BMG, November 6th
It’s a smooth record – with all gleaming dance floors, rainbow spotlights, mirror balls, a bass drum, synthetic string arrangements, funk bass, muted guitar and sweet vocals from Kylie Minogue. Once this sonic feast begins, she only slows down a few times, and that’s for a dramatic effect as she rebuilds herself.
“Do you believe in magic? »Minogue asks a lover about« Magic », the keyboard album opener. It’s a song that circumvents the events of 2020 (otherwise the answer to her question would be a resounding “no”). Yet Minogue wrote and recorded parts of DISCO of the house in quarantine. She even talked about having to familiarize yourself with studio hardware and software at home, which most divas don’t historically care about. Listening under the sound explosions of certain songs, Minogue reveals more bittersweet emotions such as loneliness.
“We are millions of miles from each other in a thousand ways,” she sings on “Say Something”. “We all want to travel, to the darkest places. The single may be the strongest material on DISCO, mix of synth-pop elements. Bass echo synths that propel the song forward take full advantage of stereo sound, playing fast ping pong with our ears. The influence of Earth, Wind & Fire is evident from start to finish. Still, Kylie Minogue checks out Studio 54’s name on “Dance Floor Darling” and remembers Gloria Gaynor on “Where Does the DJ Go?”
“You’re waiting? Get up on the floor, ”she sings in a low voice over the first. It’s sort of a half-beat roller-skating song for the first two-thirds until a break, at which point a silent advance of processed vocals brings the song into overdrive. Studio 54, indeed. “I will survive”, sings Minogue on “Where is the DJ going?” hammering home theme. And if you want more, listen to “Last Chance” alongside “Last Dance” by Donna Summer. It’s the kind of tribute that would make Summer blush.
However, all the songs on DISCO strike gold. On some cheese outweighs the tribute. “Monday Blues,” for example, is reminiscent of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” more than the love or squeak of the week or whatever the message; I couldn’t help but change the words in my head.
The use of the third person on the “Celebrate You” album, singing for a woman named Mary, has a structure that could have fit into d’or. The verses sound swiftian and country-esque before the chorus flips the pendulum back to disco.
However, the contagious joy of this record cannot help but seep in. Kylie Minogue was a co-writer on each track and chose her words carefully. There is a sense of optimism which in a year of anxiety and illness can be mistaken for color blindness, but it is more likely than a prayer for celebrations to come – for times in the distant future and hopefully not too far away where everyone can leave 2020 behind.
Follow editor Roman Gokhman on Twitter.com/RomiTheWriter.