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Kylie Minogue: Light Years (2000)

November 9, 2011

picture of kylie minogue light yearsRoll: 3-7-4
Album: Kylie Minogue, Light Years

The title could suggest Kylie‘s first album of the new millennium was light years away from her previous work. Not really. It does mark a turning point in her music in that it’s the first to unabashedly embrace the retro/disco-diva textures that would become a hallmark of her subsequent albums. But that’s not exactly adventurous new territory for a dance-pop artist. Several albums earlier she’d already broken away from the pure bubblegum pop of her Stock-Aitken-Waterman years and had moved on to a more skeezy (i.e., Madonna-esque) flavour of bubblegum, so the adult themes are, if anything, a little toned down.

Not toned down is the decadent party atmosphere, though it’s a pretty innocently decadent party. It’s more white light sparkling off mirror-balls and less doing white lines off cleavage in a dark corner.

Where Light Years shines brightest is in the disco elements mentioned above. The first four tracks are flawless house and euro-disco dance-pop. The album starts to stutter in a hit-and-miss way after that with some dodgy tracks (the abysmal ballad “Bittersweet Goodbye”, the horrific “Loveboat” and “Kids”, and the merely annoying “Koocachoo” being the worst offenders). Stellar tracks like “Your Disco Needs You”—with its gay mens’ chorus style vocals—and “Under The Influence Of Love” make up for having to reach for the skip button.

That isn’t to say it isn’t all a little silly. If this music makes you picture sequined bathing suits at a pool party, and it probably does, the pool could very well be full of Cheese-Whiz. But, like all of Kylie’s most successful work, it’s done with such an audacious display of feel-good sincerity it’s hard not to feel your brain dismissing the heavy lactose content and forcing you to smile.

Even if you’re asking yourself, “Good god, why am I enjoying this?”

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