Friday, July 9, 2010

The Anti-Madonna

It's rare that a pop album comes out where I don't hate at least one song on the album. Usually, there's at least one or two cheeseball tracks, or a shitty ballad that I only hear the opening three notes of, "name that tune" style before skipping on to the next track.

Aphrodite, Kylie Minogue's brilliant new album, is one of those exceptions where I can literally listen to the whole thing start to finish without skipping a song. Not saying I always do, since some songs I like more than others, but I'm saying I could, which is the important part. This album is Kylie at her best, all exuberant Fever-style dance jams without any cheesy ballads or awkward forays into hip-hop (I'm looking at you, "Red Blooded Woman" and "All I See"). All glitter, no filler, if you will.

This is why Kylie is so great, and has had such staying power. She's not a huge vocal talent, or a brilliant dancer, or anything like that. I think what gives her such a devoted following is her passion for entertaining and her immense likability. Where Madonna felt the need to prove later in her career that she is a "serious" artist with "serious" opinions (ultimately winding up just seeming pretentious and annoying, at least to me), Kylie is comfortable being herself and seems content making fun dance-oriented pop music. She doesn't need to prove some sort of "cred."

I mean, let's face it, whenever a popstar tries to be a "serious" artist, does it ever actually work? Do we respect Madonna any more or less now that she has rabbis chanting over her disco beats? Did anyone think Christina was some sort of musical supergenius when she decided to go "Back to Basics?" No, at best they get decent album reviews, at worst they get exasperated sighs and eyerolls. Ultimately, pop music is still pop music.

And that's what Kylie delivers with this album. I don't mean to get all fanboy, or belabor the point, but REALLY, it's a great album. If you like classic Kylie dance-pop, Aprodite is perfect. Standout tracks are "Get Outta My Way," "Cupid Boy," and my favorite on the album, "Too Much." (Cowritten by Jake Shears) I seriously dare you not to love that last song. I DARE YOU. So yeah, well done Kylie, well. done.

Now that everyone loves the album so much, we can haz another US tour? Plz?

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