Kylie, Kiss Me Once, album review: Pharrell Williams comes to rescue on sexed-up record
Buttoned-down pop funk makes 'Kiss Me Once' at least a partial success
Having substantially re-aligned her career trajectory by lending a much needed soupçon of charm to The Voice, Kylie attempts to shift her international profile up a gear or two with Kiss Me Once, the first fruit of her new alliance with Jay Z’s Roc Nation management.
It must be considered at least a partial success, being both more engaging and more characterful than either X or Aphrodite; but it remains nevertheless an incremental improvement, rather than a substantial overhaul.
With America belatedly in thrall to what it calls EDM (electronic dance music), Kylie barely needs break step at all to handle standard disco pumpers like “Million Miles” and the single “Into the Blue”, both efficient but uninspiring club fodder.
As so often nowadays, Pharrell Williams comes to the rescue with “I Was Gonna Cancel”. A typically light, frothy pop syllabub in Pharrell’s signature style, it sprinkles chimes over staccato synth burbles that hark back to The Commodores – a bang-up-to-date retro touch, as is the ensuing “Sexy Love”, one of two productions by the Danish Wallevik/Davidsen/Cutfather team.
Featuring Daniel Davidsen’s nimble guitar motif over slick rhythm chording and understated slap-bass, it’s immaculately buttoned-down pop-funk.
Elsewhere, “Sexercise” is an American take on dubstep by The Monsters & The Strangerz, while “Les Sex” – is there a theme developing here? –pleasingly runs a tinkling music-box motif over a chunky, pulsing groove.
But lumbering drums weigh down the erotic anticipation of “Kiss Me Once”, and “If Only” is a bit of a mess, although at least here the swaddling, densely layered synth arrangement does offer an apt musical metaphor for the theme of inextricable entanglement.
As for the pallid duet with Enrique Iglesias, “Beautiful” seems too desperate to touch the same melodic nerve as Robbie Williams’ “Angels”, but is too earthbound.
Still, this isn’t a bad collection overall, if less than the expected redesign.
Download: I Was Gonna Cancel; Sexy Love; Les Sex
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Avengers: Age of Ultron set to make box office history with $84.5m US opening
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
New on Netflix UK May 2015: From Fast & Furious 6 to World War Z and Grace and Frankie
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds