Friday, 9 April 2010

2003 Kylie Minogue: Slow

In which Kylie's rejuvenation into classy pop diva continues apace, albeit with a change of gear - whereas previous post Stock, Aitken & Waterman entries 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' and 'Spinning Around' did enough heavy lifting by themselves to allow Kylie the luxury of only having to turn up to front them, 'Slow' requires far more input from a vocalist than personality alone to make it work. A sensuous ooze of honey from a spoon, 'Slow' is pre-packed with the spaced out electronica hallmarks of Icelandic co-author EmilĂ­ana Torrini's own chilled indie output. And therein lies the problem; while I can imagine the Lolita-like sibilance of Torrini's wide eyed innocence taking 'Slow' to the races, 'erotic' isn't a mode that comes naturally to Kylie herself. And lacking any quirk of her own, she tries to compensate and warm 'Slow' up by consciously lowering her register and thickening her tones (either at the source or via some judicious studio trickery) until her voice morphs into something that doesn't sound much like Kylie anymore. Whilst that doesn't necessarily sabotage the end result, it does make for one akin to Mantovani conducting Wagner - no matter how competent the performance, it's a forced mismatch that serves as a distraction by adding an edge of artificiality that stifles the soft core sensuality it sets out to be generate; I can picture a comic scenario of an intense session of lovemaking being interrupted by one of the participants pausing to query "That's not Kylie, is it?". True it's done her career no harm, but as a song too mannered and unspontaneous to ring truly true, it's more of a sideways step than a forward one.

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