It hardly matters what this album is like. By the time you’re as famous as Kylie, the trivial issue of releasing records must be a mere technicality, a way to fill days, like ladies who lunch. Even if you can’t name any song she’s done in the last five years, you can probably name at least a couple of her ex-boyfriends. No matter how brilliant or awful her musical output has been, her fame has remained a constant. She’s beyond a surname, beyond mere records.
It would have destroyed most recovering from the shame of ‘I Should Be So Lucky’, the public discovery of sex, the terrible films and the wannabe-indie James Dean Bradfield-penned tracks. But Kylie‘s capacity for reinvention is staggering and with ‘Light Years’ she’s done it again. Successfully too.
This is Kylie dropping her considerable concern for cool and bouncing back to her disco-pop roots. Maybe she can’t afford to repeat the commercial failure of her last eponymous album or maybe she’s just realised this is what she does best. Either way, ‘Light Years’ is all you need to know about Kylie in less than an hour: fun, perfectly-formed, not too taxing and occasionally annoying.
Apparently, when Robbie Williams first met Kylie, he told her all she needed was some good tunes to revive her success. Though it’s painful to agree with The Great Ego, he’s almost right. The pair’s duet, ‘Kids’, is simply a great, joyous pop song while current slinky single ‘On A Night Like This’, works because it doesn’t revolve awkwardly round a random disco beat. Like Spiller‘s ‘Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)’, it would work as a song with or without the obligatory nod to the cornier end of Ibiza.
All Robbie forgot to tell Kylie is that [I]ironic[/I] foot tapping is never a good idea. As if afraid the sheer joy of this record will trigger accusations of Europop hell, Kylie seems to exaggerate the cheesiness of some tracks to prove she [I]knows[/I] she’s naff and so it’s OK to like her. But the reference to “Martinis and bikinis” in ‘Loveboat’ and the obvious aping of Pet Shop Boys‘ ‘Go West’ in ‘Your Disco Needs You’ are condescending rather than knowing. People aren’t fans of Kylie to be ironic any more and she shouldn’t undersell herself to appeal to the few who can’t cope with pop unless it’s tongue is stuck in its cheek.
She [I]is[/I] Kylie, after all.