‘Locomotion’. ‘I Should Be So Lucky’. ‘Better the Devil You Know’. ‘Spinning Around’. ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’. From the beginnings of her fame as Charlene Robinson in Neighbours to joining The Voice’s judging panel earlier this year, there aren’t many figures in pop with quite the same CV of hits as Kylie Minogue. Even after a breast cancer scare in 2005, creating enough awareness publicly speaking about her experiences for doctors to describe a ‘Kylie effect’ amongst young women regularly checking, Kylie shows no signs of slowing down. But on her twelfth album, will there be anything to recreate the ‘Fever’ that her career inspired around the turn of the millennium?
The Australian superstar’s first album released under management of Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation, ‘Kiss Me Once’ starts with first single ‘Into the Blue’, an optimistic but also contemporary-sounding synthesised affair that sets a fine tone for the album. ‘Million Miles’ follows with a four-to-the-floor chorus that should have the Motorpoint Arena dancing come October. The Pharrell Williams-written ‘I Was Gonna Cancel’ – despite not being destined for ‘Get Lucky’ or ‘Blurred Lines’ levels of success – is an upbeat catchy number that keeps up a strong album. ‘Sexercize’ and moments of the otherwise promising ‘Les Sex’ see ill-advised attempts at dubstep which come across as unnatural and are sure to sound dated in several years’ time, but ‘Feels So Good’ and the title track see steps in the right direction. The Enrique Inglesias-assisted ‘Beautiful’ shows some harmonic and tuneful interaction between the two singers, before finale ‘Fine’, the only track with a writing credit from Kylie herself, rounds off the album with an almost Daft Punk use of synthesisers, an up-tempo offering to create a nice flow to the album.
There doesn’t seem to be anything that will grab the attention of the younger pop fan the way some of her previous singles have done, but ‘Kiss Me Once’ is a strong addition to the collection of any Kylie Minogue fan. 26 years on from debut album ‘Kylie’, we can hear the singer coming out with songs that aim for a contemporary edge and, largely, succeed.