Monday, July 12, 2010

Can’t Beat The Feeling: The Aphrodite Album Review

Her last album “X” was criticized for not being very cohesive, (I loved it and don’t get all the fuss) so for her 11th studio production “Aphrodite” Kylie enlists the help of dance music wizard Stuart Price (Madonna, The Killers, Scissor Sisters) to produce a tightly woven piece of dance floor heaven. The album opens up with one of Kylie’s most hypnotic songs “All The Lovers” and like the video it places her at the top of her game, like the Goddess of music amongst her adoring fans.

From there on the disc doesn’t stop from the soon to be smashes “Get Out Of My Way” and “Put Your Hands Up”. Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters fame offer the frisky “Too Much” and Stuart does a great job on the heavenly “Looking For An Angel” and “Better Than Today” which got previewed on her North American tour. The less successful tracks are the slower “Everything Is Beautiful” and “Illusion” which I would have replaced with the Xenomania produced songs “Mighty Rivers” and “Heartstrings” which ended up as bonus songs on Itunes and the latter on the Japan version of the album. Best tracks are the title song with it’s African flavoured drum beats, and anthem “I’m fierce and I’m feeling mighty, I’m a golden girl, I’m an Aphrodite Alright.. alright!”, and the last song tucked away at the end “Can’t Beat This Feeling” which sums up the album.

Aphrodite” is up there with her best albums “Light Years”, and “Rhythm Of Love” and dare I say better then “Fever”.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Night Work: Scissor Sisters Album Review

After a bit of disappointing sophomore album Scissor Sisters get back to basic as their 3rd album “Night Work” takes its influence from Giorgio Moroder and the late 70’s early 80’s dance grooves. From the Robert Mapplethorpe cover butt shot to the bright magenta colours this disc is unmistakably gay. Produced by dance wizard Stuart Price (Madonna, The Killers, Kylie Minogue), is a tight album with only the lead single “Fire With Fire” feeling out of place. Not sure why it was chosen, but it does have an Elton John quality to it, not unlike their previous mega hit, “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing”. Best track is “Invisible Light” the Pet Shop Boys-esque fabulous six minutes of disco trance heaven with special guest Ian McKellen, (think of Vincent Price’s part in Thriller) the song was chosen as a buzz song before album came out, a real mistake not to release it as an official single.


Other fun grooves are “Any Which Way” a 70's flavored R & B Jam, the title track which sound like a cross between the Cars and Flashdance's "Manic", “Something Like This”, and “Running Out” which sounds eerily familiar to The Cure. Ana Matronic’s sultry vocals take the lead on the electronic 80’s sounding “Skin This Cat”. There’s no doubt the disc with songs like “Skin Tight” which segues right into “Sex And Violence” were influence by lead singer Jake Shears trip to Berlin Germany, where he “cut loose” after suffering from burn out.

The only thing missing from this set is a real killer commercial single, but then the Sisters have never been main stream, and remain a cult favorite in North America.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Robotic Dance: Body Talk Part 1 album review

I'm aware that Robyn is releasing 2 more EP albums this year but after waiting as long as 5 years for some fans this disc of only 8 tracks is a bit disappointing and leaves you wanting more. I don't like songs that do more talking then singing, the first track “Don’t F*cking Tell Me What To Do” is just too repetitive, and the swearing doesn't help. The next 7 tracks are unmistakably Robyn, from the attitude to the phrasing to the electro beats. Lead single “Dancing On My Own” picks up from where her 2007 hit “With Every Heartbeat” left off. Best tracks are “Crying On My Own”, and the reggae flavored “Dancehall Queen” (one of two songs not self penned). “Hang With Me” is a nice break and a beautiful acoustic ballad with a sweet melody. The last song “Jag vet en dejlig " (I know a lovely rose) is a lovely cover of a traditional folk song from Sweden.

The songs on the album don't quite hook you in like her last self tilted opus but it's a far cry from the teen singer who sang “Show Me Love” and was the precursor to Britney Spears.