Saturday, July 31, 2010

Goldfrapp - "Live" In Sydney

It's festival season in Australia and a flood of acts are doing side shows around the country. The Scissor Sisters didn't exactly blow my mind on Tuesday night and Goldfrapp weren't much better on Thursday. Thank fuck for Florence & The Machine, who are playing four sold out gigs in Sydney next week. That poor bitch might look 45 in the shade but at least she knows how to put on a show - which is more than Alison can say. Unlike the Scissor Sisters concert, I was actually expecting to enjoy this one. "Head First" didn't exactly blow me away when I first heard it but the album has grown on me a lot. Sure, there are no real singles but it's the perfect soundtrack for doing the ironing or washing up. It just kind of politely washes over you without ever really grabbing your attention. Which perfectly sums up the Goldfrapp live experience.

After emerging from what appeared to be a giant metallic arsehole in a feathery outfit that made her look like a gothic Plucka Duck, Alison kicked off the show with "Voicething". Possibly the worst Goldfrapp song ever recorded. She then mimed (or more specifically sang over a backing track) to several cuts from the new album including "Dreaming", "Hunt" and "I Wanna Life". I know second rate talents like Madonna and Britney use this trick all the time but at least they have the decency to do some choreography and spend some cash on pyrotechnics. Alison just stands in front of a wind machine looking bored. Of the new tracks, "Rocket" and "Believer" were definite standouts. However, the band definitely saved the best for last. "Ooh La La", "Black Cherry" and "Train" were a potent reminder of how far ahead of the game Goldfrapp was in the early noughties. They further redeemed themselves by performing "Strict Machine" as the encore - which I still think is one of the greatest pop songs ever written. All in all, not an unpleasant way to spend 90 minutes but I think I'd prefer to play their albums at home. It's not like you could tell the difference.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Courtney Act Is Back

Six long years after revolutionising pop music as we know it with the Oxford Street classic "Rub Me Wrong", Australian Idol's most fabulous graduate has finally released a second single! Courtney Act's latest musical triumph was unveiled while I was away but it deserves a belated post. The former Pop Panellist is a great friend of this blog and I'm ecstatic that she's returned to her pop roots after several years ruling the strip as Sydney's hottest drag queen. Admittedly, "Welcome To Disgraceland" is a tie-in to publicise the nightclub in which Ms Act holds court but I genuinely love this four minute trashfest. Let's face it, anything that name checks Lady Gaga, Oprah and Kate Moss was always going to push my buttons! I'm yet to venture out to Disgraceland since getting back but I hope Courtney's anthem is being blasted twice an hour. The video is predictably fabulous. It looks more expensive and professional than 90% of the locally produced film clips released this year and I can pick out half a dozen people I know, which is always amusing. The classy homage to Kylie's "Spinning Around" at the beginning is my highlight! Help keep Courtney in wigs by downloading the track from iTunes now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Scissor Sisters - Live At Luna Park

I love the Scissor Sisters. Their debut was pretty much flawless and they are responsible for one of my all time favourite Kylie tracks (the unreleased gem "I Know"). And it doesn't hurt that I want to do bad, bad things to Del Marquis and Babydaddy. So you can imagine how excited I was about last night's Sydney concert - despite my misgivings about their latest album. Unfortunately, the show turned out to be as stale and boring as "Night Work". Half a decade of recycled ideas is really starting to take its toll on the band and fans alike, if the lacklustre turn out was any indication. Their Elton John trapped in a San Fran darkroom circa 1979 pastiche was a breathe of fresh air back in 2004 but it's getting more tired than Madonna's vagina. As is their increasingly formulaic stage craft. Jake still prances around like the poor man's Freddie Mercury, while Ana does her best not to look completely useless by 'playing' the tambourine and doing the occasional bit of bad choreography. Thank gay Jesus for the other members - who concentrate on menial tasks like playing their instruments competently and looking sexy. Without trying.

It wasn't a complete write off. Songs like "Laura", "Comfortably Numb" and "Take Your Mama" still sound amazing live and I'd forgotten how much I like at least half of "Ta-Dah". Fabulous tranny anthem "She's My Man" and Ana's failed bid at landing Jake's job "Kiss You Off" went down a treat with fans. Unfortunately, those gems only serve to underline the mediocrity of their new material. The stillborn lead single "Fire With Fire" is just as deathly boring live as it is on the album, while songs like "Nightlife" and the title track cover very familiar territory. On the bright side, "Whole New Way" is hot without sounding like it belongs on a porn soundtrack (hello "Harder You Get") and "Any Which Way" stands out as a massive hit in waiting. "Invisible Light" comes a very close second but I think the Sisters wasted it as a pre-album promo single. Stupid. Re-reading this review, it comes across a lot harsher than intended. The Scissor Sisters still bring something different to the pop world and occasionally knock out a great pop tune but I know they're capable of so much more. Maybe they just set the bar too high. A very average concert from a band who used to be anything but.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Zoë Badwi - Freefallin'

After a slow start to the year, the Australian pop scene has caught fire with a bunch of hot new tracks on the way from some of our favourite divas. I'll be featuring all of those lovely ladies over the next couple of weeks but it's going to take something pretty amazing to top the pure pop explosion that is "Freefallin'". As many of you already know, I've been a Zoë Badwi fan since the glory days of Sirens (check out these posts). Solo stardom appeared to be a forgone conclusion when "Release Me" topped the club chart for several months last year but the song never really crossed over despite the fact that I still hear it 3 times a night when I go out. Her follow up singles were a bit hit ("In The Moment") and miss ("Don't Wan'cha") but she has finally struck gold with "Freefallin'".

Penned by Australia's favourite exiled pop star and produced by Denzal Park (of "Filter Freak" fame), the track gently nudges Zoë out of her dance music comfort zone into the radio friendly world of pure pop. You can tell Amy Pearson had her fabulous butterfingers all over this. The lyrics are relentlessly upbeat and the chorus is an absolute monster. I'm so into Amy at the moment. I think her amazing scrapped album should be carved up among Australia's struggling pop divas as a merciful act of charity but I digress. "Freefallin'" is utterly irresistible and I hope it's a massive smash. The song is already available to download on iTunes and the video debuted today. It's a simple affair with Zoë being handcuffed by gay dancers in a flooded sewer (happens to me all the time) but she looks pretty and it's good to know that studded jackets are making a comeback. Check it out below.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm Back!

Some of the goodies I bagged overseas

Just thought I'd write a quick post to let you know that I'm back from my lightning quick tour of European nightclubs and CD stores. I'll start updating the blog tomorrow but wanted to share this (slightly disturbing) pic of my beautiful souvenirs. I somehow managed to bring back 150+ CDs despite being completely broke and only taking one suitcase. Someone please stage an intervention! My favourites include finally finding a physical copy of Luciana's seminal smash "I Like That" in Germany, unearthing Nelly Furtado's "Lo Bueno Siempre Tiene Un Final" in a Spanish second hand CD store, stocking up on stunning Eurotrash like Inna, Cascada and Edward Maya (don't judge me), discovering that Nikka Costa still has a career and a hit single in Germany, gazing upon the glorious cover of Jennifer Rush's comeback CD, updating my Shakira, Ke$ha and Alicia Keys collections and singlehandedly funding Kylie's next facelift by buying various editions of "All The Lovers" and "Aphrodite" in every country I visited.

Kylie at GAY

Speaking of Kylie, I was lucky enough to catch her showcase at GAY. She lost her voice but that didn't stop her performing a selection of songs from "Aphrodite" and a bunch of old favourites. She sounded rougher than Whitney Houston without her backing vocalists but I don't think anyone gave a shit. The reaction to "Get Outta My Way" was phenomenal and hearing "Cupid Boy" live fulfilled one of my goals for 2010. That song has to be a single. She dusted off the usual suspects like "Head" and "Love At First Sight" but the real showstopper was "All The Lovers". While not quite as fabulous as my friend Tony's drunk rendition of "Los Amores" on the streets of Madrid, it sounded amazing and was beautifully staged - putting her recent performance on 'Hey Hey, It's Saturday' to shame. I loved seeing Kylie in such a tiny venue. I think she should keep it real and do a similar show in Sydney at the Shift with Courtney Act and Maxi Shield as her backing dancers. Her gay credibility would sky rocket! Anyway, back to normal tomorrow. Thanks for all the emails and texts.


My precious - a physical copy of "I Like That"!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Pop Panel - Week 10 - Kylie Special

I thought I'd try something different with Pop Panel this week. Instead of rating a bunch of random tunes, I roped in a bunch of bloggers and even a celebrity guest to judge Kylie's best #1 Australian hit. Oh and I threw in "All The Lovers" for shits and giggles! I know it's been Kylie overload around here lately but I'm beyond obsessed with "Aphrodite" and really don't feel like listening to anything else. So bad luck. The winner isn't that much of a surprise given its lofty status among fans but I am surprised by the second and third place getters. You can blame the following bloggers:

D'Luv (US) writer of Chart Rigger and Idolator
Mike (Aus) author of this classy blog
Paul (UK) writer of Fizzy Pop
The Prophet (Aus) writer of The Prophet

Also helping out this week are:

Jump (US) - Kylie connoisseur, hot piece and writer of a million different blogs that lasted two days before shutting down.
Justin (US) - writer of my favourite Kylie blog Trip The Switch
Mobius (Austria) - SAW's #1 fan and writer of the fabulous Mobius News
Peibols (Spain) - Huesca's biggest prostitute and legendary blogger

I also asked the lovely Chris Sorbello to take part and she happily obliged. Chris is currently working on the follow up to her top 40 hit "So Lonely". The video for the new and improved "Dangerzone" is being filmed next week and the song goes to radio in late July. If that's not exciting enough she's heading over to LA to write with RedOne and Kevin Rudolph in September! Now, here's what she had to say about Kylie:

"Kylie has always been with me. From hairbrush singing as a little girl, to nights out on the town, I feel like Kyles and I have done a lot together. I love her style and I think she's a visionary most of the time. One of my all time favourite artists most definitely."

As usual the songs are ranked from lowest to highest. Oh and you might be wondering why Pop Panel is so early this week. I'm flying to Germany tomorrow but I'll be back in a couple of weeks. Until then!

Locomotion (Video)

Kylie's debut was #1 for 7 weeks in 1987, eventually becoming the highest selling Australian single of the 80s.

Chris Sorbello: Ok, I used to annoy my family singing this tune constantly when I was 4. All time Kylie favourite.... I'm rating it top notch for the memories alone. 5/5
D'Luv: Oh, Kylie. As an American fan, I have such a bittersweet relationship with this song. On one hand, I have many fond memories of being 14 and 15 and “doing the Loco-motion” at school dances to it. Alas, until “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head,” this was her only major hit here. Kylie’s tragic U.S. shame. All in all, kind of shit, really. 1.5/5
Jump: Thinking about the "the loco-motion" is sorta like discovering your parents have sex for the first time. You know it happened, you just prefer not to think about it. But parental sex is what brought all of us into the world and so "the loco-motion" brought us Kylie Minogue. The song is still painful to endure and no matter how she tries to change it up live "the loco-motion" is a guaranteed concert bathroom break. 1/5
Justin: Not a huge fan of the track but where would Kylie have been without it? In has-been soap star heaven more like. 3/5
Mike: Someone needs to tell The Prophet that this is a cover of a song originally released in 1962! As for Kylie's version, it was absolutely unavoidable in this country. I think we were even forced to do aerobics to it our school assembly. LOL! Pre-SAW is a constant source of fascination to me and I think the original is vastly superior to the hit factory produced turd that was unleashed upon the world in 1988. 5/5
Mobius: Kylie mania started for me in early 1988, so the original "Loco-Motion" single totally passed me by. I really like the original, raw Mike Duffy production on this one, though. The video is really cute. Also note the rather obvious product placement for hairspray. 4/5
Paul: Oh god, nostalgia rush! I remember using all my pocket money to import the 7" of this from Esprit records in August of 1987 because I was so obsessed with Neighbours! S/A/W jollied it up a tiny bit but it in essence was a darling introduction to a dazzling career. And although other songs would surpass it's sparkly shine, it's tinny cheapness still holds a place in my heart. All aboard!! 3.5/5
Peibols: And the story starts like this. At least in OZ. I think it's her very first classic. And naming her little sister makes the song an anthem. 3/5
The Prophet: This song is so fucking irritating. It's just a shitty version of Dead or Alive "You Spin Me Round". 1/5
Total: 26.5/45

2 Hearts (Video)

Became Kylie's 10th #1 Australian single in late 2007.

Chris Sorbello: In my opinion, Kylie X was one of her greatest albums. This song was a nice intro but I was hoping a lot of the others would've made more successful singles. 4/5
D'Luv: Oh, god — this went to #1 in Australia? You people are worse than Japan. A gamble of a lead single off of what was ultimately a disjointed album (though “X” is flawed in a fabulous way, rather than a tragic one—and I still play it at least a couple times a month). "2 Hearts" is okay, but really set the mood for fans to expect bigger and better from Kylie with future material. 2.5/5
Jump: Mike, I hate you for making me listen to this song. This is Kylie's most divisive song and with good reason. Kylie wanted to do something different but instead did something shit. I don't hate "2 Hearts" I just don't think it should have been a single. Or on an album. Or even recorded. Maybe it could have been a b-side. I'm stunned this got to #1. 2/5
Justin: Enjoyed it when it came out and think it's even better live! Too bad it was another misleading single and didn't seem to be what people wanted from Kylie! 3/5
Mike: The video all kinds of wrong. Kylie looks a 100 year old pre-op tranny at a lesbian karaoke night in Bankstown. Whatever. I love the song and applaud her for taking risks. I just wish she wouldn't save the adventurous stuff for 4th or 5th singles when it really doesn't matter anymore. 4/5
Mobius: The big return single that wasn't. She forgot the lyrics at a concert in Stuttgart (Germany). It was the funniest thing that ever happened on a Kylie concert. Usually it's all planned from the first second, but she really smiled as if to say, it's OK, I don't have to be perfect anymore. 3/5
Paul: And the debate over whether this should have been the first single from X will rage on forever. I personally would have gone with a double AA side of "White Diamond" (ballad) and "The One (Freemasons Radio Mix)", but what do I know... Actually, this didn't deserve the backlash it got. I do love the video and really like the chorus. Plus Kish Mauve would more than redeem any lingering distaste a few years later... 3/5
Peibols: Erm... "2 Hearts" is this song that you have to like it, cos it's good, but still, something fails. The thing is that Kish Mauve's version was THE SAME, and then you hear not a single change in the song and it's like "you lazy cow!!!". I must say than during the X2008, you sing-a-long and it's a good song for shaking your shoulders and being the queen of the street. But still... needs more arrangements. 3/5
The Prophet: This song is so great. Nobody (including me) thought that she'd come out with something like this. It was kind of shocking. The video is a hot mess though. 4/5
Total: 28.5/45

Spinning Around (Video)

With "Spinning Around", Kylie joined Madonna and U2 as one of only three acts to have #1 hits in the 80s, 90s and 00s.

Chris Sorbello: The butt song. Enough said. 3/5
D'Luv: Ironic I say screw Paula Abdul with regards to “Confide In Me,” as she co-wrote Kylie’s next Aussie #1. This never immediately grabbed me the way it did for some, though I can see why the pop childryn were excited for her return to hot-pants beats. It’s okay. 3/5
Jump: I'm a bit apathetic about "Spinning around". I like it but it's not a track that I purposely listen to on my ipod. After the "downer" that was "impossible princess" I imagine just about any fun track Kylie put out would have been welcomed with open arms. 3/5
Justin: Kylie's first number one in the new millennium and her return to the dancefloor. I'd probably have my Kylie fan card removed if I didn't love this camp pop comeback! 4/5
Mike: One of the world's greatest mysteries is how the lowlight of "Light Years" re-ignited Kylie's career. 1/5
Mobius: The end of Indie Kylie. She did some interviews back then on German TV and I even got to ask her on live TV whether she would record something with Stock & Aitken again. She blushed and gave one of her diplomatic answers. 3/5
Paul: And another glorious era of Kylie begins. Everything about this was correct - the hot pants, the nod to disco, the supreme catchiness, the S/A/W influences totally updated, the dodgy Paula Abdul link. It just all worked. It was not only a pop masterpiece but a carefully penned love letter to her fans reminding that Kylie will always sparkle like the brightest diamond. 4/5
Peibols: If it hasn't been said yet about this song, then maybe it doesn't need to be said. I mean, it's pure pop perfection. It's catchy, it has a message, a true story of Kylie through the sorrow of her other companies and then BAM she's there. All ways I listen to this song walking down the street I want to turn around on my high heels, like her at the beginning of the video. 5/5
The Prophet: This song is so fun, but I think her butt is overrated and people made it out to be something that it's not. 3/5
Total: 29/45

In Your Eyes (Video)

The first #1 hit that Kylie co-wrote.

Chris Sorbello: It simply makes me want to dance and that makes me happy! 4/5
D'Luv: Brilliant slice of dance-pop, and far better than “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” in my book (though it’s no “Love At First Sight.”). This period really was the Second Coming Of Kylie, no? 4/5
Jump: I actually sometimes forget and call this song "Spinning Around"! Its easily my fave Kylie video and the references to blatant pick me ups ("wanna make it with you") and post club night drinking ("is the world still spinning round") are like personal anthems. 3/5
Justin: I will forever worship at the feet of Richard "Biff" Stannard for this fantastic pop gem! If only "Fever" had more songs on it like this one! 5/5
Mike: I'm still bitter that "Love At First Sight" was passed over for second single in favour of this rubbish. 2/5
Mobius: I have a lovely Australian DVD single of this. Other than that no special memories. 2/5
Paul: Loved this. Ghetto fabulous video. Hideous yet desirable knuckle duster ring. Slightly r'n'b-esque refrain. Swirling electro pop masterpiece. Ended up loving this more that CGYOOMH. 4.5/5
Peibols: The thing I more like about this song is the backing vocals. The vocodered ones at the end. I'm totally in love with them. Seriously. The song is one of the best from "Fever". 4/5
The Prophet: I always thought this song was so sad and depressing. 4.5/5
Total: 29/40

On A Night Like This (Video)

Another #1 smash for Kylie in 2000.

Chris Sorbello: I like the song but I don't know, it's not my favourite. Maybe I've heard it too much? Radio homicide! 2/5
D'Luv: Sleek, addictive and fucking sexy as hell — i.e. everything a Kylie Minogue single should be. Metro were at their peak here, and at times like this you worry that hot producers will overshadow the artists they’re working with. Luckily, “On A Night Like This” has all the hallmarks of a Mark Taylor/Graham Stack production while remaining distinctively Kylie. And let’s not to forget the video offered Rutger Hauer the role of a lifetime! (“What you find difficult, I find simple.”) 5/5
Jump: Listening to this I have to wonder what the hell happened to METRO? Did they get put in a nursing home with some of their geriatric clients? Three pop divas recorded this track but for me Kylie's version is the definitive version if for no other reason than Pandora's version sounds like a man singing and Anna Vissi's versions like a woman singing. Think about that for a minute. 4/5
Justin: Never been a huge fan of the track but it's nice enough I guess. Think I'm just tired of seeing it pop up on tour after tour instead of performing something else! 2.5/5
Mike: This will always be synonymous with the Sydney Olympics for me. Kylie's stunning performance - surrounded by a sea of drag queens - at the world's largest sporting event was as fabulous as it was surreal. One of my all time favourite Kylie anthems. 5/5
Mobius: She nicked this one from Pandora and Anna Vissi. Fantastic METRO production and surprisingly energetic when played live. Always gets the crowd going. 4/5
Paul: Oddly one of my least favourite Kylie songs. But it's all relative. The least favourite Kylie is still often much better than most of the other tat out there. I've become more tolerant to it over time, but i still occasionally skip it on my many listens of Light Years... 3/5
Peibols: This is not one of my favourites singles from Light Years, I must say. Maybe cos I'm so used to 'Spanish guitars' in Spanish music. And I hate Spanish music. 2/5
The Prophet: My girlfriends in high school used to love Kylie when this song came out, so I'd tease them and say that Kylie was a dirty slut seducing those old men in the video, then we'd argue over it for ages. I used to think that she was such a whore who only had hit songs because she was naked in all the videos. I love it now though. 4/5
Total: 31.5/45

Got To Be Certain (below)

Minogue's 3rd single became the first to ever debut at #1 in Australia in 1988.

Chris Sorbello: I like this one a little less, but I do think she looks tres cute in those leggings! 2/5
D'Luv: I actually never heard this until 1995, when I found a used copy of Kylie’s first CD for $4 at the record store on my university campus. So while America’s youth were listening to relevant artists like R.E.M., Oasis and Coolio, I was blasting “I’ve got to be—clap, clap, clap!!—got to be cer-tain!” on my bright yellow walkman. That faux horn section in the middle eight always made me think of the Mexican Riviera for some reason. Another Stock Aitken Waterman triumph—clap, clap, clap! 4/5
Jump: Typical Stock Aitken Waterman song made mega hit off the back of Charlene's popularity. The hand claps are genius though and to be honest after hearing Mandy Smith's lazy hooker on percocet version Kylie brings something special to an otherwise pedestrian effort. Do you think Kylie at this stage of her music career thought music would replace acting as her main focus? 3.5/5
Justin: Used to hate it when I first got into Kylie but now it's the one track I'm gagging for her to break out on tour! 4/5
Mike: Can I please be as drunk as Peibols? Anyway, I LOVE this! Probably the best track on "Kylie" after "Turn It Into Love" and "Look My Way". And the video is stunning. I remember being so jealous when my sister got a pair of those chunky shoes. Bitch. 5/5
Mobius: Kylie's vocals have been a bit "enhanced" after rumours came up that Rick Astley had sung ISBSL instead of Kylie. At least 3 videos had been made for this, one of them I only saw almost 20 years after it had been shot. Mandy Smith must have been so pissed of when this got to the top of the Charts. Poor thing. 5/5
Paul: I'm ashamed to say that I was actually really upset when this didn't make number one in the UK and had a day off school with grief. What a dramatic little child I was!! Not quite matching the giddy thrills of the previous two for me, but I was Kylie and I wanted it. 3/5
Peibols: I totally love the beginning of the video with Kylie Ann on the stupidest photoshoot EVER! The lyrics keep with the "Kylie moment". The classic boy that are only looking for just one thing... your anus! F*cking tops! They never want me for my love or my brain. 3/5
The Prophet: God, all these songs sounds the same. I like the chorus though. 3/5
Total: 32.5/45


Slow (Video)

2003 saw yet another #1 hit for Kylie.

Chris Sorbello: Ok, this competes for my favourite Kylie song of all time with 'Confide In Me'. I think she looks beautiful in this clip and I really like the choreography too. 5/5
D'Luv: A #91 American smash for Kylie! I was in London the week “Body Language” was released and then in the Canary Island the following week, where “Slow” was on heavy rotation in the video bars at the Yumbo Center. This has never been my favorite lead single by the elder Minogue, and it really hasn’t stood the test of time, either, for me. I’m going back to play “Got To Be Certain” again. 2.5/5
Jump: I must confess when i first heard "slow" I kept waiting for the chorus right up til the song ended. I didn't like it and thought girlfriend forgot the melody. I now think this is the slinkiest, sexiest song Kylie has ever released. Shame bout that video though. 5/5
Justin: Is one of my favorite lead Kylie singles but it started the mini trend of misleading singles! 5/5
Mike: Recreating the video on the half empty dancefloor of Townsville's only gay nightclub remains my most embarrassing moment. 5/5
Mobius: Great performance in the Showgirl show, other than that the Body Language era wasn't my cuppa. 1/5
Paul: Delightfully minimalistic pulsating down and dirty pop thumper that reeled you in before you even knew it. Got better with each listen. 4/5
Peibols: I remember not liking it when it was release. It was kinda leet-down. But then... the grower! It's totally hypnotic. It's sexy. You could have sex with it on reply. A slow, licked, sweaty, night of sex on a rooftop. And only cuming at dawn. 4/5
The Prophet: One of my absolute fave Kylie songs from my fave album of hers, Body Language. 5/5
Total: 36.5/45

Can't Get You Out Of My Head (Video)

This spent 4 weeks at #1 in 2001 and became the third highest selling single of the year.

Chris Sorbello: The thing I love most about this song is the song writing. It has no structure and is just hook after hook. Absolute genius. 5/5
D'Luv: These were broke times, but "Fever" got me through. I actually waited in line for tickets to “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” at 6 a.m. to see Kylie perform this in what was her American TV debut of the song. In and of itself, not my favorite single from The Singing Budgie, but it was nice to watch her finally score a second Top 10 hit in the States after 14 years. 3.5/5
Jump: This song exudes cool and truly deserves the love heaped on it although I'm embarrassed that it was used in American furniture company Rooms-To-Go commercials. Kylie got it really right from song to video to clothing with this release. 5/5
Justin: One of the definitive pop tunes of the new millenium and this paved the way for the electro pop explosion. Call me deluded but you know it's true bitches! 5/5
Mike: Bitches, please. Stop trying to be alternative by hating on Kylie's best selling single. We all know you love it as much as the rest of us. 5/5
Mobius: I predicted this to be a flop. How wrong could I have been. I'm glad she had international success with this one, but I still feel this is a rather cold and repetitive song. La la la. The lowest common denominator. 3/5
Paul: Just a stroke of genius really. Luckily some time has passed as it just saturated the airwaves at the time and was in danger of overplay. Still remains a brilliant slice of forward thinking pop with an infernally catchy refrain, brilliant costuming (years ahead of G'Gah) and worldwide dominating bassline. 4.5/5
Peibols: One of my more hated songs. Everytime you asked for Kylie in a bar, they played this. Why? She has more brilliant moments than this crap! The Blue Monday bootleg, I can swallow. The Greg Kurstin remix, it's ok. But Kylie, please, stop perfoming this! You have more better hits! 2/5
The Prophet: Flawless pop perfection. 5/5
Total: 38/45

All The Lovers (Video)

Stalled at a stunning #14. Oh well.

Chris Sorbello: I want to love it! I really do! But, I feel very nothingy about it. I'm sorry Kylie. 2/5
D'Luv: Beautiful song that reminds me of her “Ultimate Kylie” greatest hits single “I Believe In You” in some ways. When placed next to the rest of “Aphrodite,” it’s certainly not the best song from the LP. But it sure makes a hell of an appetizer before the main course. 4.5/5
Jump: Love this track and even warmed up to the video. Time will tell if this is one of those songs you play a lot for a period of time and then forget or if it will become a classic you listen to regularly. For now I love though it's always close by, like a bottle of vodka. 5/5
Justin: Confused by the success of "All The Lovers", it's doing good in Europe but #14 in Australia? Come on this is her best single since IBIY people! I think the album will do well regardless of this Oz flop! 5/5
Mike: The song that everybody loves but nobody bought. Amazing! 5/5
Mobius: It's doing well over here. Great performance on Germany's Next Top Mmodel. A welcome return to Dance Kylie. Can't wait for "Get Outta My Way" to be released. 4/5
Paul: Is there something that bloggers adore about this that the rest of the world is missing? I just don't get why it failed to go top ten in Australia and wasn't a number one smash here. one of the most glorious, decadant, positive, uplifting, romantic Kylie songs ever and up there with my top 3 Kylie numbers (none of which are on this list!) I was on the tube the other day and this came on just as two gay lads started canoodling. It was the perfect real life video. 5/5
Peibols: Well, in Spain it seems to be on #35. So shut up. I thought it was a good first single. But then, I listened to the album. And it is NOT a good single. Maybe "Aphrodite" would have been some kind of "Spinning Around". The lyrics and stuff. But "All The Lovers", apart from being great and catchy and so walk-able, it's a grower. So you need people to listen to it a lot of times. And if you're not a fan, then you don't listen to it. 4/5
The Prophet: Flop of the year! 4.5/5
Total: 39/45

I Should Be So Lucky (Video)

Kylie's second single also rocketed to #1 and became the highest selling single of 1988.

Chris Sorbello: Kylie was pop queen here. I can get over the Charlene hair if you can? 5/5
D'Luv: A #28 smash in America! I will love this song till the day I’m toe-up in a cornfield somewhere. SAW at their classiest, with lyrics that were faxed back and forth between Mike Stock and Pete Waterman over the course of ten minutes while Kylie and her manager sat in the waiting room at PWL. Hot! This penultimate unrequited-love Hi-NRG jam never gets old for me. 5/5
Jump: Which gay man hasn't had at some point these same thoughts for some straight guy crush? This song is SAW at their finest with its stuttering "I-I-I-Is" and chugging rhythms- truly a classic. While the song itself sounds a bit dated the "Lucky, lucky lucky" part is still utterly addictive and even more so when one hears it sung by Japanese schoolgirls - "rucky, rucky rucky!" Where is Ami Suzuki when you need her? 5/5
Justin: Good little pop track and it's still great to hear her performing the original version live. 3/5
Mike: Not my favourite SAW production by a long shot but it's a burst of nostalgia that I just can't bring myself to dislike. And only Kylie could flash a sneaky nipple in a video and still look like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. 4/5
Mobius: A fast drum intro, a hi-NRG bass and a few I-I-I-I samples and I was hooked. The 12" versions of this are rather good, even to this day. ISBSL has been performed in many versions. Some good, some bad. It's always a crowd pleaser if played in its original version at every Kylie concert I've ever been to. 5/5
Paul: The Kylie obsession continued. Some mean girls once passed me a note in class saying "homo paul - why don't you fuck off to australia if you love Kylie and her shit music so much". It was one of the biggest compliments I have ever received! Who cares if it was written on toilet paper while Pete Waterman was taking a shit? The repetitive refrain was hypnotic and perfect bubblegum pop at the time 3.5/5
Peibols: The begining of the "Kylie moments" as Pop Justice would say. I think the lyrics are brilliant and the rhythm. It's also danceable, and sad, happy, and naive, but "been there done that". Too many things in 3 minutes. 5/5
The Prophet: I love this song. It's so cute. 4/5
Total: 39.5/45

Kylie's Best #1 Australian Hit


Confide In Me (below)

Five weeks at #1 and the highest selling Australian single of 1994.

Chris Sorbello: Possibly one of my favourite Kylie songs of all time. I love the lyrics and I love the mood. I love, love, love this clip! 5/5
D'Luv: This flashes me back to the same record store (Vibes) mentioned in “Got To Be Certain.” It was my first semester at university, and the CD single had just been released in the U.S. on the Imago label. They had it in stock, and I kick myself to this day for never buying it, because I think only 1,000 copies had been pressed before the label went under. Anyway, love this song, and fuck Paula Abdul for ripping it off a year later with “My Love Is For Real.” 4/5
Jump: Kylie's first non PWL single release is completely gorgeous and very surprising after a string of chirpy europop hits. "Confide" is a such a great track because it still sounds as fresh today as it did 1994. Pop Diva's all wish they had one jam as good as this in their back catalog that ages like a fine wine and has appeal beyond the teen scene (i'm looking at you Miley). 4/5
Justin: Haunting and mysterious is the words I would use to describe it. Gave me goosebumps when I first heard it. Fabulous lead single from an even more fabulous album, I even like the french version! 5/5
Mike: I remember being so excited about KM94 after hearing "Confide In Me" for the first time. Talk about false advertising! 4/5
Mobius: The beginning of Indie Kylie. I didn't get the song at first, but the video is something special. Great idea. 4/5
Paul: Firstly, I can't believe that better the devil you know (aka the greatest Kylie song ever) didn't make number one in Oz (or UK as it happens!) Oh well. I remember being all nervous about this comeback but it was a lovely orchestral dance number that grew and grew in it's magnificence and showed that she really could break the mould and be spectacular. Yes, it sounds a bit like Opus 3 "It's A Fine Day" but that's neither here nor there. Still glorious today. 4.5/5
Peibols: I love Kylie being this 'I don't care about pop rules'. I mean, she is into pop and releases a more than 5 minutes song. And still, #1. Amazeballs. I think it's a real diamond from the DeConstruction era. 5/5
The Prophet: This is one of my faves. I was like 7 years old or something when this first came out, and I used to watch it all the time on Rage. Kylie was one of the first artists that I loved as a little kid and I'll always remember this song for getting me into her. 5/5
Total: 40.5/45


Aphrodite - Pop Trash Review

I still remember the first time I heard Kylie's 1988 debut. I saved up to buy the cassette for a family roadtrip and ruthlessly tortured my siblings by demanding mum play it on repeat for the entire 6 hour journey. Even as a child I was all about sharing the Minogue love! Over the next 22 years, each new Kylie album has been an event that I've looked forward to and obsessed over. Some have been better than others but I always find something to love and appreciate. Even if it's a random Japanese bonus track ("Love Is Waiting" - the saving grace of 1994's self-titled cure for insomnia) or a so bad it's amazing triumph like "Nu-Di-Ty". One way or another, Kylie always delivers the goods for me. And that's particularly true of her 11th studio album. It's hard to believe but "Aphrodite" actually lives up to the hype. The endearing desperation of "Body Language" is a thing of the past and the sometimes jarring eclecticism of "X" has been reigned in. It's almost as if Team Minogue spent the past two years processing all the criticism and distilled the brand back to something that is quintessentially Kylie. The result is the pop icon's most consistent and cohesive offering since "Fever". At a time when albums have become hastily thrown together collections of singles and pointless filler, "Aphrodite" stands out by having a theme and expertly mapped out tracklist. It's also the antidote to the hypersexual skank-pop of Ke$ha and Lady Gaga. As much as I love their music, Kylie's bright eyed romanticism comes as a welcome relief. She's back doing what she does best - cute pop music with uplifting lyrics, catchy choruses and an unwavering eye for the dancefloor. Here is my track by track review:

All The Lovers

So dreamy, so lovely, such a bad lead single. Chart performance (in Australia) aside, I still think "All The Lovers" is one of the prettiest pop singles in recent memory. The lyrics are gorgeous and have more depth than they are given credit for, while that explosion of synths at the two and a half minute mark gets me every time. I just think this would have made a better album track. The Kish Mauve penned anthem sets the loved up tone of "Aphrodite" perfectly but it just isn't instant enough to be the chart smash that Kylie needed.

Get Outta My Way

Speaking of future hits, "Get Outta My Way" is destined to be huge. Cutfather and Lucas Secon have given Kylie another "Love At First Sight" for a whole new generation of fans. This is the kind of pure pop that Kylie does better than anyone. The lyrics make me laugh ("this is what'll happen if you ain't givin' your girl what she needs!"), that chorus is more addictive than heroin and the production is sleek without being sterile and overbearing. You can almost see the hordes of drunken girls rushing the dancefloor when this comes on. A lock for second single unless someone at Parlophone has a brain explosion.

Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)

If "Get Outta My Way" is a return to the diva's pure pop roots, then this is her first real dance anthem since the "Fever" era. It's such a relief to hear a big, hearty blast of club Kylie after years of mid-tempo electronic tunes. This is exactly what she needs to win back the gays who have since moved on to Lady Gaga and would be my choice for the album's third single. Hooking up with the Nervo sisters turned out to be an inspired move and Starsmith cements his reputation as one of pop's hottest producers. The Italo-disco-tastic outro is particularly amazing. I can't wait to hear this in a nightclub.

Closer

While not as memorable as her similarly titled 1992 B-side, "Closer" is a quirky little grower. It took me a while to warm to it but the track injects some much needed darkness and variety into "Aphrodite". I love the minimal beats and that bare bones of a chorus is strangely hypnotic. Stuart Price really lets his imagination run wild on this one. "Closer" belongs on the soundtrack to a 70s sci-fi film about a demented fembot that falls in love with its creator. Or maybe I just have too much time on my hands...

Everything Is Beautiful

I'm not exactly a Keane fan but Tim Rice-Oxley has a knack for writing melancholy tinged pop songs for fabulous divas. "Early Winter" is probably my favourite track on Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape" album and "Everything Is Beautiful" is one of the unexpected highlights of "Aphrodite". It's funny. I initially found this quite slow and boring in comparison to the rest of the album but the sleepy chorus slowly seeps into brain and I love how accurately the song channels Kylie's vulnerability and optimism. I don't think she's given enough credit for her ability to interpret other people's material. This song simply wouldn't work with anyone else.

Aphrodite

Oh here we go. The title track is already being thrown around as a 'fan favourite' but this "Hollaback Girl" meets "Wind It Up" rip off has already been done on "X". It didn't work there and doesn't sound that much better here. The only thing that saves it from being a total embarrassment is the brilliant chorus, which sounds like it belongs to an entirely different song. Having said all that - I see the appeal. "Aphrodite" is big, dumb fun that will inevitably be a showstopper when Kylie takes the album on tour. Who would have guessed that Nerina Pallot (and husband Andy) would come up with something this camp and ridiculous? I have an annoying feeling that it will be a future single.

Illusion

Kylie gets her first writing credit on "Illusion" and it sounds fairly autobiographical. Take the following lyric. "Follow my dreams into distant lands, blowing in the wind over shifting sands". I think Kylie was having a bit of a moment when she penned this in a bubble bath, sipping from a flute of champagne. Or so I'd like to imagine. "Illusion" isn't the catchiest song on the album but it holds a mirror to the darker side of love, which balances the almost dementedly happy mood of the rest of the album. The production is pure Stuart Price. Layered synths and vocals give the track an almost ethereal feel that makes it stand out from the rest of the album for all the right reasons.

Better Than Today

To be honest, I'm kind of surprised this made the album over the fabulous bonus tracks. Not because it's rubbish but because it's been doing the rounds in various forms since Kylie first performed it on her American tour earlier this year. "Better Than Today" still sounds like something Elton John recorded in 1978, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I like the perky lyrics and catchy chorus. More importantly, the retro sound helps break up the album and showcases Kylie's versatility. Not my favourite song on the album but still a lot of fun.

Too Much

Now this is more like it. I think Calvin Harris is an overrated mess but it's hard to fault his work with Kylie. "In My Arms" was perhaps the highlight of "X" and I was part of the vocal minority that genuinely loved "Heart Beat Rock". This time around he teams up with Jake Shears, which turns out to be a match made in gay heaven. "Too Much" is a seriously brilliant pop song with the kind of explosive chorus that gets stuck in your head and refuses to leave. I love Calvin's playful production that chops and changes from dark and brooding at the beginning to a big, beautiful blast of 80s flavoured electronica. The lyrics are particularly gorgeous. "Can't say, can't say what it is, if I say what I feel it's too much" - is this the much longed for electro sequel to "Never Spoken"?

Cupid Boy

My friend Luciana wrote this with her equally talented husband Nick, so I'm probably completely biased. I was so excited when "Cupid Boy" made the final tracklist after she came heartbreakingly close to having two songs on "X" (the brilliant "Beat Of My Own Drum" and singleworthy smash that never happened "Dynamite") but nothing prepared me for the brilliance of this super sexy dancefloor anthem. No wonder Cheryl Cole (*vomits*) has hired Luciana's services for her sophomore album. While Kylie ponders the highs and lows of love and romance on the rest of "Aphrodite", Dannii's much older sister is looking for some hot lovin' on "Cupid Boy". A girl has needs! Apart from being the classiest song about a booty call ever recorded, it's also the most contemporary Kylie has sounded in years. The chorus is fire and the slinky verses seethe with longing. Roping in Sebastian Ingrosso (of Swedish House Mafia fame) to produce the track also turned out to be a masterstroke. He brings a club perspective to the proceedings while still respecting the song's pop origins. "Cupid Boy" would be a radio smash in this country.

Looking For An Angel

I thought "Looking For An Angel" was an absolute stinker when I first heard it at the "Aphrodite" listening party, labelling it a bad Dannii B-side. But I can admit when I'm wrong. After a couple of listens this is actually one of the album's cutest tracks. The sappy lyrics would be nauseating in the hands of anyone else but Kylie has an uncanny ability to make pure cheese ("so I dream of things like your golden wings") sound adorable. After keeping a lid on her natural tendency for all things high camp and over the top, I'm kind of glad Stuart Price let Kylie unleash on this relentlessly cheerful and upbeat anthem. A not so guilty pleasure that gets more charming each time I hear it.

Can't Beat The Feeling

Pascal Gabriel has to be the most underrated songwriter in pop music. If he's ever delivered a shit track, I'm yet to hear it and his work with Kylie has always been of the highest calibre (ie. "Tightrope" - easily the best song from the entire "Fever" era). I've been waiting for this reunion since 2001 and it was worth the wait. "Can't Beat The Feeling" is a burst of serotonin that sounds like a cross between "In My Arms" and "Love At First Sight". While I miss the bittersweet aftertaste of "Your Love" and "Tightrope", there is something quintessentially Kylie about this track. Which makes it the perfect way to close the album.

BONUS TRACKS

Mighty Rivers

I could write a thesis on Kylie's amazing ability to waste her best material as B-sides and bonus tracks and the trend continues on "Aphrodite". Bless. "Mighty Rivers" is the first of two Xenomania produced songs that didn't make the cut. In this case, it's understandable. The track is a little too moody for the album's upbeat tone and the lyric "mighty rivers run right through me" reminds me of a urinary tract infection I had in the 90s. That said, it is a gorgeous little tune that is well worth downloading. Emo-Kylie or as close as it gets on "Aphrodite".

Heartstrings

Japan is so lucky. Not only do they have the sexiest packaging (I'm sick for Obi strips) but they also get this amazing bonus track. Despite wasting the past decade on boring hacks like Girls Aloud, Xenomania occasionally pull one of the bag and "Heartstrings" is probably the best song they have written since contributing to Dannii's era defining "Girl" album. I would have swapped this with the title track or "Better Than Today". Unlike "Mighty Rivers", it fits the album's tone and theme perfectly and ranks as one of the loveliest songs Kylie has ever put her name to. Listen to this gorgeous gem below.

9/10