The latest offering from everyone's favourite diminutive pop princess...
Nick Reynolds 2002-11-20
It must have seemed a shrewd move for Kylie to dive unto a big pool of electro beats and dance sounds drawn from eighties pop. These styles have worked well for the Sugababes and Liberty X. Body Language is full of robotic techno sounds, hard syndrums and squelchy synthesizers. The single "Slow" is typical: keyboards blip, Kylie polishes up her best American R n B vocal style and coos right in your ear.
This revival of cheesy eighties pop and dance styles has worked because it's been revisited with a level of raw sex that wasn't spelt out twenty years ago. But you can't imagine Kylie singing "Freak Like Me" to Gary Numan samples, or dueting with sleazy electroclash porno queen Peaches. The princess of pop has always been sexy, but never, ever crude. Body Language is professional but a bit polite.
She vamps it up, as on the Ms Dynamite penned "Secret", with its vocodered vocals and sinister bass squirts, and even tries a distorted rap, but remains coquettish rather than bitchy. This contrasts with the sweet pop, with added disco whistles, of "Promises", as squeaky clean as anything shes done. "Promises" is produced by dance legend Curtis Mantronix whose "Got To Have Your Love" was successfully revived by Liberty X. But despite Curtis' credentials it actually sounds like something Stock, Aitken and Waterman could have knocked up. He does better on the slick R n B pop of "Obsession".
Upcoming Icelandic artist Emiliana Torrini co-writes "Red Blooded Woman", a bid to inject some windswept European drama with swirling strings. "Chocolate" is a great title for a Kylie song, but jogs along in a wash of breathy vocals without making much impression. "I Feel For You" has some Chic style rhythm guitar, bubbling bass and a startling sample, but unfortunately no chorus.
What Body Language really lacks is a killer hit single, a "Spinning Around" or "Can't Get You Out Of My Head". It's pleasant, but too much of the material seems routine: candyfloss rather than dark, tangy chocolate.