Kylie Minogue : Fever

Eternal pop princess shows the upstarts how it's done.

As younger female pop idols self-destruct around her, the enduring Kylie continues to show them how it’s done: with taste, style and while wearing as few clothes as possible. Kylie, of course, wants fame as much as they do – she just has the sense not to look like she does. So while Geri and Posh are despised, Kylie has a special place in the nation’s heart. We put a brave face on it when she makes a wonky record, and put out the bunting when she makes a good one.

Fortunately for her, she’s just made a very good one. The linear and insidious ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ is the trash pop single of the year, by far Kylie‘s best tune since the classic early-90s run from ‘Better The Devil You Know’ to ‘Shocked’. In fact, it’s so good that it crops up twice on ‘Fever’, the second time masquerading as another number called ‘Come Into My World’.

The rest of Kylie‘s eighth – eighth! – album updates the frothy disco of last year’s ‘Light Years’ opus. Having realised that even she was out-camped by Daft Punk‘s ‘Discovery’ LP, Kylie‘s producers (teen pop stalwarts Stannard and Gallagher, ex-pop stars Cathy Dennis and Rob Davis, among others) have thumbed through our Gap-advertising, French robot heroes’ handbook. Thus that filter disco effect (ie. the one that sounds like you’ve gone under water and then ecstatically come up for air) is splashed all over ‘Love At First Sight’ and the title track; ‘Give It To Me’, meanwhile, basically ‘Red Alert’ by Basement Jaxx.

It’s a bit cheeky, but that’s Kylie, and that’s pop. Where the songs are as good as ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ it works beautifully. In the pop album tradition, they’re almost all near the start. ‘Love At First Sight’ is a knickers-aloft disco stormer, the poised, angular ‘Fever’ flirts with greatness and the closing ‘Burning Up’, despite having lyrics that sound like they’ve been translated from the Japanese via a Serbo-Croation rhyming dictionary, is a whole hen night rolled into four minutes – but classy. The rest is as effervescent as a foot spa, and with about as much depth. But if you’re looking for depth in a Kylie album, you clearly don’t know her arse from your Elbow.

Alex Needham