The year is 1987. Hair is large. Shoulders are padded. The Stock Aitken Waterman Hit Factory is running at full steam. From the humble beginnings of Ramsay Street, a musical star is born. So much has changed in 25 years but Kylie Minogue remains. Can her latest retrospective reveal the secret to her longevity?
By re-touching her back catalogue acoustically and with the heavenly hand of a full orchestra, Kylie has chosen to celebrate her 25 years as pop’s princess by going over her greatest hits with a touch of grandeur.
‘Slow’ now has a sultry and seductive lounge blues cool while ‘The Locomotion’ is given a rollicking 60’s Motown swing and ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ is driven by a weird cinematic menace – like a tense Bond movie scene.
Robbed of their teenage perkiness, ‘Better The Devil You Know’ and ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ become elegiac and tender numbers that reflect the maturity and wisdom that Kylie’s gathered whilst rolling down a long and rocky road.
What was probably the most obvious track for the orchestral treatment is probably also the most unnecessary. The original version of ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow’ can’t really be bettered, and calling rock’s greatest twisted pervert poet Nick Cave back into the studio seems a tad redundant. It still rumbles with the same lamentful dread but it lacks that full-blown majesty that once made it so compelling.
New track ‘Flower’ seems to drag itself down the middle of the road with a weighty schmaltz, but overall Kylie’s Midas touch shines brighter than ever.
Stripping away all traditional pop production draws your focus to exactly why Kylie has stood the test of time. The intimate Abbey Road setting acts as a prism to get up close and personal with the story of the real Kylie Minogue. Beneath the gloss, the bubblegum and the trends stand just two things: a flawless voice and the art of an impeccably timeless song.