Reinventing yourself has become the expected trope of any pop provocateur that extends their fifteen minutes of fame. Madonna, Beyoncé and even Lady Gaga are all guilty of changing their sound, fashion and platform more than once. Perhaps that's why 45-year-old Kylie Minogue stands out for simply staying the same.
On Kiss Me Once, Minogue's twelfth studio album in her twenty-seven year long career, you'll find effervescent disco pop, modernized R&B, touches of dubstep and a single grandiose ballad. Minogue is most famous for her 2001-smash "Can't Get You Out of My Head," an aptly-titled track that would define the rest of her mesmerizing melodies of her dazzling discography.
Kiss Me Once begins with the orchestral anthem "Into The Blue," also serving as the first single. The song is anything but blue with it's staccato piano chords and charisma-charged chorus. Minogue's vocals climb up her soft soprano range during this track and slide back down to a more comfortable level during the rest of the album. Where someone like Beyoncé or Katy Perry would attempt to oversing the supple songs, Minogue is content with maintaining a cool coo on the eleven tracks.
Minogue is also very aware of her sex appeal, but this record is the most blunt about it. Three of the songs alone have the word sex in the title: "Sexy Love," "Sexercize" and "Les Sex." Does it get tiring? No, not when the songs are sandwiched between feel-good grooves about feeling free and keeping your head held high. Minogue is pop's most credible motivator, especially given her personal life never pops up on Page Six.
Going off the formulaic hits from Aphrodite, this album's lyrical content never edges into anything deep. The glossy music bubbles with an unfaltering fervor to make you feel not just good, but amazing. Even when Minogue get's slightly melancholy on "If Only" and "Million Miles," the instrumentation propels the mood to the dance floor instead of towards the nearest tissue box. This music's purposely positive mindset is welcomed with open arms by fans and critics alike because pop is supposed to be fun, and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Minogue's weakest point of the album is when she does some unnecessary charity-work by giving Enrique Iglesias a bone in their duet called "Beautiful." In order for Iglesias to sound comparably good to Mingoue, both artists are drenched in Auto-Tune, vocoders, echos and filters. You would suspect the ballad's banal lyrics would only work against the track, but somehow the production quality pulls it all together. "Beautiful" won't be winning either artist a Grammy anytime soon, but the song is surprisingly enjoyable in an age where sappy love songs are underrated.
With younger pop darlings like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez selling youth and rebellion, Minogue still stands supreme without stooping to tabloid-feeding controversy. Minogue's music is (and will always be) all about having a great time, and that's why this dance floor diva's latest disc is a must-have.