tue 01/12/2020

Album: Kylie - DISCO | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Kylie - DISCO

Album: Kylie - DISCO

Much-needed escapism from Australia's finest export

A 12-track tribute to Kylie's favourite genre

We’re eight months into a global pandemic, and Kylie Minogue is serenading us from her kitchen. “We’re a million miles apart in a thousand ways,” she sings, feather-light vocals floating over a driving disco beat. “Can we all be as one again?”

We’re eight months into a global pandemic, and Kylie Minogue is serenading us from her kitchen. “We’re a million miles apart in a thousand ways,” she sings, feather-light vocals floating over a driving disco beat. “Can we all be as one again?”

At least on first listen, Kylie’s 15th studio release - 12 tracks of giddy, gleaming, disco-pop escapism, appropriately titled DISCO - doesn’t fit the now-established mould of the lockdown album. The clue is in the sleeve notes where, for the first time, you’ll see an engineering credit on every track in the name of Minogue: the singer taught herself Logic Pro and worked on much of the album from a makeshift studio in her London home after Covid-19 interrupted the process a couple of studio sessions in. Determined, after 2018’s country-influenced Golden, to make a modern-day tribute to the genre that kicked off her love of music, Kylie was not about to let the closure of every dancefloor the world over stand in her way.

2020 having already provided plenty of time for introspection, DISCO has no agenda beyond its all-caps mission statement. Kylie and her team of online producers and collaborators - in interviews, she has spoken of getting to know them “from the waist up” - lean into some of the most maligned tropes of the genre: breathy spoken-word bits (“Dancefloor Darling”); shameless vocoder (“Real Groove”); robotic funk (“Supernova”); campy calypso (“Monday Blues”); lyrics about dancing like no-one is watching (“Miss A Thing”). The pace is relentless: the lull that opens “Where Does the DJ Go” turns out to be a Gloria Gaynor-esque feint, there only to give the pre-chorus room to explode with a nod to “I Will Survive” which is no less delightful for its inevitability.

As her career enters its fifth decade, Kylie is no stranger to reinvention and experimentation - making it tempting to draw parallels with her dance-pop early hits and turn-of-the-century Eurodisco rebirth. That would, I suspect, be missing the point. Kylie has an invitation (“whatcha waiting for? get up on the floor”), the music is speeding up - and even if the only floor in prospect is in your own home, it would be rude not to dance.

Below: watch the video for "Magic", recorded at an empty Fabric in London

DISCO doesn’t fit the now-established mould of the lockdown album

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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