Pure Kylie magic, Aphrodite is an astonishing return to form.
Ian Wade 2010-06-25
Kylie Minogue. You may have heard of her. You probably have a favourite era or phase: perhaps when she was Indie Kylie and hanging with Nick Cave and the Manics; or Dance Kylie, when she minxed up in the mid-90s. Maybe you like the tinny early SAW efforts that launched her from a soap being onto a trajectory of superstardom, and breathed a sigh of relief when she rediscovered her pop mojo in the early 00s. Whatever the time or place, there’s no denying that in the 23 years since I Should Be So Lucky, Kylie has briefly tickled, illuminated or completely absorbed an area of your life.
For her followers Aphrodite is the Kylie of Fever and Light Years: frothy, intensely hummable dance pop. The sort of thing she does with such effortlessness and grace. Lead single All the Lovers emits everything that X – her ‘comeback’ album from 2007 which spectacularly bungled its single releases, and in turn wasn’t really what her fans were expecting – didn’t. With most of the production handed to Stuart Price, who has provided magic in the past for Madonna and helmed the new Scissor Sisters album (among numerous other impressive credits), this is a return to form so astonishing that one’s life can only be enhanced with repeated plays.
There are treats galore to be heard here: next single Get Outta My Way should destroy every dancefloor between here and the furthest reaches of the universe; the Jake Shears/Calvin Harris-penned Too Much is a rave monster; and the tech-country strut of Better Than Today throws up imagery of line-dancing cyborgs. The title-track is a military-drummed happy-clappy back, Back, BACK moment, which will be the moment of her live set when she actually explodes. Contrasting that track, the Tim Rice-Oxley-written number Everything Is Beautiful is about the mellowest thing here, but welcome after the tremendous onslaught of the opening quartet. Concluding with the cowbell-assisted frisky Daft-ness of Can’t Beat the Feeling, this stunning album is an all-killer, flags-aloft amazing triumph.
Aphrodite is pure Kylie magic. Everything that made you fall in love with her all over again before is present and correct here. Not liking this would be like not being keen on breathing. All hail!