Carrie & Lowell
Back in the popular consciousness, Kylie wants to reclaim the rest of pop as well.
We never forget our love for Kylie – it just takes a little reminder every now and then, whether it's tiny gold hotpants or a big spinning red chair. What The Voice has done this year is reacquaint us with her charm, and that's a good climate to release an album in.
First single Into The Blue does all the right things. Sweeping strings and rave lasers make it plain that she's still at the cutting edge of pop but has the kind of dignity a quarter of a century in the game allows. Kylie plays fast and loose with that dignity though, the double sex whammy of the disco-funky Sexy Love and the dubsteppy Sexercize ("I wanna see you sexercize/Feel the burn") testing any good will.
Luckily, she still has an enviable contacts book, and Pharrell's on hand to continue his extraordinary purple patch with the quite brilliant I Was Gonna Cancel, a fabulously perky bit of slap-bass electro-pop. Haim/Vampire Weekend producer Ariel Rechtshaid chips in as well with the Scandipop-flavoured If Only.
Kiss Me Once peaks with its title track – a Pet Shop Boys-meet-Madonna piece of lush 80s dance – but there are still two to go, a wan ballad with Enrique Iglesias (Beautiful) and a cipher of throwaway Eurodance (Fine). When Kylie hits she's peerless; when she misses she gets lost. Kiss Me Once keeps her in the spotlight.