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Kylie Minogue - X

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X

Kylie Minogue

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By the time of 2004's Body Language, Kylie Minogue was seemingly unassailable, with three hit albums, a number of hit singles, and a recharged career that only a few years before had seemed precarious at best. She backed up the new material with a collection (Ultimate Kylie) that boasted excellent new material as well. All things seemed to be destined for further glory. And then, unfortunately, cancer hit. While she did recover fully from her illness, there was speculation on how she would deal with this event, and how her music and choice of collaborators would be affected. Many artists have come back from a potentially life-threatening disease with work that is a flat-out declaration of victory, songs and images that are thinly shrouded metaphors for rebirth or newfound strength. Therefore, it must have surprised many that the leadoff from Kylie's new record would be "2 Hearts," a '70s-style Roxy Music-esque glam jam that clocks in at under three minutes, and is -- seemingly -- devoid of any sort of "I'm back from the brink" anthemizing. Couple this pop gem with the gaudy early-'80s artwork, and the buzz was that Kylie was not only back, but back with a Me Decade swagger and ready to take back the momentum she'd been building since 2000. But to call X an '80s record is really only getting halfway there. Sure, the cover art is vintage 1982, and the majority of the record calls on production tricks and techniques that are of the same time, but much of the record calls on different eras -- not generalized decades as such, but eras in Kylie's own career. Most of the tracks could have fit in on earlier work, answering the question: what does a pop artist do when she's come full circle? She's been influenced as of late by '70s disco and '80s electro, but with X, it feels like Kylie has decided to take inspiration from Kylie herself. But there's more here than just that. From a musical standpoint, X is all over the map. If that's due in part or in whole to reassessing one's career, that's all well and good, but after the last three albums, it is not what her fans have really come to expect. To break it all down: after the nod to the days of Roxy and Bowie and Bolan in the aforementioned lead single (and fantastic album opener) -- which has a very warm, organic feel to it, almost conjuring up the heart musically -- the electronics kick in and an icy chill fills the room. From then on the album bounces back and forth from cold, calculated dance-pop that is more indicative of her recent work ("Like a Drug," "In My Arms," "Heart Beat Rock," "The One") and more personal, expansive work à la 1997's Impossible Princess and 1994's Kylie Minogue ("Sensitized," "Stars," "Cosmic"). While some of it is very very good (Guy Chambers' "Sensitized" is arguably the best track on the album, so much so that it's disappointing that she didn't work with him more on X), most of it lacks -- when all presented as a whole -- what the last few collections really had: consistency. X isn't a "piece" as, say, Light Years was. It feels more like an artist trying to make sure she has all her bases covered. She even touches -- for the most part -- on her recent illness with the admittedly strong "No More Rain." But while tracks like "Nu-di-ty" and "Speakerphone" would have sounded better on the last Robbie Williams record and working with Bloodshy & Avant is questionable from time to time, the majority of X is exactly what it's meant to be: a collection of songs by a pop artist who is aware of her past achievements and doubly aware of her need to stay relevant in the face of unwanted diversion.
© Christopher M. True /TiVo

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X

Kylie Minogue

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1
2 Hearts
00:02:51

Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Jim Eliot, Drums, Percussion, Electric Piano, Writer, Synthesizer, Theremin, Hand Clap - Mima Stilwell, Backing Vocals, Writer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Dave Bascombe, Mixing Engineer - Dan Grech-Marguerat, Engineer - Cesar Gimeno Lavin, Engineer - Moray McLaren, Bass Guitar - Kish Mauve, Producer, Engineer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

2
Like a Drug
00:03:17

Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Mads Nilsson, Mixing Engineer - Jonas Jeberg, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer, Vocal Arranger, Mixing Engineer - Adam Powers, Writer, Vocal Arranger - Engelina Andrina, Backing Vocals, Writer, Vocal Arranger - Mich Hedin Hanson, Producer, Percussion, Writer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

3
In My Arms
00:03:30

Ash Howes, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Richard Stannard, Producer, Writer - Paul Harris, Writer - Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Calvin Harris, Producer, Writer - Julian Peake, Writer - Tony Salter, Engineer - Ben Jackson, Assistant Engineer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

4
Speakerphone
00:03:54

Klas Åhlund, Writer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Pontus Winnberg, Producer, Additional Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Christian Karlsson, Producer, Additional Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Niklas Flyckt, Mixing Engineer - Henrik Jonback, Acoustic Guitar, Writer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

5
Sensitized
00:03:56

Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Guy Chambers, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Richard Flack, Engineer, Programmer, Backing Vocals, Mixing Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Cathy Dennis, Producer, Backing Vocals, Writer - Serge Gainsbourg, Writer - Paul Stanborough, Additional Engineer, Electric Guitar, Additional Programmer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

6
Heart Beat Rock
00:03:23

Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Calvin Harris, Producer, Writer - Karen Poole, Backing Vocals, Writer - Tony Salter, Engineer - John Lipsey, Writer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

7
The One
00:03:59

Ash Howes, Mixing Engineer - Russell Small, Composer, Producer, Percussion, Writer - James Wiltshire, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Richard Stannard, Composer, Producer, Writer - Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Composer, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Ian Kirkham, Alto Saxophone - Amanda Wilson, Additional Vocals - John Andersson, Composer, Writer - Johan Emmoth, Composer, Writer - Emma Holmgren, Composer, Writer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

8
No More Rain
00:04:01

Greg Kurstin, Producer - Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Karen Poole, Producer, Backing Vocals, Writer - Christian Karlsson, Writer - Jonas Quant, Writer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

9
All I See
00:02:56

Raymond Calhoun, Writer - Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Mads Nilsson, Mixing Engineer - Jonas Jeberg, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, Writer, Vocal Arranger - Edwin Serrano, Backing Vocals, Writer, Vocal Arranger - Mich Hedin Hanson, Producer, Percussion, Writer, Mixing Engineer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

10
Stars
00:03:42

Ash Howes, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Richard Stannard, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Paul Harris, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Seton Daunt, Guitar - Julian Peake, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

11
Wow
00:03:10

Greg Kurstin, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Writer, Mixing Engineer, All Instruments - Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - EDDIE MILLER, Additional Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Composer, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Karen Poole, Composer, Producer, Backing Vocals, Writer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

12
Nu-di-ty
00:03:03

Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Karen Poole, Backing Vocals, Writer - Eg White, Producer, Writer - Pontus Winnberg, Bass Guitar, Programmer - Christian Karlsson, Bass Guitar, Programmer, Writer - Niklas Flyckt, Mixing Engineer - Jonas Quant, Additional Programmer - Henrik Jonback, Guitar - Winnberg Minogue, Writer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

13
Cosmic
00:03:09

Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Eg White, Producer, Writer, Instruments - Matt Prisne, Producer, Mixing Engineer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

14
Heart Beat Rock (feat. MC Spank Rock) Benny Blanco Remix
00:03:13

Benny Blanco, Remixer - Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Calvin Harris, Producer, Writer - Karen Poole, Backing Vocals, Writer - Tony Salter, Engineer - John Lipsey, Writer

© 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2008 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

Albumbeschreibung

By the time of 2004's Body Language, Kylie Minogue was seemingly unassailable, with three hit albums, a number of hit singles, and a recharged career that only a few years before had seemed precarious at best. She backed up the new material with a collection (Ultimate Kylie) that boasted excellent new material as well. All things seemed to be destined for further glory. And then, unfortunately, cancer hit. While she did recover fully from her illness, there was speculation on how she would deal with this event, and how her music and choice of collaborators would be affected. Many artists have come back from a potentially life-threatening disease with work that is a flat-out declaration of victory, songs and images that are thinly shrouded metaphors for rebirth or newfound strength. Therefore, it must have surprised many that the leadoff from Kylie's new record would be "2 Hearts," a '70s-style Roxy Music-esque glam jam that clocks in at under three minutes, and is -- seemingly -- devoid of any sort of "I'm back from the brink" anthemizing. Couple this pop gem with the gaudy early-'80s artwork, and the buzz was that Kylie was not only back, but back with a Me Decade swagger and ready to take back the momentum she'd been building since 2000. But to call X an '80s record is really only getting halfway there. Sure, the cover art is vintage 1982, and the majority of the record calls on production tricks and techniques that are of the same time, but much of the record calls on different eras -- not generalized decades as such, but eras in Kylie's own career. Most of the tracks could have fit in on earlier work, answering the question: what does a pop artist do when she's come full circle? She's been influenced as of late by '70s disco and '80s electro, but with X, it feels like Kylie has decided to take inspiration from Kylie herself. But there's more here than just that. From a musical standpoint, X is all over the map. If that's due in part or in whole to reassessing one's career, that's all well and good, but after the last three albums, it is not what her fans have really come to expect. To break it all down: after the nod to the days of Roxy and Bowie and Bolan in the aforementioned lead single (and fantastic album opener) -- which has a very warm, organic feel to it, almost conjuring up the heart musically -- the electronics kick in and an icy chill fills the room. From then on the album bounces back and forth from cold, calculated dance-pop that is more indicative of her recent work ("Like a Drug," "In My Arms," "Heart Beat Rock," "The One") and more personal, expansive work à la 1997's Impossible Princess and 1994's Kylie Minogue ("Sensitized," "Stars," "Cosmic"). While some of it is very very good (Guy Chambers' "Sensitized" is arguably the best track on the album, so much so that it's disappointing that she didn't work with him more on X), most of it lacks -- when all presented as a whole -- what the last few collections really had: consistency. X isn't a "piece" as, say, Light Years was. It feels more like an artist trying to make sure she has all her bases covered. She even touches -- for the most part -- on her recent illness with the admittedly strong "No More Rain." But while tracks like "Nu-di-ty" and "Speakerphone" would have sounded better on the last Robbie Williams record and working with Bloodshy & Avant is questionable from time to time, the majority of X is exactly what it's meant to be: a collection of songs by a pop artist who is aware of her past achievements and doubly aware of her need to stay relevant in the face of unwanted diversion.
© Christopher M. True /TiVo

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