Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kylie Returns As The Powerful Aphrodite

Kylie made a triumphant return to the music scene as her latest album Aphrodite stormed to the top of the UK charts. In fact, she makes history as she becomes the first solo artist in the UK to register #1 albums in four different decades - 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s.

The run started with her 1988 debut album Kylie and follow-up Enjoy Yourself in 1989, then her 1992 Greatest Hits album, 2001's Fever, and now Aphrodite, her 11th studio album.

While not many people can manage this feat, Kylie is unlikely to be the sole record holder for long as Madonna will also join the ranks if she releases a new #1 album this decade. In fact, Madonna has scored 11 UK #1 albums in the past 25 years, starting with 1984's Like A Virgin to her most recent Celebration compilation released in September last year. But well, Kylie will still be the first to achieve this feat. So well done, Kylie!

Kylie describes Aphrodite as a return and celebration of her dancefloor roots, and this is very true indeed. She roped in producer Stuart Price at the recommendation of Jake Shears (of the Scissor Sisters) and it was probably the best move she could have made. Stuart Price was the genius behind Madonna's Confessions On The Dance Floor album, which brought Madonna back to form after her disastrous American Life album, and the album was widely hailed as a modern classic dance record.

Stuart Price reproduces his magic touch on this album and the result is Kylie's most cohesive piece of work ever. It is non-stop dance, catchy pop music at its best. Its emphasis is on getting people onto the dance floor, having a good time and waving their hands up in the air.

The first single All The Lovers is a slow burner, kicking off the album with a seductive groove that draws you in deeper and deeper and sets you up nicely for the raucous party ahead. The second track, and also second single, Get Outta My Way is a great, straight out dance tune that is set to be a big hit on the airwaves and clubs.

Just when you think that things couldn't get any hotter, Kylie serves another knockout punch with Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love). It sounds like a continuation of Get Outta My Way, but even better. The chorus is just so infectious and you will put your hands up, no doubt about it.

Another highlight on the album is the title track. The opening of the song, with its marching band drum beats, sounds a little like Destiny Child's Lose My Breath. This is where Kylie asserts her authority as she sings "I'm fierce and I'm feeling mighty, don't you mess with me, you don't wanna fight with me". Clearly she's back with a vengeance and on top of her game.

My favourite track on the album has got to be Better Than Today. It's got a slightly different feel from the other tracks, a little laid back and more pop than dance. It could be because this song was conceived before the Aphrodite sessions. She had already performed it during her US tour last October. I think it will make a great fourth single. After the highs of the dance numbers, it will be nice to offer something different.

All in all, it's a great dance pop album. It's unmistakably Kylie, with a fresh spin for the new decade. Definitely more easy to enjoy than the previous X album. Hope Kylie can continue to keep it up, and perhaps even return to Singapore for another show! (Let's hope that tickets won't be too ex...not another $550 concert!)

If you're buying the album, the Experience Edition CD+DVD is the version you should get. It comes in a nice hardback book with 28 pages of gorgeous Kylie photos.

The DVD includes live footage from Kylie's 2009 tour of North America: White Diamond Theme, White Diamond, Confide In Me and I Believe In You. The ballad version of I Believe In You is a real treat, and it made me like the song even more. The DVD also houses the making of All The Lovers video shoot, behind the scenes of the Aphrodite photo shoot, and the Aphrodite photo gallery.

There is also a collectible sticker. On the reverse side, there is a special access code that allows you to complete the "experience" by going online for more goodies. Once you have logged in, you can view an exclusive 39 min 36 sec interview with Kylie and Stuart Price. It's a great piece, as they go about sharing the entire recording process and providing insights to the experience. The interview alone is worth forking out the additional moolah to get this Experience Edition.

And exclusively to Singapore only, every purchase of the album comes with a giant limited edition free poster. It's glossy and huge, and the colours are beautiful. The poster is available for a limited time only, so don't be late!


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