I love it when Kylie previews a new song on her tours. I whooped when Ruffle My Feathers graced the stage, White Diamond fluffed its unusual sonic shuffles, Flowers bloomed in the spotlight, Free soared into moonshine and Can't Get You Out Of My Head bounced along with her bassist for the first time back in 2001. With the assistance of youtube, I've also managed to piece together that other recent glorious Kylie track That's Why They Write Love Songs which for me deserves equal adoration. Better Than Today is thoroughly additive. Premiering for the first time in on the U.S tour, Kylie has managed to whip out quite a yummy uplifting piece of pop. Written by Nerina Pallot, Better Than Today shimmies under the mirrorball with attitude, sex appeal and pure fun. Its up there with I Believe In You, Wow and Love At First Sight. You can already do the dance moves in your kitchen whilst putting together a greek salad. A key factor which equals success.
So what do I love about the song? First of all it has a really uplifting texture without being cheesy. I still can't quite make out all the lyrics but I think the song could be best understood in the line "what's the point in trying to be cool when there's a million things to be learned that they don't teach in school". Into this, I really like the bit when she questions the world "whats the point if you don't wanna dance?". It is this sort of rhetorical questioning that leads the song to be a follow up to the glorious disco hissy fit that was Scissor Sisters I Don't Feel Like Dancing. Put the two songs together and their like the first and second line of a John Donne couplet. If John Donne wrote pop sonnets. Which if he did would be absolutely amazing.
Another bit I like is when the music starts. Yes, the initial throbbing beat at the start of song immediately wraps you up in a holistic bum wiggle and has you walking down your street with kick in your step. So when she sings "you've got to lose control almost every night" all eyes rest on you. You hold the torch. No one else. This is about your chance to dance whether it be in a club or merely in the bedroom. The next bit, when she goes: "see what you do../I'm talking to you", oneself is forced to disco slide to the left and step out with your right leg so your gliding with the melody of 1980's tinged baseline. You see, synthesizers can be used in a fun way La Roux!
This is the princess of pop of Fever, Made Of Glass & parts of Lights Years. Its electro pop but not of the Lady GaGa kind and what Kylie does best. You can almost imagine ABBA have a song like this if they'd ever fulfill the dreams of millions by returning with a new album. You can almost see this as a lost Nolans Sisters song. But it isn't too retro! Its got its first foot in post-modernity. Indeed, it throws the margaritas & vodka tonics of stable time in the air by proposing a paradox of past, present and future in demanding "tomorrow be better than today" yet placing the moment of the song in the night which is ever always in the contemporary now. A professor once said to me that he is only happy between two places: the one he's leaving behind and the one to which he is about to arrive. I believe Better Than Today could be a song that describes this situation perfectly.
Beyond this, Better Than Today contains a rather interesting layout of its chorus. The bits when she says "what's the point in living when you don't take a chance" are backed with a different electro melody than the initial parts of the chorus. This makes the entire 'chorus experience' not only of sheer jubilation but extended yet differential expectations. The chorus, a place in a song where one expects repetition, is expanded in Better Than Today so that it is multi-layered and multifaceted. I am sure there must be a musical technical term for this but for me the collective refrains backed up by 1st and secondary choruses (and a semi-chant towards the end of the song), ensure this new song is a crown in the new tree of pop anthems. This song is about singing into your brush, remote control or as Kylie did a random lamp (see clip above). With a twist of bubblegum & a sophisticated martini, this rather spectacular pop song has become one of my favourite Kylie songs of all time which is a good start seeing as its not even out yet.