Kylie Minogue: Disco
In a year of disco, Kylie shows the girls how it’s done.
BY: NICK LEVINE
Kylie Minogue has been providing the soundtrack to LGBTQ club nights, predrinks, and power walks since the late ‘80s, when she broke through with an infectious cover of “The Loco-Motion.” Since then, she’s established herself as an enduring icon with timeless pop moments including “Better the Devil You Know,” “Spinning Around,” “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” “Love at First Sight,” and “Wow.”
Along the way she’s also proven herself to be a top-tier queer ally. When one country asked for the same-sex kisses to be cut from her joyous “All the Lovers” music video, Kylie flat out refused. She’s just dropped her 15th studio album Disco, an irresistible listen which definitely lives up to its title, so here’s a track-by-track guide to the latest Minogue opus.
Disco begins with a horn-fueled beauty which fully captures the headrush of falling in love: "It's crazy, I'm falling / I don't know what else to call it." From the off, it's obvious that Disco is going to provide some much-needed positivity and escapism at the end of a very testing year.
MISS A THING
There’s more than a dash of Daft Punk to Disco’s second track, which features glistening filter house beats, glitzy strings, and some subtle vocoder flourishes. The song’s carpe diem message is elegantly executed with a classic Kylie couplet: "Get that body up on the catwalk / Can't sleep through your life like a lapdog." Well, quite.
This seductive funky strut would fit snugly onto Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia album, but still feels quintessentially Kylie. When she observes that a romantic rival has "got that perfect body, but she ain't got the moves," it's as close as a Minogue would ever get to being combative.
Look, there's no getting around it: this Latin-influenced living for the weekend banger is cheesy. But if you can't enjoy some lovingly crafted cheese during a global pandemic, well, when can you? Kylie has been able to sell pop fromage since her early days working with the Stock Aitken Waterman hit-making team, and she commits fully to "Monday Blues" like the total pro that she is.
All swirling strings and sticky vocoder hooks, "Supernova" is the sort of euphoric disco bop that makes even cleaning the kitchen feel exciting. Kylie really rises to the challenge with a gutsy and lusty performance that underlines what an underrated pop vocalist she is.
When it dropped in July, some fans complained that "Say Something" was too subdued to be the lead single from a Kylie album. They probably had a point, but there's no denying this cosmic disco bop is a real grower. It's a song which demonstrates Kylie's empathy and cleverness as a songwriter. When she sings "can we all be as one again?," it's a touching moment which chimes perfectly with these Covid times.
Sure, there's a certain melodic similarity to Abba's disco dazzler "Voulez Vous," but does it really matter? "Last Chance" is one of the album's most uptempo moments and features some prime Kylie lyrics: "Nights are for having fun / Summer's for loving / Sometimes we fall in love / All of a sudden." Seriously, Ms. Minogue just wrote your M.O. for Pride season 2021.
I LOVE IT
Like "Say Something," Kylie co-wrote this one with Richard "Biff" Stannard, who previously helped her fashion the classic Kylie bangers "Love at First Sight," "In Your Eyes," and "The One." "I Love It" isn't quite as sublime as that holy trinity, but its blissful disco shimmer comes pretty close.
WHERE DOES THE DJ GO?
Kylie namechecks "I Will Survive" on this one, which tells you everything you need to know. It's a full-throttle disco assault with sassy handclaps, Chic-style guitar parts, and a delirious chorus that she clearly relishes singing. But seriously, to quote La Minogue, "Where does the DJ go when the party's over tonight?" We have a feeling her old pals the Scissor Sisters might have the answer.
DANCE FLOOR DARLING
This utterly lovely album highlight has the album’s most glorious chorus and one of its cutest couplets: "Shake it on thе floor now / Like Studio 54 now." There’s also a campy spoken-word bit that harks back to Kylie’s Village People tribute “Your Disco Needs You” and a climactic tempo change that feels, well, a bit like a bosh of poppers.
Disco sashays elegantly into electro-funk territory with this purposeful bop on which Kylie gets to show off her upper register. On an album filled with cute moments, this is surely one of the cutest.
According to Kylie, "Celebrate You" is the first song she's ever written in the third person. It's essentially a platonic love letter to a fictional character named Mary, whom Kylie describes as "anyone and everyone needs reassurance" and also an Auntie "who's had a few too many [drinks]" at the pub. It’s warm, well-meaning and completely adorable: much like Kylie herself.