Kylie Minogue - The Abbey Road Sessions Review

rating: 3

There€™s nothing left to be said in terms of pop music when it comes to Kylie Minogue. Here is a woman who has reinvented herself many times over her the length of her extensive career. She has managed not to only survive, but also succeed in an industry that has seen lots of female artists come and go over the years. Kylie prevailed, her music always one step ahead, her personality as a pop star always touched with a grace that set her apart from the rest. And it seems like Kylie thought 2012 to be the year to pay homage to her own career. She first released €˜The Best Of Kylie Minogue€™ back in June, a plain Greatest Hits compilation that was given to us hand in hand with a new single, titled €˜Timebomb€™. Now she€™s back with €˜The Abbey Road Sessions€™, an ambitious project consisting in the re-work of some of her classic songs from all eras set to a sometimes acoustic, sometimes orchestral arrangement. Not all of it works as expected, and the result is an album that ends up being too slow, given what Kylie is normally about. Most of the time, it resorts to the easy trick of turning the fun tracks into ballads, and when you listen to the album and it€™s ballad after ballad, it starts to drag a little. Still, there are some songs that have been masterfully reinterpreted in ways that respect the original and add a different vibe of it, and they deserve some credit. One of them is €˜On a Night Like This€™. The song gets dressed with a soft blues feeling and a chord progression that sounds vaguely similar to Nina Simone€™s €˜Feeling Good€™. Its original dance feeling goes out of the window but it has character and Kylie€™s vocals are on par. €˜Finer Feelings€™ is another brilliant orchestra moment. The strings make the song quite intense and Kylie manages to keep the longing melancholy of the original. In a way, €˜Finer Feelings€™ is to this album what €˜Confide in Me€™ is to Kylie€™s single€™s collection, the most heartfelt, mesmerizing song of them all. Ironically, €˜Confide in Me€™ also gets a rework that doesn€™t hold a candle to the original. Another highlight is €˜The Locomotion€™, which gets speeded up a little and goes back to its original 60€™s roots, while staying fun and cheeky. It is the only song on the album that isn€™t a ballad, and it feels like a breath of fresh air among all the moodiness. €˜Flower€™ is a great one too: it€™s a previously unreleased gentle, melancholic song that had only been performed by Kylie on tour before. The closing track, €˜Never Too Late€™, is the most stripped down, most elegant track in the album. With only a piano and Kylie€™s best vocals, it acts as the album€™s most heartfelt closing. The album€™s lowest points are €˜Where The Wild Roses Grow€™, which sounds Mumford-y, (and not in a good way); and €˜Love At First Sight€™, one of Kylie€™s most iconic singles that gets the Taylor Swift treatment (not a compliment either). It was also surprising to see that €˜All The Lovers€™, a track with a lot of build up and emotion in its original electronic version wasn€™t able to maintain that feeling when stripped down. Still, the album has been doing pretty well in the midweeks and if nothing changes it seems that it€™ll be number 2 tomorrow, with Calvin Harris getting hold of the top spot. It€™s just that this album is too middle ground given what Kylie Minogue usually delivers, and specially having her 2010's album 'Aphrodite' as a precedent. Now that was truly a masterpiece.
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Spanish media student. I write, I talk, I listen. I left the Spice Girls in 1998 to launch my solo career. Cheryl Cole looked at me once and I died. Follow me at @jukepop for some pop fangirling, that while enlightening, it is also largely nonsensical.