Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"All The Lovers" Video Features Little Clothing, Less Feeling

The buzz-inspiring music video for Kylie Minogue's new song "All The Lovers," the lead single from her upcoming eleventh studio album Aphrodite, premiered earlier this week, finally placating excited fans and those intrigued by the enticing yet vague still shots released several weeks ago showing the Australian singer embroiled above and within a seeming heap of amorous-looking everymen and -women in white (and often rather bad) underwear.

The funny thing is, within the first five seconds of the finished video it becomes clear that these promo shots were not teases so much as summaries: the general premise of that which many of the more satisfied critics have been calling a "concept video" involves a noticeably clothed Minogue (who just turned 42 this week) singing magnanimously atop a literal pile of writhing, smooching plebians clad in white skivvies. Oh, and there's a white horsie, and a white elephant balloon, and a white dove. And once in a while the folks in the Orgy Pile wave one arm up and over their heads to the other side, and then back again in unison with the music. The choreography is truly peerless.

As you may remember I was rather cool on the song itself at first listen, warming up slightly to it when I decided it was, for once, about a relationship slightly more complicated than the sexual ones about which Minogue has made a lucrative (and, I should note, first-rate) career singing. I appreciated her willingness to explore new themes and show musical growth alongside inevitable advances in age and of course admiring the fully deft handling in production on display; "All The Lovers" is a model example of the best results from a current trend toward midtempo dance tracks by solo female artists.

As for the video, I found it even less compelling than I initially found the track on its own, to the extent that I am happy to allow the humorists over at the British pop music site Popjustice (one of the only other online entities that largely embraces many of my same ideas about the critical merits and potential of mainstream pop music) to speak for me with their chuckle-inducing video walkthrough. I will say that my general antipathy (I wouldn't call it "disappointment" as Popjustice does, only because I was expecting very little, given my cool response to the song itself) stems from the fact that the video seems to me to negate the qualities I ended up discovering in the track - in other words, the video for a song I finally came to admire for its thoughtful and emotionally open approach to passion beyond sex is nevertheless all Trust me, this is not something I typically hold against any video, song, or anything else for that matter; in this case it is the disconnect I see between song and video (concept is great unless it's not the right concept) as well as the disconnect I felt between the usually dynamically engaging singer and the others in the video around her as well as the viewer of said video. When I'm watching an incredibly sexy Aussie knockout lying in a den of nearly nude young lovers of both sexes, I feel like my main thoughts ought to be alog other lines than "Wow, I wonder if she feels as claustrophobic as I do just watching."

I could be wrong. Thoughts?

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