CD Review – Kylie Minogue “Body Language”
Body Language is Kylie Minogue’s validation after she returned stateside with Fever. It’s an album easily described as a career pinnacle. Body Language is less immediate and more experimental than Fever, a midpoint between the alternative/electronica of 1997’s Impossible Princess and Minogue’s mainstream millennial work.
Body Language is still simple dance-pop, but this time she’s put together an album that works as a whole. It’s filled with high-octane energy that never gets annoying or boring. The result is a highly satisfying dance album.
She chooses to steer clear of the light candy beats of the last two records by expanding her musical repertoire to include elements of ’80s synth pop, retro club beats and even a dash of Eminem-esque raps.
With the exception of two tracks, including “After Dark” (a contribution from the writer/producer of Minogue’s global smash “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”), the album features up-and-coming collaborators.
Despite the numerous producers and varied songwriters, the album is a surprisingly cohesive album.The bass-heavy “Sweet Music” is an ode to the modern singer/producer partnership: “I think we’re onto something/ Your taste it mirrors mine/ So hot and in the moment.” On the album’s first single “Slow,” Minogue croons over physical attraction, “Got me affected/ Spun me 180 degrees/ It’s so electric/ Slow it down and dance with me.”
BL is littered with standout tracks, including the synth-filled, Jamiroqaui inspired “Chocolate” and the hip-hop flavored “Red Blooded Woman.” On “Secret (Take You Home),” Minogue raps the title lyric to Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam’s top 40 hit “I Wonder If I Take You Home.” Fans that still can’t shake-off the infectious disco-pop of Fever shouldn’t be troubled, as BL comes equipped with club-ready jams, including the snappy “Still Standing” and the seductive “Obsession.”
Minogue’s awareness of her vocal limitations is refreshing. Rather than allowing the music to highlight her flaws, she instead lets it compliment her range.
The album does have a few sour spots. The bland “After Dark” and the U.S. bonus track “Cruise Control” lowers the quality of the whole disc. However, BL is a piece of danceable fun.
Minogue is known for making unapologetic and feverishly catchy pop music, which is hard to resist. Yet the major turnoff concerning Minogue is the fact that she doesn’t have much depth behind her catchy pop sensibilities.
While Madonna and Britney attempt to be edgy through trashy and predictable behavior (i.e., VMA kiss), Kylie has kept a low profile and crafted what’s possibly the best record of her 17-year career. BL is the result of a ultra-pop diva putting the focus squarely on the music instead of relying on gimmicks.
Though BL probably won’t capture the fickle U.S. audience, Minogue’s willingness to take calculated risks with her sound within the genre of club-bopping music is what makes her an international sensation.