Over the course of her extraordinary 20-plus-year-career, KYLIE MINOGUE has been a global force in pop music and is one of the world's most successful female artists with more than 60 million albums sold worldwide, 50... more » hit singles including the US Billboard dance-chart toppers "Can't Get You Our of My Head," "Love At First Sight," "Slow," and the Grammy-Award winning "Come Into My World." Now Kylie returns this summer with APHRODITE, a divine collection of pop treasures and club-ready anthems, and a nod to her goddess status among pop music lovers the world over. Executive-produced by studio genius Stuart Price (musical director for Madonna, producer of the last Killers album and the artist known as Les Rhythmes Digitales), this new collection of songs sees Kylie further celebrating her dancefl oor roots with an amazing array of collaborations with the likes of UK electro upstart Calvin Harris, Australian producers NERVO (who co-wrote David Guetta's hit "When Love Takes Over"), and acclaimed British songwriter Nerina Pallot. Since the release of Kylie's acclaimed 2008 album "X", electronic pop has been storming the US airwaves and charts, as evidenced by the success of Lady Gaga, Kesha and David Guetta, all of whom would surely acknowledge Kylie's place in the pop music pantheon.« less
Over the course of her extraordinary 20-plus-year-career, KYLIE MINOGUE has been a global force in pop music and is one of the world's most successful female artists with more than 60 million albums sold worldwide, 50 hit singles including the US Billboard dance-chart toppers "Can't Get You Our of My Head," "Love At First Sight," "Slow," and the Grammy-Award winning "Come Into My World." Now Kylie returns this summer with APHRODITE, a divine collection of pop treasures and club-ready anthems, and a nod to her goddess status among pop music lovers the world over. Executive-produced by studio genius Stuart Price (musical director for Madonna, producer of the last Killers album and the artist known as Les Rhythmes Digitales), this new collection of songs sees Kylie further celebrating her dancefl oor roots with an amazing array of collaborations with the likes of UK electro upstart Calvin Harris, Australian producers NERVO (who co-wrote David Guetta's hit "When Love Takes Over"), and acclaimed British songwriter Nerina Pallot. Since the release of Kylie's acclaimed 2008 album "X", electronic pop has been storming the US airwaves and charts, as evidenced by the success of Lady Gaga, Kesha and David Guetta, all of whom would surely acknowledge Kylie's place in the pop music pantheon.
"For unabashed, unapologetic pop music fun Kylie Minogue albums are often the answer. With the Aussie singer's 11th album "Aphrodite" this fact is blissfully reaffirmed.
Precision-tooled to blare out of speakers everywhere from San Diego BMWs to overpriced Parisian boutiques to Caribbean nightclubs, this clever, infectious baker's dozen of pop tunes flies out of the oven aimed squarely at the pleasure zone of Minogue's core audience. It is a thing of beauty.
The album has a very appealing sonic marriage of 2002's heavy-handed dance of "Fever" with the upbeat yet cool-as-cucumber lounge-ready pop of hits such as "I Believe In You" and "Chocolate." The result is an uptempo but unserious sound that is often quite European and always danceable.
Lead single "All the Lovers" is an ideal example. Its ceaseless beats have the resonance of disco yet are laser-like and modern. As with other key tracks such as the blissful eureka moment of "Everything Is Beautiful" or the high-BPM "Put Your Hands Up," a confident kiss goodbye to sadness courtesy of the dance floor, the song has a smart, sunny Euro-pop sheen that immediately ingratiates itselfs. Minogue's smooth, sweet, feminine vocals lead the way.
The diva-comeback theme of the cheeky, delightful, softly rambunctious title track can be seen coming from a mile away, but this upfront lack of pretense is part of Minogue's effortless charm. "Better Than Today" also impresses with its sharply-chiseled synthesizers buoying her jubilant vocals.
Unlike 2007's "X," there is a track or two that do not impress as much as those that surround. Although its lyrics are well-written, "Closer" is essentially a less appealing sequel to 2004's slick, sexy "Slow" and the closing "Can't Beat the Feeling" flies by without calling attention to itself.
"Get Outta My Way," the album's high point, is a declaration of intentions to savor all of life's transient pleasures whether or not company joins in. Its frenetic energy and sugary-sweet pop hook make it destined for the upper reaches of the charts, although comparisons to Minogue's 2000 hit "Spinning Around" are certainly justified from the title alone.
"Put your hands up if you feel love tonight," "Take a chance tonight and try something new," "I'm fierce and I'm feeling mighty, I'm an aphrodite" and "Can you feel me in the stereo?" are some of the album's best lines and indication of themes listeners will find and enjoy.
"Aphrodite" is expertly crafted, low-brow yet sophisticated and endlessly listenable. What more can a pop music fan ask for?"
Kylie: The Golden Girl (4.5 stars)
David | 07/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fans and critics often consider Kylie's golden period to be between the years of 1998-2002, encompassing the albums "Impossible Princess" (a leap into more adventurous territory), "Light Years" (a reimagining of retro disco), and "Fever" (transitioning to deeper club grooves, and a U.S. crossover smash).
After what some observers believe to be a few years in the wilderness, Kylie aims to recapture the spark that was seen occasionally in more recent times (especially evident in such songs as "I Believe In You" and "White Diamond"), but burned most brightly during the era of "Fever".
When I heard "Aphrodite" in full for the first time, I had mixed feelings. Yes, it sounds great on the surface - it's all very immaculately produced and is quite consistent. But hasn't Kylie done this all before, perhaps better? And considering everything she's been through, where's the lyrical and emotional depth?
Over a period of listening and absorbing the work, I've found that even though there is enough surface sparkle to immediately catch the attention, there's also an underlying vitality that begins to emerge upon further plays. Track 2, "Get Outta My Way", has a massive double chorus that is balanced out by surprisingly dialled-down verses, giving a counterpoint to the bluster and adding interest while still maintaining the momentum.
The first song to really capture me on a deeper level has been track 4, "Closer". Off-kilter synth drones, baroque style harpsichord, and a steadily building rhythm, around which Kylie cryptically intones: "We'll redesign / Where we combine / To be divine / Love in us", before pulling the listener into a chorus of disembodied yearning, reminiscent of ethereal music such as Delerium (circa "Poem").
Following this comes "Everything Is Beautiful". A song which might easily be overlooked on initial listening, it eventually reveals itself as a gorgeous highlight. Produced to sound like a veritable fantasy realm, with tinkling piano, billowing synths and layered vocal sighs, it's dream-pop at its finest, at times recalling the lushest moments of Fleetwood Mac's "Tango in the Night" album. There are some rather evocative vocals, lyrics and melodies that almost could've come from Billy Corgan during the "Adore" era: "Pulling the ripcord I dive / It's a cardboard kingdom / But it makes me feel / That if I lie with you long enough / I can see the things I'm dreaming of / Let's go through the ritual / Until everything is beautiful".
Completing this mid-album epiphany is "Aphrodite" - the title track itself. And it's powerful. It makes a grand entrance with the sound of insistent marching drums and aerial whooshes, followed by Kylie's near military cadence. It then explodes into a commanding chorus, brimming with a strength of will that is certain to boost the confidence of anyone who follows in step: "I'm fierce and I'm feeling mighty / I'm a golden girl / I'm an Aphrodite / Alright!".
Another high point comes in the form of "Better Than Today", which, along with the title track, was written by Nerina Pallot (who worked with the aforementioned Delerium, and is surely an artist to keep an eye on). With lyrics such as: "I know life is hard / So we're living for the weekend / You can hurt or take heart / I guess it really depends", the song takes a philosophical stance and calls on people to let loose: "You've got to lose it / Use it / Know the chance to do it / What's the point in living / If you don't want to dance?"
And yes, there are many pure dance tracks - make no mistake, they are the driving force behind this project. However, it is far from the inanity that some may mistake it for; rather, it is smart enough to know not to overcomplicate itself, where simple pleasure is a distilled quality. Tracks such as "Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)", and "Too Much" tap into the giddy, playful excitement of the "Fever" era, and more specifically expands on a hidden gem of that period, the outtake "Whenever You Feel Like It" - whereas songs like "All The Lovers" and "Illusion" build upon the atmospheric, danceable melancholy of another buried "Fever" era treasure, "Tightrope".
So what are the problems, if any? "Illusion" may well be shoehorned into a dance track from what could've been a pretty ballad, "Looking For An Angel" comes across as slight and "Cupid Boy" manages the trick of sounding progressive without really going anywhere. But these tracks are still quite pretty and help to flesh out the album's tone. Perhaps the addition of the lovely bonus track "Mighty Rivers" onto the album proper would have added a little more dimension as well. Regardless, the album could be considered a letdown only if a quantum leap in artistic ambition is expected. And it is clear that she has the ability to deliver more brilliant performances; to this day, 1994's "Confide In Me" remains unmatched.
If anything, this album makes me excited again for Kylie's future potential. It seems to have opened her up and allowed her to invest her entire being into a project again. It is clear that Kylie has locked onto a singular vision. It is uplifting euphoria both as a concept and in execution. When Kylie sings such simple lines as "We've got an energy / Burning like I've never seen / Bringing us to life", she not only means it; she feels it, and wants us to feel it too. "
Kylie Does Positive Dance Music
F. Uriano | 07/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great summer Dance/Pop album...nothing serious or innovative...but still catchy as hell! All tracks keep a positive mood and they are sure to motivate you to want to go out and dance. If I could use one word to describe this album it would be "Euphoric", which is a pleasant departure from the dark electro pop being purged by Xtina A. and Lady Gaga. It's nice to have something uplifting to listen to in this rough economy. Best Kylie album since Fever era!"
Uh Oh...Why does she have to be so good!!!!!
Awesomeguy | Atlanta, Georgia USA | 07/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just got my copy and was blasting it on the way home. Kylie albums always have a way of putting a big smile on my face and Aphrodite is no different. Kylie is the absolute best at creating and singing the perfect pop songs. Aphrodite sounds like something Beyonce would sing and Looking for an Angel harkens back to Stacy Q. Kylie just can't be stopped."