DONTSTOPTHEPOPS REVIEW OF APHRODITE


For the 11th studio album, Kylie has presented a planet bliss, electronic serenades, dream sequences filled with musical sparkles and flowers that blossom into poptastic anthems. There is always a risk in present day popworld to try & produce something that demands uniforms of the shoulder-pad & electrosynth typology. Kylie refuses to even partake in that game. Thankfully. In this, the Aphrodite is the next chapter to Light Years and Fever. It belongs to an environment and context of Kylie. It does not try & compete with other artists. She builds a sparkling pop palace to fit her and her followers who wish to attend the banquet. This is her palace of pop.

Every tune is made for the dancefloor. Chords, breakdowns, keys and handclaps appear to intrinsically flow into each other beautifully. Such constructed streams of disco rivers of joy are produced by Stuart Price and of course Kylie herself. In doing so, Minogue has not only provided one of the albums of the year but most cohesive pop albums of the last decade.

All The Lovers

Well, what can be said about this that hasn't already been said before? It works as a great introduction to whats about to hit you. It soothes the listener and massages the body so they emerge as a part of electro orgy of energy that oozes out from the album. Aphrodite's mission, framework and constitution can be located in the first line of All The Lovers. She states "Dance! Its all I wanna do". There it is. When you pour this into your wine glass, you get whiffs of Donna Summer's I Feel Love and that other Moroder classic Together In A Electric Dreams. Amazing.

Get Out Of My Way

Er, anthem alert. Put the top down, get out the pink short-shorts and turn up the music. While the Gaga paints the world with amazing yet incredibly serious-dour pop songs, Kylie splatters the world in bright rainbow colours. Get Out Of My Way is proof of this. GaGa is frequently mentioned in most reviews these days regarding female singers (sadly) and Kylie shows them how to dancepop without the need of stupid shoes, 9 minute videos and overwrought and over thought allegories that can be tiresome at best. Clearly a single for the summer sun. Under the dictionary for 'mega choon' you'll find Get Out Of My Way.

Put Your Hands Up (if you feel love)

If this song was a drink, it would be snappy pornstar martini cocktail (vanilla vodka, passion fruit juice, vanilla sugar & a shot of champers). Yumz! This song suffers by its position by its closeness to Get Out Of My Way. Not saying that one is better than the other. However, Put Your Hands Up suddenly becomes too attached to the previous song & its brilliant power is lost. With the power of mp3 players, by slightly kicking back the track in the running order this song has now become one of my favourites.

Closer

Rich in baroque disco glory, Closer is brilliant. Too brilliant for its own good quite frankly. It simply wraps up before you know it. If there's a God(dess), please create an extended or seven inch mix of this. The last track of Kylie's Light Years delivered a message about traveling in outer space. It was a callout and an introduction to purser Kylie. In many ways, Closer is its sequel. Its nourished in sci-fi baroque disco dreams. If Light Years was the song played during take-off, Closer is the theme that filters through the space particles that permeates through the atmosphere of whatever planet Kylie's space shuttle she's captain of lands on. I can see Closer emerging as the start to the next Kylie tour.

Everything Is Beautiful

A trinket of a popsong, Everything is Beautiful is strangely hypnotic. It works as an organic and natural sister to All the Lovers. It provides a wonderful ethereal quality that soothes the disco soul as it sips its martini on the sunlounger on some sunkissed beach. Indeed, Aphrodite replicates the happiness of those summer holidays to the Balearics and the Costa del Sol. Everything Is Beautiful is one of the slower moments on the album and as such stands out as a critical breather.

Aphrodite

The start of the title track takes me right back to Kylie's X tour and in particular the party atmosphere of the Madrid leg of the worldwide set of shows. Specifically the reworked version of HeartBeat Rock. The title track quite wonderfully emerges as a big bold energetic statement or declaration of confidence. Walking down any given street in any given city around the world one is forgiven for breaking out in a disco syncopated strut to Aphrodite. I've found myself at the sat at the back of the bus stuck in Old Street, declaring that despite being a boy I too am a golden girl and Aphrodite herself. In other words, be careful with this one as its insanely addictive and will have you singing along without you even noticing it. Love it!

Illusion

Beautiful start but Illusion is the weakest song on the album. For sure, it fits neatly onto Aphrodite but the other songs totally upstage it. Illusion just can't compete with the likes of Looking for An Angel and Better Than Today.


Better Than Today

Oh. Jeesh. Where do I start? If Aphrodite makes you tap your feet or singalong on a bus, Better Than Today makes you storm in the middle of the road, halt traffic and start your very own one-person flashmob. What I love about Better Than Today is that its become the third sister to Kylie's wonderfully uplifting tracks Things Can Only Get Better and Turn It Into Love. Into this, Better Than Today is clearly one big huge smile of a song. It instantly lifts you up. Perfect track for both summer sun and winter rain. Adorable. This must be a single.

Too Much

After one is left panting when Better Than Today finishes, Kylie slaps Too Much down on the disco decks. Too Much is pure exhilaration, contentment and joy. Its exuberance comes from the studio where it was recorded, the album it was mastered on and through the speakers of my music system where that joy comes out intact and straight into the listeners veins. Too Much not only contains a seriously explosive pop chorus that would make Kylie's earlier hits incredibly jealous but conveys an epic texture and feeling of contentedness. As such it does its utter best to kick out All The Lovers, Get Out Of My Way and Put Your Hands Up to come top of the dancepop-Aphrodite-podium. And, I think it just edges out the competition. Too Much shimmers and soars.

Cupid Boy

Contains far too many addictive bits that do their best nuzzle themselves in your head, with the only recourse to sing Leona or Robyn in an attempt interrupt its power. Dripping with a sexy-as--hell dirty baseline, Cupid Boy was written by Swedish House Mafia and dance pop princess Luciana. Very good indeed.

Looking For An Angel

Wow. The Victorian historian Robert Carlyle once stated that "Music is well said to be the speech of angels." Listening to this song I understand and actually agree. I was instantly won over by the strings. They carry the rich melody and ensure the song is very different to its Aphrodite sisters but in doing this it becomes the best song on the album. For sure, detractors will say "its not commercial". Bollocks to that. Looking For an Angel is amazing. Whereas Cupid Boy, understandably, tries its best to be cool and relevant, Looking For An Angel takes the message of Better Than Today and very much becomes the embodied song of joy, pleasure, strength and inner-beauty. This is the core of Aphrodite and beyond that, I found Looking For An Angel emerging as the next chapter to the beautiful ballad Bittersweet Goodbye. It is a splendid gem of a song. Returning to the pop palace metaphor, Looking for An Angel emerges as the jewel in the crown and the epic that ties it all together. Moreover, it recalls crucial moments on Light Years (Bittersweet Goodbye), Fever (Fragile), Body Language (Loving Days), X (No More Rain) and the tours (Flower and the reworked versions of White Diamond & I Believe In You). It binds it all in together. As such, Looking For An Angel is a song I'll put in my heart and pocket it forever. Its a moment...that soars, and soars.

Can't Beat The Feeling

Can't Beat the Feeling spirals into a wonderful trinket of energy that dives into a pool of bliss and an unalloyed happiness and supreme delight. One has to leave Kylie's pop palace on a high note and what a way to finish proceedings! Can't Beat The Feeling is simply an delicious party track. Rounded off with disco blips that recall the highlights of Light Years, Can't Beat the Feeling takes me right back to Kylie's track she did with Steve Anderson called Feels So Good. In other words, I love it. A natural way to end the album: a beaming smile.


***

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7 comments:

Dustin said...

My review of Aphrodite is long but very awesome... let me know what you think! Do you agree or disagree with my comments?

http://dustindrorbaugh.com/html/news.php?Kylie-Minogue-Aphrodite-Album-Review-11

RV said...

it's taken me some time but I've posted my full review too now
here's the link to my Myspace blog if you care :
http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=154447635&blogId=536950718

Peibols said...

I still haven't found the reason why Everything is Beautiful is in the album.
But I totally agree with the rest of the review. Closer is an anthem and Better Than Today deserves being a single.

Justin1972UK said...

'Closer' seriously needs a PSB extended remix. It's amazing. My favourite song on the album.

Synchorotical said...

hey! I love kylie and your blog! Can we exchange links? Here's my blog: http://synchorotical.blogspot.com just reply on my cbox. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Since you have interviewed Rosanna, I thought you would want to know that she is signed to a new record label in Britain called Popjustice Hi-Fi! Here is the link:

http://www.popjusticehi.fi/releases/rosanna-waterfall

I love her stuff!!!

Paul said...

Sorry i'm so late getting to this! My favourites keep changing. This week it is still Aphrodite and Looking For An Angel, but following her delightful appearance on Alan Carr, I am adoring Get Outta My Way more by the second... great review btw!