Kiss Me Once (Warner/Parlophone)
For more than a quarter-century, Kylie Minogue has been able to maintain her pop queen status by rarely straying from her fun and frothy formula. And here again, she’s convened an enviable conga line of producers/songwriters, including Pharrell Williams, Ariel Rechtshaid and Sia Furler, to work on her 12th album.
Kiss Me Once finds Minogue trying out new sounds, but the best songs conform to her glam dance-pop aesthetic. The album starts strong with classic Kylie banger Into The Blue, but it suddenly succumbs to faddishness on nondescript disco tune Sexy Love and the weirdly dated dubstep track Sexercize – a promising title but ultimately too murky and overproduced to work as camp. Williams breaks his production hot streak of late with I Was Gonna Cancel, a bit of pleasant-sounding filler.
The self-explanatory Feels So Good, Rechtshaid-helmed ballad If Only and croaking club jam Les Sex (which lives up to its playful title) salvage the album’s latter half.
Top track: If Only