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Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite

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Aphrodite

Kylie Minogue

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By time of Kylie Minogue’s eleventh album, 2010's Aphrodite, she had been releasing records for over 20 years. Most artists who’ve stuck around for that long end up rehashing their past catalogs and/or growing stale, but Kylie manages to avoid these fates by constantly working with new collaborators, keeping up on musical trends without pandering to them, and most importantly, never taking herself too seriously. Sure, she’s serious about making great dance music, but she never confuses her status as a pop icon with a desire to send out a message in her music. Aphrodite rarely strays past sweet love songs or happy dance anthems; its deepest message is “everything is beautiful.” You have to credit the songwriters (big names like Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters and Calvin Harris, as well as behind-the-scenes people like Sebastian Ingrosso, and Pascal Gabriel) for tailoring the efforts to Kylie’s strengths. Also on board is exec producer Stuart Price, who puts it all together, giving the record a focused sound that was lacking on her previous record, X, which touched convincingly on a myriad of styles and influences, but which ended up sounding a little scattered. Here the main sound is the kind of glittery disco pop that really is her strong suit. The various producers keep their eyes on the dancefloor throughout, crafting shiny and sleek tracks that sound custom-built to blast out of huge speaker columns. Fortunately for non-club goers, they never pave over the interesting details that make records good for home or headphone listening. The squiggly synths of the massively catchy “All the Lovers,” the sighing background vocals and spiraling harpsichord-esque synths on the ominous "Closer," and the heavenly extended breakdown on “Looking for an Angel” are the kind of hooks that reward repeated listens. While Kylie is fortunate that so many excellent writers and producers are willing to work with her, they are lucky to be working with Kylie too; she can put over a shimmering and funky track like “Can’t Beat the Feeling” with ease, stomp through a dancefloor-filling jam like “Put Your Hands Up” with power, or cruise through a breezy summertime jam like “Better Than Today” with all kinds of laid-back charm. Sure, she’ll never be mistaken for an octave-stretching diva or a vocal powerhouse, but her slightly nasal, girl-next-door vocals serve her needs perfectly. She soars through the songs with just the right blend of emotion and restraint, adding some sass when needed (as on the thumping title track or “Get Outta My Way”) or some quiet melancholy when the mood arises (“Illusion”). This ability to tailor her performance to the song is a rare quality in the pop world of the early 2010s. It may lead people to underestimate Kylie's artistry but really, Aphrodite is the work of someone who knows exactly what her skills are and who to hire to help showcase them to perfection. She and her team have crafted an album that’s both full of songs that could/should hit the upper reaches of the charts, and also a collection of songs that hang together as an album. One of her best, in fact.
© Tim Sendra /TiVo

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Aphrodite

Kylie Minogue

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1
All the Lovers
00:03:19

Jim Eliot, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Writer, Drum Programmer - Mima Stilwell, Backing Vocals, Writer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Stuart Price, Producer - Jemima Stilwell, Composer, Writer - James Eliot, Composer, Writer

© 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

2
Get Outta My Way
00:03:38

Damon Sharpe, Producer, Engineer, Writer - Pete Hoffman, Engineer, Digital Editor - Lucas Secon, Composer, Producer, Additional Keyboards, Writer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Stuart Price, Producer - Daniel Davidsen, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Programmer, Writer - Peter Wallevik, Composer, Producer, Programmer, Writer - Alexandra Segal, Backing Vocals - Mich Hansen, Composer, Producer, Percussion, Writer - Mads Nilsson, Mixing Engineer - Damon Reinagle, Composer, Writer - Maime Hladiy, Bass Guitar

© 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

3
Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)
00:03:37

Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Stuart Price, Producer - Fin Dow-Smith, Producer, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Olivia Nervo, Backing Vocals, Writer - Miriam Nervo, Backing Vocals, Writer

© 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

4
Closer
00:03:09

Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Stuart Price, Producer, Writer - Beatrice Hatherley, Backing Vocals, Writer

© 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

5
Everything Is Beautiful
00:03:25

Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Beatriz Artola, Engineer - Tim Rice-Oxley, Keyboards, Piano, Writer - Fraser T. Smith, Producer, Guitar, Writer, Mixing Engineer

© 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

6
Aphrodite
00:03:45

Nerina Pallot, Producer, Engineer, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Stuart Price, Producer, Additional Engineer, Additional Keyboards - Andy Chatterley, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Piano, Writer, Drum Programmer, Synthesizer

© 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

7
Illusion
00:03:21

Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Dave Emery, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Stuart Price, Producer, Writer - Nathan Khors, Assistant Engineer - Brian Gottshall, Assistant Engineer

© 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

8
Better Than Today
00:03:25

Nerina Pallot, Producer, Engineer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Stuart Price, Producer, Additional Engineer - Ben Vella, Electric Guitar - Andy Chatterley, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Piano, Writer, Drum Programmer, Synthesizer

© 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

9
Too Much
00:03:16

Jake Shears, Writer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Calvin Harris, Producer, Arranger, Writer, Mixing Engineer, All Instruments

© 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

10
Cupid Boy
00:04:26

Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Stuart Price, Producer - Magnus Lidehäll, Producer, Writer - Luciana Caporaso, Writer - Sebastian Ingrosso, Producer, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Nick Clow, Writer - Mangus Lidehall, Mixing Engineer

© 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

11
Looking for an Angel
00:03:49

Ayak Thiik, Backing Vocals - Geoff Pesche, Mastering Engineer - Dave Emery, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Stuart Price, Producer, Writer - Nathan Khors, Assistant Engineer - Brian Gottshall, Assistant Engineer

© 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

12
Can't Beat the Feeling
00:04:10

Matt Prime, Writer - Kylie Minogue, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Stuart Price, Producer - Pascal Gabriel, Producer, Writer, All Instruments - Hannah Robinson, Backing Vocals, Writer - Borge Fjordheim, Producer, Writer, All Instruments - Richard Phillips, Keyboards, Writer, Synthesizer

© 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

Album Description

By time of Kylie Minogue’s eleventh album, 2010's Aphrodite, she had been releasing records for over 20 years. Most artists who’ve stuck around for that long end up rehashing their past catalogs and/or growing stale, but Kylie manages to avoid these fates by constantly working with new collaborators, keeping up on musical trends without pandering to them, and most importantly, never taking herself too seriously. Sure, she’s serious about making great dance music, but she never confuses her status as a pop icon with a desire to send out a message in her music. Aphrodite rarely strays past sweet love songs or happy dance anthems; its deepest message is “everything is beautiful.” You have to credit the songwriters (big names like Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters and Calvin Harris, as well as behind-the-scenes people like Sebastian Ingrosso, and Pascal Gabriel) for tailoring the efforts to Kylie’s strengths. Also on board is exec producer Stuart Price, who puts it all together, giving the record a focused sound that was lacking on her previous record, X, which touched convincingly on a myriad of styles and influences, but which ended up sounding a little scattered. Here the main sound is the kind of glittery disco pop that really is her strong suit. The various producers keep their eyes on the dancefloor throughout, crafting shiny and sleek tracks that sound custom-built to blast out of huge speaker columns. Fortunately for non-club goers, they never pave over the interesting details that make records good for home or headphone listening. The squiggly synths of the massively catchy “All the Lovers,” the sighing background vocals and spiraling harpsichord-esque synths on the ominous "Closer," and the heavenly extended breakdown on “Looking for an Angel” are the kind of hooks that reward repeated listens. While Kylie is fortunate that so many excellent writers and producers are willing to work with her, they are lucky to be working with Kylie too; she can put over a shimmering and funky track like “Can’t Beat the Feeling” with ease, stomp through a dancefloor-filling jam like “Put Your Hands Up” with power, or cruise through a breezy summertime jam like “Better Than Today” with all kinds of laid-back charm. Sure, she’ll never be mistaken for an octave-stretching diva or a vocal powerhouse, but her slightly nasal, girl-next-door vocals serve her needs perfectly. She soars through the songs with just the right blend of emotion and restraint, adding some sass when needed (as on the thumping title track or “Get Outta My Way”) or some quiet melancholy when the mood arises (“Illusion”). This ability to tailor her performance to the song is a rare quality in the pop world of the early 2010s. It may lead people to underestimate Kylie's artistry but really, Aphrodite is the work of someone who knows exactly what her skills are and who to hire to help showcase them to perfection. She and her team have crafted an album that’s both full of songs that could/should hit the upper reaches of the charts, and also a collection of songs that hang together as an album. One of her best, in fact.
© Tim Sendra /TiVo

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