Kylie Minogue – “Disco”
Well, it’s here! Kylie album number fifteen! Thirty-three years after the first one and two and a half years since “Golden” and Kylie takes us to the disco era of the late 1970’s and the beginning of the 1980’s with another jam-packed collection of non stop hits. All of them could so easily of been, and yet none of them were. You won’t find any covers here, and that’s the cleverness of this production.
Her second studio album for BMG Rights Management was written and recorded in lockdown and once again penned by Kylie and even engineered by her, at home, along with a team of producers, many of them returning from past glories with the lady herself, this is a collection of songs that has been eagerly anticipated. Kylie back on the dancefloor and also going back to her own musical roots and an era when she, herself was a young teenager.
So let’s get to it(!), plug in that disco ball, and let’s press play to see what K has to offer us:
We’ve already reviewed the magnificent “Magic” when it was released as the second single in September 2020. A disco tour-de-force with so many references to previous disco classics but with a cool and smooth rhythm and a generously colourful video to match. “Magic” is the perfect opener to a full Kylie album and if this doesn’t lift your hopes and spirits, then probably nothing ever will. This is by far one of the very best songs ever written and recorded by Kylie, it’s up there with “Better The Devil You Know” already! “Magic” was very well received upon release, reaching No.2 on the UK singles sales chart and No.53 on the UK top 100 chart overall.
2. Miss A Thing
Woooooh what an opening! Cool, disco-pop, galactic sounds and Kylie’s gorgeously soft and sensual vocal, “Disco” moves from the higher tier into the stratosphere as Kylie begs you to “runaway, runaway, runaway with me” she “don’t wanna miss a thing” with this tune and YOU don’t want to miss this track, which has chic, style and class. If you thought “Light Years” was all about disco, you ain’t heard nothing yet. Mature in sound and superbly crafted, Kylie really shows what she can offer as a songwriter, a singer and a world class singer at the very top of the universe. Future single…?(!)
3. Real Groove
The 70’s continues with more gliding grooves, in fact a real groove. “Real Groove” features some amazing vocalisations as Kylie ‘pants’ and effortlessly slithers across the ‘floor and I can already feel my feet moving to the rhythm of this sultry tune, hands clapping, arms in the air, down to the ground. This is infectious! “Real Groove” was released as the third single in January 2021 with a remix from Studio 5045 in connection with a live performance of the song along with singer Dua Lipa the month previous. The remix charted at No.10 on the UK single sales chart, No.95 on the top 100 and No.15 on the US dance hot play chart.
4. Monday Blues
Anyone who suffers from those ‘monday blues’, needs to play this song at the start of their week. Kylie’s quick and sassy vocal carries us off to the ripping chorus and of course, there is EVERY need to name every single day of the week, in a “Toy Boy”-esque homage to her former Stock Aitken Waterman artist. But Sinitta this is not. This is a crazy song and so much fun, uplifting and never taking itself too seriously, and neither is Kylie with her approach to this song.
Another storming opening to a song and a wicked beat and harmony meets us with a “Supernova”! Already, just a few seconds in, this HAS GOT TO BE a single! Retro heaven. Strong and commanding vocals from Kylie and more well placed vocalisations pump this ‘anthem’ right up to Jupiter and Mars, where Kylie takes her voice and the chorus. Who said this lady could not sing?! Who said this lady could not write an awesome song?! Start here then come back to me! I’ll say it again, Wooooooooh! A standout among standouts.
6. Say Something
Kylie kicked off the “Disco” era back in July 2020 with her plea for us all to come back together once again, having been ‘locked up’ for many weeks. “Say Something” sees Kylie reunited with Richard Stannard (“Please Stay”, “Love At First Sight”) and Ash Howes (“In My Arms”, “Shelby ’68”) and although not quite ‘disco-y’, the song represents something very different musically for Kylie. Her repeated question “can we all be as one again?” is telling of the year 2020 as she reminds us that “love is love, it never ends”. “Say Something” is accompanied with a ‘galactic’ video, again the likes of which we’ve not seen before, perhaps “The One” excepted with the song a multi layer of Kylie’s vocals as well as a choir towards the end that will be interesting when this song is played live. “Say Something” reached No.4 on the UK singles sales chart and No.56 on the Top 100 as well as reaching No.19 on the US dance/electronic songs chart.
7. Last Chance
Kylie has a last chance for a last dance next and there’s another infectious, in-your-face chorus that repeats it message over and over, again and again. Once again, the sound of 1978 prevails as if this was a cover of a song from that year. Very well crafted and executed in production, a lot of thought and time has gone into this album and with tracks like “Last Chance”, you might just think you’ve pulled out an album from that time and taken a trip down memory lane.
8. I Love It
“I Love It” was released as a ‘buzz’ single only weeks before the album and it swims deeper into disco territory with Latin vibes that sounds like Gloria Estefan meets Shapeshifters (remember them from “Lola’s Theme”?). With Stannard co-writing the song, it’s hardly surprising, as he and Kylie have previously ‘dabbled’ in Latin themes with “Please Stay”, twenty years earlier. Kylie really goes for some high notes at the end of the song as she gets in the mood and the rhythm of this gorgeous and sun-kissed anthem. Do you love it? I love it! So, c’mon let the music play…
9. Where Does The DJ Go?
The seventies continue with “Where Does The DJ Go?”. This is the song you never heard on the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ soundtrack that should of been there. As with many songs on this album, it’s short and snappy and lasts barely three minutes, but “Where Does The DJ Go?” is fast paced and you can almost hear Kylie taking sharp breaths as she hurriedly loosens and moves herself towards its close. So…do you know the answer to the question asked of the song?
10. Dance Floor Darling
I love songs with a sparkle and a magical quality and “Dance Floor Darling” has that in buckets, this is truly amazing and moving song with the added bonus of some electric guitars and yet again, Kylie’s sensational vocals and if that wasn’t enough, three-quarters of the way in, someone cranks it up and suddenly is roars off at 100mph! Woah, I never saw that coming! Definitely another contender for possible single release and I can already see the video for this one. Can you?! Oh Kylie, my dance floor darling…! x
Kylie takes it down next with the album’s first breather track, a down-tempo, but nevertheless a disco-paced beat with a Sister Sledge style feel and another instantly addictive chorus with plenty of high Kylie notes for the lady to reach and conquer. The song itself is ‘unstoppable’. “Forever and ever for every one”, as Kylie tells us and you feel this is another “Yours Sincerely“, a song from Kylie to us all. Bless you.
12. Celebrate You
“Mary, Mary”. Who? Well, maybe Kylie’s ‘disco’ alter ego as she offers more soothing and gentile harmonies as she declares that “everything I like about myself” and she “screams into the world” that she “celebrate’s you”. This is a song production not previously seen from Kylie before and also the first on the album that fades away, perhaps that’s because on the standard edition, it’s the last one. Of course, for all self-respecting Kylie fans, there’s more to come…
13. Till You Love Somebody
It’s always interesting to hear the ‘bonus’ tracks on a Kylie album that didn’t quite make the album proper or the ‘standard edition’, as they are generally of a class more than worthy of being there instead of other tracks and “Till You Love Somebody” is one of them. More brilliant beats and great vocals from Kylie as she tells you that “you don’t really know until you love somebody”, repeat that a few times and add some electric disco-dance beats and you have all the ingredients for an album standout. Love it, Love it, Love it.
14. Fine Wine
Recently a purveyor of her own wine brand (and very nice it is too!) Kylie now takes to singing about her latest business venture as if it needed any further promotion! and Kylie ‘raps’! Yes, we’ve not seen this since “One Boy Girl” from the “Rhythm Of Love” album, ironically, thirty years almost to the day that that iconic album was released! And Kylie gets some “beep beep”‘s in there too as if we needed no reminders of the era this album is set in! She’s celebrating again and “if you like the finer things in life”, then take a sip from a glass of Kylie’s own range.
15. Hey Lonely
More superb beats and rhythms next with the positivity-reach out song, “Hey Lonely” as Kylie asks, “what’cha doing for the rest of your life?”. Clearly with this song, you don’t need to be so as Kylie wants to give you her love, her heart, her sweetness and her devotion. Aww. Such a cute song and one for the latter part of an evening at the discotheque, once you’ve found that special someone. Right, Kylie?(!)
We return to the “I Love It” feeling as the last dance puts you into the “Spotlight” as Kylie dances the night away. And what a night we’ve had. And don’t forget, the night doesn’t have to end here, just press repeat and do it all again!
Well, what an incredible collection of anthems, this is surly Kylie’s most accomplished work to date and one which she has written with both experience and memories of her own past, while looking at the world today and injecting the antidote that we all need. It’s been said that Kylie has ‘saved’ 2020 and if you slide into this collection of tunes that last just under an hour, you may be cured yourself. I am sure this album will be a sure-fire hit with everyone who remembers the 70’s and the beginning of the 80’s, boogie nights and summer nights, as it just oozes chic, panache and taste. Every song is a highlight, but it has to be said that “Miss A Thing”, “Supernova”, “Dance Floor Darling” and “Unstoppable” are particular standouts. Everyone will have a favourite. What’s yours?
NB: “Disco” entered the UK album chart at number one, Kylie’s eighth chart topper, making her the first female artist to achieve number one albums in five consecutive decades. “Disco” outperformed its predecessor in every territory with global worldwide sales of 122,000 copies compared to “Golden”‘s 101,000. The album also topped the chart back home in Australia and was a top ten hit across mainland Europe, her first in many countries since “Aphrodite”, ten years earlier. In the US, “Disco” charted at No.26, her third highest of all time (only “Aphrodite” and “Fever” have beaten that opening entry).
“Disco” was certified Silver in the UK for shipments of 60,000 copies in its second week of release and attainted Gold status (100,000 copies) in week six, the fastest selling album in that country, again, since “Aphrodite”, ten years earlier.
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