iFeature | Kylie Minogue’s DISCO REVolution
The Goddess of Love delivers on a profoundly authentic feeling dance excursion that pays homage to 70s dance and infuses it with a healthy helping of 21st Century sex-appeal for a sonically seismic revolution of elation with DISCO.
Your disco needs you! It’s a proclamation that has rung out from on high since the beginning of the new millennium. Kylie Minogue demanded it of her fans as far back as 2000; the track appeared on Light Years and a year later the world would find themselves all under the effects of a Fever — that hasn’t lead up. Although it took the mainland a little longer to catch on, Minogue was enjoying musical domination on the UK and Euro-dance charts that were the envy of many of her pop contemporaries and appreciated by the likes of Madonna, who sported the “Kylie” tag across her chest as she promoted her album Music.
Minogue may have often been perceived as steps behind the Queen of Pop, but she’s always demonstrated an ability to very much march to her own beat, and in many instances paying homage and giving props while also setting her own pace — breaking her own barriers. The pop music spectrum has become so saturated in the 21st Century that it’s impossible to settle on who has done “pop music” best, but one thing is certain and non-negotiable Kylie Minogue has remained consistent, a constant performance persona, and relevant. Minogue has kept her ear and pulse and the dance music spectrum and often elevated the genre.
Not every bit the risk-taker that perhaps we have to give Madonna credit for, Kylie Minogue has pushed the boundaries of pop/dance and set the trend for the Euro-sonic sound that has crept into the mainstream. From the electro-synth of Body Language to the pure club-euphoria of Aphrodite, she’s kept her brand authentic and rhythmically assured. Her positivity and joy never dull. Her vocal veracity is elegantly attuned and ever-present. It’s no surprise that with her latest full-length effort DISCO Minogue wants to trend into familiar territory, and revel in the synth and sounds of a genre that epitomized an era of dance revolution.
The 70s were revolutionary, and music had a profound influence on the culture. It was a time defined by freedom and decadence that has since had little parallel and has continued to influence artists across all genres. For musicians, especially pop artists, it’s inevitable that the desire to revisit disco is a temptation that must be addressed. Madonna has done it. Minogue’s own sibling, Danni has also ventured into the genre. Kylie has done it (several times) but on DISCO Minogue has taken a deeper dive, reigniting the joyful revelation of dance.
On her fifteenth studio album, Minogue elaborated on a section of her live tour performance during the promotion of her last album Golden. An entire section was staged and influence by the glitz of the legendary Studio 54 and gave the artist a platform to perform her dance hit ode to “New York City” the home of said club. She immediately knew she wanted to delve into a “pop-disco” vibe for her next full-length project. Minogue was also convinced that “the look” of this work would also be unique and began to collaborate with Sophie Miller on the music videos.
The album’s opener “Magic” sets the tone and in every way transports the listener. It’s a slow groove, with a piano groove that is classic and instantly recognizable — extremely disco — with a lyrical hook and a baseline bump that bounces along with a distinct cowbell in the distance. She’s inhabited the space many times, even collaborated with disco-impresario Giorgio Moroder on the hit track “Right Here, Right Now” which is the perfect marriage between the two talents, and instantly guiles Minogue’s credibility to pursue a “pop-disco” renaissance of her own.
Keeping it consistent, she prompts the beat but doesn’t push it, as exhibited on the track “Real Groove” which does incorporate some very hip vocal effects but has a perpetual feeling momentum that is very Studio 54. Minogue could have gone in a slightly more contemporary slant and given DISCO a total nu-disco foundation, but she instead chose to keep things very simple and not overly-produced. The track “Supernova” has every instinct of a disco floor classic pouring out of it, as does the album’s third single “I Love It” — the album’s most rousing tune!
DISCO could have been produced to play as a non-stop mix, as exhibited during Minogue’s worldwide livestream of Infinite DISCO which allowed fans to tune into an exclusive live one-hour performance which included many of the album’s songs with appropriate disco-arrangements of Kylie’s greatest hits. Not bowing to the limitations of the pandemic, Minogue has provided an escapist adulation of music, and opened the doors to the dance floor in our imaginations, where the last call is up to you!
In the latest installment of Apple Music’s, The Zane Lowe Show Lowe and Minogue discussed the COVID-19 pandemic altered the strategy on completing DISCO. The quarantine isolation ultimately forced Kylie to like so many of us “work from home”. She created a makeshift studio for herself at home and recorded her vocals using GarageBand which proved genuinely fruitful giving the album a much more realistic sound vocally; not that Minogue is an artist dependent on the technological gifts of autotune (other than for effect).
DISCO may make some nostalgic for the dance floor, and enthusiastically preparing audiences for a brighter day beyond our current situation, and most effectively Minogue has provided a musical escape we can all resonate with. Doing what she does best, the Impossible Princess has once again opened our hearts and reminded us that music is eternal.
DISCO | Kylie Minogue | is available to download here on iTunes.