RIYL: Madonna, Donna Summer, Scissor Sisters
God love Astralwerks for taking on the thankless chore of releasing a Kylie Minogue album in the United States. Mind you, her output over the last ten years has been just as good as Madonna’s, and she’s a megastar everywhere else in the world. But for whatever reason, the girl just cannot gain a strong foothold on the American charts, which makes being her American distributor a bit of a fool’s errand.
You can’t blame them for thinking that each record will be the one to break her, though. Her last album X came armed with the insanely catchy “Wow,” and her latest, Aphrodite, is practically the Supernatural of dance pop, boasting contributions and production from Stuart Price, Keane’s Tim Rice-Oxley, lead Scissor Sister Jake Shears, Calvin Harris, and a small army of UK hitmakers (Kish Mauve and Starsmith, to name a couple). The majority of the album is admittedly more Euro-friendly – the Shears/Harris track, “Too Much,” seems destined for the UK Top Ten – but “Get Outta My Way” can hold its own with anything Rihanna’s released since “Umbrella,” while “Closer” is as epic a three-minute dance track as you’re likely to find. (Muse needs to cover this, stat.) The title track is one of her best singles in years, a drumline-laden declaration of girl power that will make Gwen Stefani weep with envy.
The back half of the album can’t quite keep up with the fast and furious front half, but there are no truly duff tracks, either. Aphrodite may not make anyone throw out their copy of Like a Prayer, but at least three of these songs will end up ruling the world. Well, everywhere except the US, likely. Pity. (Astralwerks 2010)