Traditionally, Kylie Minogue has been at her best attempting pure pop, not chasing credibility, but X--her tenth studio album, and the first since 2003s Body Language--somehow pulls off the trick of being both. With production credits split between old hands like Richard Stannard and Guy Chambers and new faces like Calvin Harris, the Freemasons and Bloodshy & Avant, the Swedish team behind Britneys "Toxic", X does a neat job of matching big hooks with forward-thinking production tricks. The poptimistic Kylie fan will head straight for "2 Hearts", a sassy falling-for-you number with a glammy beat and a chorus poised to fill a thousand Karaoke rooms, and "Wow"--a thumping disco number with a lot of love to give. Scattered alongside these, however, are some slightly more adventurous productions that demonstrate that despite a few years off the stage, Kylie is well up to speed with 21st Century pop: the excellent "Speakerphone" begins with the sound of a strummed harp before diffusing into a shimmering, Scandinvian-tinged electro-pop number reminiscent of Robyn or The Knife, all snapping, sassy beats and vocodered vocal; meanwhile, the ghetto-pop bounce of "Nu-di-ty" proves raunch is still by no means beyond her. A very welcome return. , --Louis Pattison
Who’d have thought that little old Charlene would, in two short, sweet decades, go from the original soapstar superstar to a well-loved British treasure whose album releases are up there with the goings on in Parliament in terms of national interest?
It’s probably something that intrigues Kylie herself, given the fact she’s still a proud Australian, but over here, we tend to get a bit more involved with celebrities than our Antipodean cousins, and so much has happened to Kylie since 2003’s Body Language that she’s barely ever been out of the spotlight.
There’s been the tragedy and triumph of her battle against breast cancer, a worldwide Greatest Hits tour, gallery showings for the entire wardrobe of show costumes, the release of her first children’s book and even a role as the Magic Roundabout’s Florence – it makes you wonder how she’s found time for music.
Somehow though, she has. X, her tenth studio long player, is an album packed with vitality and, as always with Kylie’s releases, oodles of fun.
Some time back, the pop princess started using the Madonna model for remaining relevant - only collaborate with the cutting edge - and so it is with X.
Alongside her usual suspects of Cathy Dennis, Guy Chambers and Richard Stannard, there’s also production duties for Scottish knob-twiddler Calvin Harris and supercool duo Freemasons, though sadly White Diamond, the Scissor Sisters collaboration that debuted on the Showgirl tour, hasn’t made it as far as this album.
What has instead is a fine selection of pop gems. The current trend for electro is one that was always going to suit Kylie and it’s one that she’s used right through X - whether it’s on the slinky "Like A Drug", robotic toe-tapper "Speakerphone", "Nu-di-ty’s" staccato or the disco fun of "Stars" - to great effect.
Thankfully, it’s not all beats, treats and squeaks. Kylie has never been a one-trick pony and the cabaret big band fun of lead single "2 Hearts" is as wonderfully camp as anything she has ever done, though even that is topped by "The One", which follows in her fine tradition of making songs capable of both breaking your heart and shaking your rump.
The biggest compliment that can be paid to X is simply that it is an album capable of gobbling up column inches regardless of the popularity of or media interest in Kylie. National treasure she may be, but she’s not about to start resting on her laurels. --Chris Long
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KYLIE MINOGUE X (2007 UK 13-track enhanced CD album - Kylies 10th studio album on which she collaborates with Bloodshy & Avant Guy Chambers Cathy Dennis Richard Stannard & Calvin Harris includes the singles 2 Hearts & Wow plus a CD-Rom Section containing access to the exclusive recording Rippin Up The Disco complete with a 12-page picture booklet)