Kylie’s new album is sort of a companion piece to her recently released retrospective The Best of Kylie Minogue. But it is also the opposite side of the coin. We are used to hearing mainly immaculately produced pop tracks from Kylie, and while she usually shines on glossy dance tracks, The Abbey Road Sessions strips away all the production. Instead you are left with Kylie’s voice, a live ensemble, strings, and backup singers. These are new takes on old favorites. But not in that way we usually dread. This is not Kylie sings The Great Kylie Songbook, Volume 10. The songs take on a different life but never fall flat.
“All the Lovers” sparkles when stripped down to a band setting. The arrangement is joyous and even reminds me a little of The Bangles “Manic Monday”. “On a Night Like This” is given a bouncy organ swing that makes it a sweeping soul song. “Come Into my World” is recast as a fiery torch song. “I Believe In You” is simplified down to an acoustic campfire song.
But the album isn’t all slow songs either. In fact there’s a nice balance between the pacing of the songs. Kylie revisits “The Locomotion” but takes it back to being an early 60s wall of soul doo-wop sock hop number. “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” has a quick paced string section driving it that reminds me a bit of Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida”, but more dramatic. And Nick Cave turns up to reprise his role in the duet “Where The Wild Roses Grow” from his seminal Murder Ballads.
Every song is a surprise here. “Slow” is now a slinky seductive jazz number. “I Should Be So Lucky” is now a Broadway ballad. “Love at First Sight” is now.. country? There’s even a great new ballad “Flower” with a big lush string arrangement.
This is the album for those people that are tired of hearing the same hits over and over. You may be surprised. It might make you appreciate Kylie in a whole new way.
Videos to check out:
“All The Lovers” (Live at Abbey Road)