Kylie Minogue – Dancing


Tom: Occasionally we’ll cover Kylie’s tracks here, whenever she’s got something new out. And usually we’re a bit disappointed, because the bar’s been set so high in the past.

Tom: Oh, crikey, let’s move on from that. We’re looking for a BANGER, based on past form, and — despite your enthusiasm for that Christmas single — I don’t think it’s quite matched up. This time…

Tom: …MODERATE BANGER. Which I know is a contradiction in terms, but I still stand by it.

Tim: I’d say MODERATE TO STRONG, based on those fast-paced verses, heavy choruses and the whole “screw you, I’m here, plastered and DANCING” look on her face in the middle eight.

Tom: There’s a lot to like here. It sounds like old Kylie, filtered through a lens of Kygo. I’d portmanteau those together, but I’d get “Kylo”, and then it’d be all Star Wars.

Tim: Yes, and if you and I started discussing that we’d be here all day, so best not.

Tom: Full marks for actually including line dancing in the video like it’s the late nineties, though. This is catchy, and at under three minutes it doesn’t outstay its welcome either. This might be the best Kylie track since… 2 Hearts, perhaps?

Tim: Hmm…perhaps – though that Christmas album does take a lot to beat it.

Kylie Minogue – Christmas Isn’t Christmas ‘Til You Get Here


Tom: ANOTHER one?

Tim: Yes indeed, another new Christmas original from Kylie. PREVIOUSLY: Only You, a well-meaning and enjoyable but ultimately unnecessary cover; 100 Degrees, a lyrically misjudged disco anthem thirty years too late; and Every Day’s Like Christmas, a festive dance track that you reckoned was missing a special something. Finally, though: the Christmas ballad.

Tom: Oh. Huh. That’s… actually really good. I wasn’t expecting the fourth single to be any good.

Tim: Yeah – I’ve no idea who came up with the release order, or what they were thinking, because this, actually, is the first one of them that I can imagine ending up on Christmas compilation CDs in years hence (or, more likely, curated playlists on your local music streaming service).

Tom: I can’t work out which bits are chorus, pre-chorus and middle eight, but you know what? I don’t care. That key change makes up for any flaws: this is the very first Christmas track you’ve sent me this year that I’ve actually played more than once.

Tim: Oh, you have MADE MY DAY. FINALLY, WE’VE MADE IT THROUGH – I almost want to plan a street party in Kylie’s honour. But, this for the future: it has a sense of timelessness that the others didn’t really get, it’ll sit pleasingly alongside All I Want For Christmas Is You and One More Sleep with that same “Christmas is best with loved ones” message, and, most of all, it’s got ALL THE JINGLINESS. And that is very important for a Christmas compilation.

Tom: You know what? I won’t say it’s a full-on, armour-piercing dose of Christmas spirit, but you know what? I think it’s the closest we’re going to get this year.

Tim: Oh, I’m so happy you’ve reached at least that level of qualified approval. Because given all though pleasing qualities it’s one I’ll happily listen to again, this year, and the next, and the next, and so on.

Tom: As, I suspect, will I. Merry Christmas, Tim.


Kylie Minogue – Every Day’s Like Christmas (Stock Aitken Waterman Remix)

“That is EXACTLY what I expected it to be.”

Tim: RIGHT, so here’s a third one off Kylie’s album that’s getting a push, or at least this remix is, and here’s why.

Tom: Crikey, they’re pushing these out, aren’t they?

Tim: On occasion, with good reason:

Tom: Well, that is EXACTLY what I expected it to be.

Tim: Exactly as brilliant, I trust you mean. I really don’t think it would be going too far to call Mike, Matt and Pete the true three wise men of this Christmas at least, with what they’ve done to the Chris Martin-penned original being this good.

Tom: I don’t want to think about what that makes Kylie.

Tim: Ew. Um, no. That original is a perfectly decent Christmas song on its own, but this takes that, festive trumpets and bells and all, sticks a fantastic final chorus on the end and basically turns it right up to poppers o’clock.

Tom: You know that GIF of Nathan Fillion? That’s basically how I reacted to those last few words. Well done.

Tim: Good good. We’ve also a lovely huggy message in the lyrics, Christmassy instruments and as brilliant a production as you could possibly expect. Oh, it’s good.

Tom: It is, but I’m going to qualify this somewhat: it’s good, but even in the Three Wise Men’s glory years, I think this would have been a B-side. There’s nothing wrong with it, but there’s nothing to make it massively stand out.

Tim: Oh, I could not disagree more. I can understand, slightly, why they went for 100 Degrees as the main release, but damn, they should have gone with this – this track here is Kylie’s One More Sleep, and long may it hang around.

Kylie & Dannii Minogue – 100 Degrees

“Could you get away with this at the height of disco fever? Sure. Would we still be playing it now? Well.”

Tim: CHRISTMAS TIME!!! Every Christmas album needs to come with a new track, like Kelly’s Wrapped in Red or Leona’s One More Sleep.

Tom: And occasionally they’re even good! But statistically…

Tim: Actually, both of those truly were very good, whatever you’re cruelly trying to imply. And now Kylie brings us this, the sisters’ first collaboration in almost a decade. Who said families always argue at Christmas?

Tom: Bongos. Of course there are bongos at Christmas.

Tim: Yes, you see here’s the thing – this here is a track that wants to be a disco Christmas anthem even after climate change has well and truly taken its toll on the festive season – after all, it’s hardly like Merry Christmas Everyone is particularly accurate any more.

Tom: So the big question: Celsius or Fahrenheit? Because 100C ain’t enough to roast a turkey, but 100F is even a bit low for Australian Christmas.

Tim: Either way, it’s a bit too hot for comfort, and it’s certainly not what anyone wants to imagine. As far as this hanging around to actually make it as an anthem, though, there’s one big question: is disco really the right genre for a festive track? To be honest: I really don’t think so. Yes, there’s a gap in the market (and this may have been written to fill it), but it’s there for a reason.

Tom: Agreed. Could you get away with this in the 1980s, at the height of disco fever? Sure. Would we still be playing it now? Well.

Tim: Sure, people have parties at Christmas, and they want to dance, but they want to dance to tunes they know, and if new tunes are going to be played, they need to blend in. This really, really doesn’t. Sorry, Kylie: much as I might like this as a regular track, it’s just not right for Christmas.

Kylie Minogue feat. James Corden – Only You

“On hearing it, I’ve got to say: why not?”

Tim: Tom! Would you like to hear a doesn’t-actually-mention-Christmas-so-I’m-not-breaking-any-rules track from Kylie’s upcoming Christmas album, FEATURING JAMES CORDEN?

Tom: Um… I don’t know. I guess?

Tim: Good, because you’re going to.

Tim: And…huh. Turns out the host of The Late Late Show and star of Lesbian Vampire Killers has a surprisingly good voice.

Tom: Didn’t you know? He’s had leading man roles before.

Tim: Huh, I did not know that. The generally accepted story behind this seems to be that it was going to be a jokey bonus track stuck on the end, but it turned out so well that it suddenly became the actual lead single. And, on hearing it, I’ve got to say: why not? Because that’s a perfectly decent cover. True, we probably don’t need another version of it, but on hearing it I was genuinely pleasantly surprised.

Tom: And it’s the right time of year, with Corden providing a boost to the right audience. At only three minutes, it’s not even too long for a song like this.

Tim: Full album’s out on Friday, and while it doesn’t feature any other comedians, it does feature her first collaboration with sister Dannii since 2008, so WOW to that, and here’s to Christmas six weeks early!

Kylie + Garibay feat. Shaggy – Black and White

Tom: Good grief, Shaggy’s actually having a full, proper comeback. Did anyone see that coming? Did even Shaggy see that coming? Because I’m guessing “providing the middle eight for a Kylie single” probably wasn’t in his diary a couple of years ago.

Tom: But what the hell was that? I really hope that high-frequency hiss through those choruses is YouTube compression rather than the actual single, because that’s almost painful to listen to.

Tim: Sorry to disappoint you, Tom, but nope – studio version as well. I don’t find it quite so difficult as you, but you’re right, it’s still a bit jarring.

Tom: Actually, never mind that: the rest of the track, while it’s clearly Kylie’s sound, is an album track at best.

Tim: Yes – the verses are too…suddenly the word ‘damp’ springs to mind, and I suppose that’ll do. It just about picks up for the chorus, but loses it right after. And Shaggy’s bit? Nuh-uh.

Tom: And it’s all paired with a weird, low-budget video where the director’s inexplicably sometimes forgotten to add the dust-and-grain effects, making the whole thing look like it’s been cobbled together in a copy of Windows Movie Maker. What were they thinking?

Tim: Oh, I don’t know. Let’s just pretend it’s not happened.

BBC Music – God Only Knows

“It’s not Perfect Day.”

Tim: You may or may not remember Perfect Day, the Lou Reed cover that the BBC put together back in 1997 that had just about every artist in the world in it.

Tom: Remember it? I think it was the first single I bought. Charity and all.

Tim: Well, they’ve gone and done something similar with this Beach Boys track seventeen years later. This got broadcast on every channel and station last night (except Radio 3, who were busy playing Brahms) both to promote the new BBC Music thing and to raise money for Comic Relief. Shall we?

Tim: Hmm.

Tom: “Hmm” is right.

Tim: Well, I think the first question we should all be asking is what on Earth is going on with Louis and Niall’s hair –

Tom: I was going to mention that.

Tim: – but musically I’m going to say…ehhh. It’s a track, certainly, and it’s musical, for the most part it’s very enjoyable.

Tom: But it’s not Perfect Day. Am I looking back with rose-tinted spectacles? Possibly, but I can remember being absolutely blown away by Perfect Day when it first appeared on TV — here, they seem to be dazzling with ridiculous CGI rather than just good music.

Tim: The only criticism I have is that I’m really not sure the orchestral/chorus break sounds right. I get that they want to indicate that it’s about all types of music, but I think if you want to do that, make it longer.

Tom: Right! Yes! Perfect Day is busy, but it never approaches anywhere near “cacophony”. There’s not room enough to breathe in here. The instrumental break of Perfect Day was one very good solo: here, we’ve got loads of instruments and vocalists, and each one gets a pause to itself. And Brian May crowbars his trademark guitar sound in. It doesn’t work.

Tim: I’m usually the first to complain that a track’s too long, but you’re barely pushing two and a half minutes there, and I don’t think anyone’d begrudge you an extra minute to fit it together better.

Tom: Also, let’s be clear about that video: Brian Wilson has the haunted look of someone who has no idea what’s going on.

Tim: Still, gets the point across, and it’s good enough to listen to. Makes the right point about how important music is to them, and at a time when people are having a go at the BBC right, right and further right, it’s nice to have them showing off what they can do. And beg for our support, which I suppose is a more cynical and probably unfair way of looking at the lyrics. So I’ll close by saying: great idea, not quite so great execution, but good enough for me.

Kylie Minogue – Kiss Me Once

“Once that reaches the chorus, it’s lovely.”

Tim: “Pull the other one, it’s got bells on,” they say about legs, and now they should say it about songs off Kylie’s new album.

Tom: Ha! That took me a couple of seconds.

Tim: In particular, the title track, which this is, and it’s vastly better than Sexercise, the video she put out the other day which is everything that’s wrong with music videos today.

Tom: Oh, once that reaches the chorus, it’s lovely.

Tim: Yes, it’s really very good indeed, you see, and while it’s fair to say it’s not particularly ‘2014’ (see Sexercise for that), it’s also entirely fair to say this is a wonderful track that has Kylie stamped all over it, and that’s good enough for me.

Tom: Agreed: she’s got a distinctive voice and sound, and this is a good use of them.

Tim: It’s a little bit more grown up than yesterday’s kissing song, with lines like “we’ve got some loving to do” and “come up for air”, though you might expect that given that she’s about three times their average age BUT ANYWAY. I could listen to this a lot of times (and in fact have done), because it’s great, bells and all.

Kylie Minogue – Into The Blue

Leaks are brilliant, aren’t they?

Tim: Leaks are brilliant, aren’t they?

Tim: Admittedly they don’t always come with the best sound quality, but BLIMEY what about the rest of it? Fresh from making herself relevant again by being on The Voice…

Tom: Bold claim there. Still, the blind auditions get the ratings in.

Tim: …Kylie has granted us a fantastic new track, which sounds entirely 2014. Well done there, because it also sounds unmistakably Kylie, with an utterly BRILLIANT singalong chorus and glorious backing behind it.

Tom: Yep. This is that rare moment when a long-time pop star pulls off an up-to-date track while keeping true to their old style. It doesn’t happen often.

Tim: Twice in a week now, though, which is good going. On top of that as well: the lyrics with their wonderful self-empowerment vibe and oh, that chorus line again because it really should count at least twice, and this is a track that I’m not sure how to describe without repeating any of the superlatives I’ve already used. Oh, AMAZING. That’ll do.

Kylie Minogue – Get Outta My Way

It’s like pretty much every other recent Kylie single

Tom: You know what time it is? It’s new Kylie single time. Oh yes.

Tom: I swear the percussion and piano melody aren’t exactly in sync with each other at the start, which is messing with me a little. It’s a slow build, and when it does kick in it’s… well, it’s like pretty much every other recent Kylie single. It could be “2 Hearts”. It could be “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”.

Tim: Hmm. I’m not so keen on it. There’s nothing big about it, really, or even memorable really. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head is immediately recollectable – it comes straight to mind now, even though it’s probably at least a year since I last heard it; this one just doesn’t do much for me. It wouldn’t really be enough to tempt me onto the dance floor.

Tom: She’s got a sound that works, I suppose, and there’s nothing wrong with that – but it’d be nice to hear something a little bit different after this many years.

Tim: Actually, having listened to it several times now, I’ve realised what the problem is. It’s a bit like most pop-dance tracks around at the moment, really – the first couple of times you hear it, it’s a bit boring, and nothing special, but the third or fourth time it’s been embedded in your head, and then when you’re out and you hear it you can’t help thinking ‘ooh, I know this, this is quite good,’ even though it isn’t really.

Tom: Nice glossy video, as ever, but again, it was always going to be downhill after the Michel Gondry genius that was Come Into My World. It’s pretty – full marks to whoever did the dance-floor visualisations, it’s a really nice effect. Pity the song’s not as memorable.