I’m having a pretty crummy day today, so the internet is trying its best to cheer me up. Right now this has lead to one of the most uplifting and beautiful pop songs of recent years, concocted by a delicious pairing of Kylie Minogue and super-producer Stuart Price as the lead single for eleventh studio album “Aphrodite”.
I first heard this at the tail end of a holiday to Scandinavia, and watched the video on the small screen on my phone in a budget hotel in Copenhagen. At the time it was hard to appreciate it in any great depth, but it was amazing, and set up the whole feel of the forthcoming album.
Kylie assumes a role in line with the album’s titular heroine, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. In an city street she is heralded by attractive 20-somethings of all colours and orientations stripping off and making out. From a pile of writhing bodies she emerges with a flock of doves, to bless her followers. This continues until the pile reachers skyscraper proportions. There’s also some business with a creepy horse and some spilt marshmallows, but all in all, it’s a beautifully directed video that exudes warmth and happiness, and Kylie looks as good as she’s ever done.
But I haven’t even mentioned the song! A subtle dance undercurrent runs throughout the song, emerging as a beautiful dance-pop song for the choruses. The verses are simple and clean, and just make me feel warm inside. That instrumental part directly after the slower middle-eight really stands apart as a magical moment for me, it still gives me chills whenever I hear it. Truly incredible.
The song may have left expectations for the parent album unreachably high, but it gave Kylie a much-needed lasting hit that I feel could easily slip into her canon as one of the high-points of her 21st century career. She might need a few more hits like that to escape that slide into fanbase-only territory, but few artists have as much goodwill going for her as Kylie.