Without visuals I allow myself perchance to dream. This album has two hearts: it beats for those who were lucky enough to see the show and will recall it all. However, it also has a second sort of life for those, like me, who never got to see it. So as I listen back to the album I realize the story of Kylie in New York blossoms like a brand new flower unlike so many other live albums out there which are usually simply there to capture previous the concert. This is completely different affair.
I’ve been one of the lucky Europeans who caught the singer in the Europe. I’ve seen and heard what Kylie. Steve Anderson, William Baker, the dancers, the band, the crew, the lighting engineers and stage designers can do when the curtains reveal a Kylie concert. However there is a place in the world that has never experience the sheer joy of a Kylie tour & that was North America. This tour was about giving something back to those dedicated fans and celebrating the music, the show and stories behind each particular track.
You see, Kylie concerts are a critical moment where the song is given a new lease of life. Or a different spin. Much like those Charlie’s Angels Steve Anderson, Kylie and William Baker are a force of three that treat the show like a fragile and vital opportunity to truly examine the artistry behind pop music. Each song has a critical reason to be there. It means something. It conveys a reason. The setlist follows an order to expose a number layers and moments to the song that you might not have originally guessed when first heard on the album it originally featured from. Herein, on tour the songs sprout wings and float away.
So, without the visuals I am turn to the music itself. Nothing more and nothing less. Steve Anderson magically teases out the throbbing baselines in Come Into My World, adds a few sweeping synthetic sounds that give the hit song from her Fever album a transcendental texture. Light Years recoils in mystical Giorgio Moroder, Star Trek, Star Wars threads and blossoms into cybertronic petals which would appease even those robots with the coldest of hearts. Or should that be hard-drives? The incredible introduction to Light Years (Somewhere, Somewhere Over The Rainbow merged with The Sound of Music) collapses with the 20th Century Fox theme and creates a gloriously epic start to the album and immediately sets the exalted tone of the show.
A new spiky version of Speakerphone saw Kylie borrowing from Ridley Scots Alien and HR Giger’s amazing sci-fi invention. Gone is the cyborg queen of the Fever tour and only to be replaced by something more electronic, bombastic, horrific, alien and yet organic. The clever re-working of each song – even down to album tracks like my favourite I’m Over (Dreaming Over You) – took the observer and listener into sea of neon nights, symbols and signs. Steve’s production ensures that the listener doesn’t really have be at the show itself. The live album pulls the individual into another dimension and you find yourself screaming with anticipation. The arrival of Such A Good Feelin’ at the end of the hits medley secures the glory of the occasion.
The story of this live album is anyone’s seeing as there’s no dvd to go with this tour. You can let your mind run wild. As imagination has no bounds, it is truly up to the listener. I like to think with the reworked version of Speakerphone one could say Kylie is symbolically connected to the multitude of speakers thus making her music like a drug forcing itself through the veins of those in-front of her. The nature of interpretation permits anything. Neatly organized, Kylie’s tour is a pop journey into the abyss & into the skies of pop ecstasy. Herein, the band, Kylie and Steve Andersons musical direction provide tablets of electro delight where neon angels of the rave culture of early 1990s and the modern synth discourse of 2010 collide together to provide moments like Boombox/Can’t get You out Of My Head and a haunting version of Slow. These hyperbolic vaults of musical energy send the audience and the listener into a dance of sheer pop joy. Its on Slow that everything comes together and the sonic stars are aligned perfectly. In short, you won't find pop any better. Indeed, this is pop that is better than today.
The production and sound on this album is so plush that it goes beyond the usual restrictions of live albums. Such is the quality of the album its up there with such other amazing & iconic live albums by Donna Summer (Live & More Encore), Barbra Streisand (The Concert), Aretha Franklin (Amazing Grace), Kraftwerk (Minimum-Maximum) and Johnny Cash (At Folsom Prison). The music provides a sort of oxygen that throbs. You can almost taste the tense energy of the sensual staccato’s and vibratos of the songs. The Live Album soars into one of the finest Kylie albums of her career....
The album is available to buy on Amazon (mp3 only) from the 14th of December