The Listener

I’ve heard worse things — the death rattle of a close relative, for example: Kylie’s Disco reviewed

14 November 2020

9:00 AM

14 November 2020

9:00 AM

Grade: B–

Uh-oh. Might have to be careful here, pull my punches a little bit. The editor is a big fan of the caterwauling Aussie. We have enormous editorial freedom at The Spectator, but one needs to exercise a little discretion. Last time I reviewed a Kylie album he was very kind about my writing, but I could see a deep sadness in his eyes. He also adores Mariah Carey. Conservatives are weird about music.


Luckily — luckily, luckily, luckily — this is a lot better than her previous effort, Golden, which had been an attempt at a country album. She was about as believable a country singer as, I dunno, Sir Patrick Vallance or Fiona Bruce. This is back to the music she grew up with, as you might have guessed from the title. Late 1970s, early 1980s d-i-s-c-o, channelling the likes of Shalamar and Shakatak and even some good old Philly strings in the mix on ‘I Love It’. The monotonous clump-thump of the nightclub drums makes you yearn for Harold Melvin or Sister Sledge to start singing, but this being a Kylie album all you get is Kylie.

There are tunes, though — ‘Magic’ is a piano-driven soul stomper, ‘Dance Floor Darling’ is kind of cute Europop and ‘Monday Blues’ even veers close to an approximation of funk. Elsewhere she chucks in a couple of gobbets of modern EDM to spoil the party and show she is au courant. She seems to be enjoying herself back in her old milieu and only occasionally is her voice vocoded into inanity. I have heard worse things — the death rattle of a close relative, for example. I hope Fraser appreciates this magnanimity.

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