Petite Pop Princess’s New Offering
After a drought following her illness and the cancellation of her tour dates three years ago, Kylie has a new album and a promotional tour. Kylie X looks and sounds like a return to grace: Kylie’s face looms out with flashes of red and yellow, eyes hide behind a netted mask, and scarlet fingernails press against equally scarlet lips, promising secrets. However, does the music satisfy the fans’ thirst? Does it contain the winning formula that is fun if a little bit filthy? Does it have what it takes to be the next dancefloor hit? I’m not sure.
On first listen my questioning glance goes to the CD player. Is this it? One song slides lazily into the next, the repetitive disco drowns out the nasal crooning, and an urge to press eject has to be quashed. By the third or fourth listen my opinion is definitely divided. Despite the disappointing overuse of voice effects, you can’t help but start tapping to the second track, “Like a Drum,” or sing along with the infectious “Sensitized” or “The One.” Kylie only just pulls it off. As yet, none of the cuts seems like the emphatic “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” or “Spinning Around,” but the melodic “No More Rain” and the comical/sensual “Nu-di-ty” and “Speakerphone” go the distance.
In the same way that my love for cricket came from the tough decision to learn, watch, and understand the game or become a cricket widow, I realized that fighting against Kylie was a losing battle. As a boyfriend’s room filled up with Kylie calendars and posters in a way more befitting a teenager than a grown man and “Fever” played continuously (only to be interrupted by classics from her early days), I decided that if you can’t beat them, join them. I embraced all that is Kylie, and what I once thought and condemned as the dreadful droning of a diva, I grew to enjoy and appreciate. This was the work of an intelligent woman, one who could reinvent herself as many times as Madonna and attract and maintain a huge fan base.
I remain dubious about this new album. But I persevered and listened four or five times before putting pen to paper to write this review, and it does get better. That said, something is just not right with this album. I’m not sure what the missing magic ingredient is, and it’s possible that after hearing and seeing her perform these tracks live in concert, I may just eat my words.
Kylie will play at Olimpisky Stadium on June 16.