Though Kylie Minogue’s last studio album X, released in 2007, garnered a positive reception from the critics, Minogue herself wasn’t too happy with the final project. “We could definitely have bettered it, I’ll say that straight up,” she admitted to The Sun. Well, Minogue should be more than pleased with her newest release Aphrodite, which harks back to her sunny, disco-tinged tunes that made her star worldwide.
This time around, Minogue worked with songwriters and producers such as Jake Shears, vocalist of The Scissor Sisters, and Stuart Price who has worked with just about everyone on the pop/dance genre, in order to get that quintessential “Princess of Pop” sound as found in her earlier albums Light Years and Fever.
The album opens with the first single, “All The Lovers”, a breathy yet emotional puff of swooning syncro-pop which sets the pattern for the rest of the tracks. Other notables include “Closer” a slinky, sexualized ode to ABBA with dramatic overtures ( and done with more authenticity than Madonna), Shears’ flamboyant “Too Much” which I’m sure you’ll be hearing in every gay bar and hipster club this summer, “Can’t Beat the Feeling” a track with a summery 70’s feel thanks to the addition of a cowbell, and finally, “Aphrodite”, a hard-hitting standout with some of the catchiest, 80’s-thumped rhythms that you’ll find anywhere. It’s hard to listen to that song and not want to start busting moves in your living room, it’s that good.
There are no sappy ballads on to be found here which is a relief considering I usually find her slower work to be some of her weakest. However, it would have been more effective if Minogue’s light voice had a bit more depth to it. At times, her child-like tendency to whisper detracts from the overall point of the song (to dance, right?). A few of the tracks could have benefited from more bass and a harder push, just to give the album a bit of an edge. But Minogue isn’t about experimenting on Aphrodite, it’s about bringing back the club-primed beats and frisky phrasings that her fans expect from her and for the most part, it works beautifully.
If Minogue was looking to do something better than her last album, she’s done it, and with all the aplomb of a Goddess.