Album: Kylie

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The Independent Culture

One might have expected the medical and other tribulations that have afflicted Kylie in recent years to be reflected in some way on her first album since 2003's Body Language – after all, even Britney Spears got her writers to devise a few apt, if ham-fisted, lines about her low self-esteem for Blackout. But much like Spears, Kylie is virtually an absentee on her own album, her personality evaporating like morning mist from the dreary parade of under-powered techno backings, which bring to mind Madonna B-sides from a quarter-century ago. The process isn't helped by the over-enthusiastic use of vocoder on "Speakerphone", which removes any remaining trace of humanity, leaving just a robot voice with the spectral presence of a SatNav siren. Which is appropriate for a lyric constructed with all the emotional sensitivity of a fizzy-drink advert – just one of several occasions on which Kylie reveals herself to be probably the world's worst rapper (hear her lamentable effort on the ghastly, pseudo-erotic "Nu-di-ty" if you don't believe me). Other than "No More Rain", by some distance the classiest thing here, X is as faceless as its title would suggest.

Download this: 'No More Rain', 'The One'