Monday, May 17, 2010

Kylie Minogue Finds the Love in New Single

Fans from all over the globe are celebrating the return of dance music goddess Kylie Minogue, whose new single "All the Lovers," from upcoming album Aphrodite (due July 5) dropped Friday on YouTube and various blogs and websites across the net. Having conquered breast cancer and an unsympathetic American radio industry, Minogue looks to conquer a post-Gaga club scene energized and de-marginalized by the fabulously popular performance artist with a downtempo summer love song in the vein of recent club favorites like Lady Gaga's "Dance in the Dark" and "Monster," Ke$ha's "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" and Robyn's upcoming "Dancing On My Own."

I admit that at first listen I was not much of a fan of the song, despite recognizing its technical merits. But since Minogue is one of my favorite artists and a musical force that should be treated with a certain extra amount of respect, I sat on my review for a few days over the weekend to see if it indeed had much in common with Gaga's music in its ability to initially elicit cool response but eventually invade the senses with pleasure and acceptance. Sure enough, on my ride home today I gave it another go, and everything clicked.

Lyrically, "All the Lovers" contains a depth and feeling uncharacteristic of much of Minogue's popular tracks, enough so to please even the Pitchfork crowd:

It's all I wanna do
So won't you dance?
I'm standing here with you
Why won't you move?
I'll get inside your groove
'Cause I'm on fire, fire, fire, fire

It hurts.
When you get too close
Oh baby, it hurts.
If love is really good
You just want more.
Even if it throws you
To the fire, fire, fire, fire

When Minogue coos these poignant words of desire, does anyone really think she's actually talking about dancing? Of course not, and when paired with the chorus, wherin she sings "All the lovers that have gone before,/ They don't compare to you./ Don't be frightened, just give me a little bit more," it is clear that the still uber-sexy forty year old isn't just all about sex, despite what her previous singles might suggest - and really never was, after all.

Musically, the single recalls Minogue's sizzler "Slow," although where the 2002 hit utilized the then-nascent minimalist trend in production to great effect, "All the Lovers" celebrates the similarly fresh style of deep, legato sound, which in this case comes to a head in the glorious, ecstatic climax. In those loud, joyous moments, you know that the immobile object of Kylie's affection has finally given in, and despite the fears that go along with the intensity of feeling that is love, begun to dance. It's a wonderful song, and it has all the potential to make this summer's club scene as uplifting and positive as Katy Perry's "California Gurls" does for mainstream pop. And that's something to really make you dance.

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