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Move with the body
on 30 March 2007
It's all too natural for singers and other artists to want to stretch their limits, not keep themselves restricted to the same ol' same ol'. Sadly, Kylie Minogue stretches too far in the wrong direction in "Body Language," the lackluster follow-up to dancepop hit "Fever."
It opens strongly on the sensuous "Slow," with its sly beats and slithery vocals. It's not a very dancey song, but it is a strong one. Unfortunately that doesn't carry over to the awkward, angular "Still Standing" or the singsong "Secret (Take You Home)." They almost are good pop, but they never become catchy or half as fun.
Halfway through, there is a revival of sorts with the bouncy "Sweet Music" and sexy, built-up "Red Blooded Woman." A symphonic edge enters with the slow, swirling "Loving Days." Then it's back to the uninspired stuff -- the robotic vocals and video-game beats of "Obsession" and the embarrassingly awkward "I Feel For You," and ends with a freaky remix of "You Make Me Feel."
Obviously after "Fever," expectations were high -- okay, while the album was just dancepop, it was fun, bright and unabashedly sexy. But Minogue strays too far in the wrong direction with "Body Language," leaving behind a lot of the musical influences of her previous release. That turns out to be a major mistake.
The music is a lot slower, and often a lot less disjointed -- the beats are repetitive except in "Red Blooded Woman," and too often they end up sounding like samples lifted from a video game. There's also an awkward blend of 80s synth and 21st-century R&B and hip-hop vibes. It doesn't mesh, and it doesn't work.
Minogue's voice is a pretty little wisp. She doesn't have great vocals, but she does know how to tailor the songs to fit her like a glove. The songs she sings are equally wispy, with strained rhymes like "Count backwards/five four three two one!/Before you get too heated and turned on" and "That's right, let me give you something for your appetite/You know I wanna be with you all day and night." Okay, whatever.
Minogue's follow-up to "Fever" abandons too many of the things that made that album such a success, in favor of sexy video-game beats and an awkward mix of dance and rap. This "Body Language" is interesting, but not really worth studying.