Like Tori Amos and Peter Gabriel before her, Kylie Minogue has decided to revisit her 25-year back catalogue with a full orchestra, and her own band to boot. It's a brave gambit. Orchestral arrangements work well enough with the more expansive pop songs, but the quickfire hooks of Kylie's oeuvre? That's a different kettle of fish.
Sure enough, some of the Stock Aitken Waterman material sounds too compact to take the weight – Better the Devil You Know gets a Bacharach treatment but lacks depth stripped of its electronic sheen, while Never Too Late sounds empty set in a smoky jazz club.
But then the revelations come…
A girl-group swing through The Locomotion is a blast, Love at First Sight becomes a sweet folk-pop noodle in the mould of Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz, and I Should Be So Lucky – with its fairy strings and sense of bliss – is suddenly the dream it was always meant to be.
And through it all, Kylie's in warm, seductive voice. There's a touch of the nasal squeaks here and there, but that's just a hint of familiarity in an otherwise intriguing new adventure. Highly recommended!