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Kylie – Aphrodite
07 July 2010, 10:02 Written by

An Open Letter to Kylie Minogue.

Dear Kylie,

My introduction to you is one of my earliest memories. Those hazy days of toddlerhood, idle afternoons watching Neighbours (or ‘nay-nays’, as my stunted two year-old speech christened it), when you waltzed in with your poodle perm and dungarees.

Of course, it was about that time that I also stumbled across the Adonis that was Jason Donovan. And for three years, you and him ruled together high atop the squeaky clean popstar/acting roost, and my heart. I had t-shirts, mugs, cassettes, videos. But it didn’t last, and I think we both knew deep down that he wasn’t good for you. Luckily, of course, you came out with the upper hand. In fact, not just upper hand, upper everything.

In the past 20 years we’ve gone from hours perfecting dance routines (time well spent, I can still breakout ‘The Locomotion’ when required), to years of estrangement – you went to Nick Cave, I went to The Spice Girls, and finally, in 2000, a triumphant reunion and return from you, and a delusion on my part that I could pull off gold hotpants, and that there are few things better than the high you can get from good pop music.

And now, here we are ten years later, still blissfully riding the disco-pop Kylie wave, with album number eleven, Aphrodite. Lead single, ‘All the Lovers’ had us both dancing (you in a glamorous video, me round the living room before a night out with disastrous consequences), with it’s euphoric, hands in the air, wanton abandon and glorious universal celebration.

Aphrodite is released into a world of the ‘outrageousness’ of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, but simply and classy, takes the high road, glossing over celebrity engagements and horrendous videos, focusing only on the good and the happy, no need to mention the rest.

With track titles like ‘Cupid Boy’, ‘Everything is Beautiful’ and ‘Can’t Beat the Feeling’, there’s no prizes for guessing that this album is pure upbeat, happy, bliss. Float along on Kylie’s frothy dance-pop cloud.

‘Better Than Today’ contains the quintessential Kylie line “what’s the point of living if you don’t want to dance?”, and I’m hard pressed to think of an answer. Mixing her pure vocals with some vocoder action, a cheeky synth riff, and a Scissor Sisters bouncy accompaniment (Aphrodite is produced by Scissor Sisters collaborator Stuart Price), the sheer optimism on this track is infectious, and even me, who can wax lyrical about my current dire situation until the cows come home, can’t fail to enjoy this.

In ‘Cupid Boy’ Kylie’s voice seems be higher than the angels at times, like the Cherubim themselves, and then returning back down to human hearing level for a dirty ode to a rather fabulous sounding dance-floor male.

‘Closer’ has a great and unexpected mad harpsichord sound that takes us on an altogether darker route regarding that all important ‘shall I take him home’ moment .

Aphrodite is happy, it’s sassy, it’s glossy to the point of superficial, but there’s no mistaking that voice, that eternal optimism in the fact of incredible adversity, that ‘fuck it’s let’s dance and have a good time’ attitude. Synth-pop at its finest, and granted there’s not the same level of instant anthems like ‘I Can’t Get you Out of my Head’, but the whole album is a warm breeze of uplifting pop.

This album makes me happy, it makes me want to dance, and it makes me remember why I love you. Because you are happy, and you want to dance, and you love us, and who are we to argue? The dance-pop genre is yours.

So, in closing, me and you Kylie, it’s a beautiful, beautiful relationship. Thanks for the twenty years of highs and lows, and low may they continue.

Love and ill-advised gold hotpants,


P.S. I have deliberately not mentioned the fact that you worked with Tim Oxley-Rice on this album, and that he is responsible for that brief fluttering of piano on ‘Everything is Beautiful’. I am a bit disappointed. But I forgive you.

P.P.S. Let’s be bessies?

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