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Rant Of The Day
Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

THIS RANT 04/10/2000


Kylie Minogue and the art of pop

Like many a person across the country, I raced out last week to buy the new Kylie Minogue disc, Light Years. This is the album which is being widely promoted as Kylie's 'comeback' record, although that doesn't make much sense in the context of Australia; where Impossible Princess, the preceding work, was the biggest-selling album release of her career. This was not the case in the UK, where the record got retitled to avoid offending Princess Di fans, delayed as a result and then flopped, resulting in Kylie dumping her contract with Deconstruction and signing with Parlophone. In Australia, she's stuck with Mushroom throughout.

Unlike, apparently, every other journalist in the country, I don't buy the argument that this record marks Kylie's "return to pop". Sure, there was stuff co-written by the Manic Street Preachers on the last album, but the essential sound was still more likely to get airplay on 2DAY-FM than JJJ. The whole alternative/pop sound argument is boring in this context; if the record is good, who cares about the classification?

What is interesting about Light Years is the way in which it so obviously pays tribute to the sound of other artists, even when it's not an out-and-out cover like Love Unlimited's 'Under The Influence Of Love'. The opening phrases of current single 'On A Night Like This', for instance, sound eerily like Olivia Newton-John circa 'Twist Of Fate' in 1983. 'Your Disco Needs You' (one of three Robbie Williams co-writes on the record) is total Village People via the Pet Shop Boys. (Oddly, while Kylie's duet with Robbie, 'Kids', is featured, her PSB duet from last year, 'In Denial', isn't.) And 'Disco Down' reinforces the Kylie/ABBA connection, namechecking 'Dancing Queen' and lifting the guitar hook from 'Does Your Mother Know?', with a touch of Texas' 'Summer Son' (itself a fine ABBA pastiche) thrown in. This can only be a good thing.


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