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.
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