makes any sense when one starts to compile all the hitmaking writers and producers on the disc. Kiss Me Once has all the right cooks, but doesn’t serve their best dishes. Still, Minogue and her brand are certain to profit off of the album. It may bear a few spotty glitches and sluggish lyrical content, but there’s enough inside for Minogue to capitalize on. There’s something old, something new and something extra to build the next album around.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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