I saw Kylie at Splash tonight – incredible! (Review and videos coming tomorrow) but while you wait check out this review of the album from Attitude Magazine!
“Is Kylie’s 11th album, Aphrodite, the soundtrack of this summer? Attitude exclusively reviews every track to find out.
Here is the news: Aphrodite is back-to-basics Kylie. It is cohesive, precisely thought out record that slots in more as a progression form Light Years and Fever than Body Language and X. The latter two – while having classic Kylie moments – suffered from a lack of direction or in X’s case, too many.
Album number 11 does not suffer from the same fate. It is direct, concise and very bothered about getting you on dancefloor and keeping you there for the next 12 tracks. Producer Stuart Price has said he wanted to create a houseparty feel to the record, with each track building the last, at which largely Aphrodite succeds (though to be honest, there may be a moment or two when you can pop to the loo).
If Aphrodite in the main sticks to a tried and tested clubbing beat of falling in and out of love on the dancefloor, there are moments when there’s at least a nod to her reality and it’s these that lift Aphrodite into classic Kylie territory. To be completely Gay about it: it’s like she’s talking to us. It’s in All The Lovers sense of romantic history, in the title track’s line “I was gone and now I’m back” and in the gung ho fighting spirit of Better Than Today.
All The Lovers
All The Lovers works because it sounds quintessentially Kylie. High points: the bit where the piano comes in half way through the second verse, simultaneously adding melancholy to the euphoria; in the middle eight breakdown-glitter-explosion; the sentiment at its heart which might touch upon the feelings of a 41-year-old woman.
Get Outta My Way
The first indication of where Aphrodite is going, Get Outta My Way sounds like a potential single that would work in the way Love At First Sight did, AKA take over the summer’s dancefloors. It’s got a big pulsating bear verses that build and build and a punchy, throw-some-shapes chorus. Aphrodite is about creating archetypecal dancefloor fillers and its a result, routinely throws off brillant middle eights. This track is no exception -a big handclaps-meets-Keane piano line before the whole thing explodes again.
Put Your Hands Up
Put Your Hands Up is similary straightforwards euphoria, powered by fizzy, pinball machine effects. If Aphrodite’s concept is a weekend in Mykonos, then this is the bit when it’s 6am, you’re on stage and dancing like a loon. An instant, memorable highlight that’s like Kylie doing David Guetta. Big.
The backbone of this Stuart Price track, written with Zoot Woman collaborator Beatrice Hatherley has an ornate orchestal prog rock backdrop. It’s on of the subtlets tracks on the album. Like the tittle track of Fever, it’s track four and provides the first break from the traditional European dance euphoria that’s gone before.
Think Daft Punk with a breathy Impossible Princess era Kylie, um, breathing all over it.
Everything Is Beautiful
The closest the album comes to a ballad in the traditional and since it’s co written by Tim Rice Oxley, it’s gone more than a whiff of Keane about it. It’s no bad thing, but you could probably enjoy that loo break at this point… except if there’s a queue, you might miss the next track.
Which you will L.O.V.E.. It’s underpinted by a Rhythm Nation marching band sound, a classic early ’90s piano line before moving into twinkly territory with the line “this song lets you in”, a hint of what’s to come. Lyrically there’s more delights: “It the truth/it’s the fact/ I was gone and now I’m back” showing Kylie incorporating the now accepted “X wasn’t the comeback it should have been” narrative into her version of events. Essentially Aphrodite has got the nod to struggles, musical and otherwise, which Kylie famously shies away from. How about this chorus line for delivering just that in spades? “I’m fierce/and I’m feeling mighty/I’m a Golden Girl/ I’m an Aphrodite.” It’s likely to experience the same campaign as Your Disco Needs You to get it released as a single.
First of three co writes by Kylie, this is about doubting a lover’s sincerity, with lines such as “Like the headlines of a magazine/Are you what you seem?” it’s powered by a ping pong keyboard melody over super moody synths and is probably the first time Aphrodite hits tematically rocky waters. If we’re to take the Mykonos allegory a little further (stay with us on this one) it’s the bit in your summer romance where you catch your Greek barman lover dry humping some bit of flesh in the sand dunes. Sadness.
Better Than Today
According to Stuart Price, the old grey whistle test for potential album tracks was wheter or not Kylie could do them in her best Dolly Parton. Better Than Today is perhaps the point at which this way of selecting a hit reaches its zenith. It is brillantly, determinedly Dolly. It’s also the perfect antidote to all the mood glitch that went before. Better Than Today is a kitschy retro line-dancing number with walk-down-the-high-street-and-feel-empowered “use it/lose it” chorus.
Co writer Jake Shears told us this ’90 track is the worst on the album, which does it a disservice. Perhaps though, in the way Fever taile off before final track Burning Up, Too Much feels less special than what’s gone before.
The bridge to this sounds similar to the chorus of Boombox, but this heavily-layered song is a slave to more conventional pop dance sounds, even if it’s underpinned in its interims by guitars, like Sugababes’ About You Now.
Looking For An Angel
Another track written by Kylie and Stuart Price, this has grown on us despite our first nose being “It’s a bit wet”. Something about it reminds us of Madonna’s Ray Of Light with its airy, violin powered Euro dance.
Can’t Beat The Feeling
A big old end of the night anthem with a Daft Punk-style disco vibe. It would be OK if you passed out on the sofa at this point. And you deserve it, goddamn it, ater all that flailing around. Now rest”