Review: Jack Foley
FOLLOWING the release of Kylies super-seductive Slow,
I had high hopes for the album, given that the debut track seemed
to tap expertly into the sexual electricity currently surrounding
the Aussie stunner.
Sadly, however, the rest of the album fails to carry the same
charge, emerging as a compilation of tracks which quickly sound
repetitive, and not bold enough to distance itself from the mainstream
that has brought her most success.
Slow seemed to suggest a new direction for her, something
which hinted at being more risqué (courtesy of another
fine video), and a little more mature, given the added emphasis
that was placed upon her voice (not usually associated with being
quite that striking).
It was also a hopelessly addictive track to boot, one which could
pose as a soundtrack to any romantic night in, while also working
just as effectively as a dancefloor filler, with its silky smooth
electronic vibe a neat diversion from the la, la, la
breeziness of her previous long-player.
Sadly, the same sound hinders the rest of the album, which attempts
to gain mileage out of fusing the two, while too many of the beats
fail to capture the imagination for any truly discerning listener.
Kylies voice, too, seems too sweet, at times, trying to
recall an air of French chic reserved for the likes of Air, or
Saint Etienne, without really sounding too convincing; or even
Prince, in his heyday.
The filthy word that is pop continues to rear its ugly head,
undermining any worthy intent that Kylie may have had (or did
she?). Was Slow, perhaps, an attempt to see how far she
could push her boundaries, while using the rest of the album as
a buffer zone between the two.
Kylie is clever enough, and durable enough, to know what works,
and to experiment, but her last attempt to break away from the
mainstream, with 1998s eponymous effort, met with limited
success, and sparked a barren period for her.
Yet when she is good, Kylie can be so much more effective. Slow
is by no means the only good track on the album, but there simply
arent enough to make it worth recommending to anyone other
than a die-hard fan.
Chocolate, for instance, slows things down a little, and
ups the ante, sexually, while also evoking memories of the start
of Smoke Citys Underwater Love; while Obsession
is another slinky number designed to accentuate the allure of
the singer. It is during moments such as these that her voice
really carries the effect of a woman whispering, up-close, in
your ear, and when it is easy to become seduced.
Loving Days, too, works to similar effect, while keeping
things suitably lively.
But too many of the electronic stuff sounds bland and repetitive
and, especially during the early stages, the album struggles to
hold any sort of interest, barring that of looking endlessly at
the cover and imagining more of her videos.
A missed opportunity, then.
2. Still Standing
3. Secret (Take You Home)
5. Sweet Music
6. Red Blooded Woman
9. I Feel For You
11. Loving Days
12. After Dark