Breaking records and shining bright, it's Kylie Minogue
Way back in April this year, it was a busy time on the pop diva front. While Lady Gaga’s album Chromatica had been delayed due to leaks and coronavirus worries, Dua Lipa released her second smash hit album Future Nostalgia to a captive audience. The album was exactly what we needed, dance floor fillers for a disco for one in the middle of a lockdown.
Here we are over six months later and a second, hopefully much shorter, lockdown is upon us. This time, however, it’s Kylie’s turn to save the day. Her euphoric single in April ‘Say Something’ only teased what was to come when her long form album ‘Disco’ came out this week. The album, her 15th, is an unmitigated triumph and a return to the stellar heights of Aphrodite or even Fever.
Reaching for the stars
Such is the success and quality of the album that Ms Minogue pocket rocketed straight to number one in the UK Official Album Charts, narrowly beating Little Mix who have also unleashed their latest collection ‘Confetti’ this week. At 52 that is no mean feat when the pop quartet also have a huge platform in the shape of their singing competition show, The Search, on at prime time on BBC1 every week and a much younger fan base.
Golden girl - Kylie back in 2019 when we were allowed out
With Disco, her eighth studio album to hit the top spot in the UK, she becomes the first female to have a number one album every one of the last 5 decades. Yes, you heard that right, she’s had a number one album in the 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s and now the 20’s.
This year has been something of an anomaly as we can all attest to. Marketing an artist and their new album has been changing all the time for years now with no particular golden plan that works. This year is a different time again, throwing up even more challenges that require alternative thinking as an artist and a performer.
Last weekend saw Kylie perform ‘as live’ her first ever online event, Infinite Disco. Due to the pandemic, live music has been decimated and industry executives have had to think outside the box, and fast. The result is a slew of online events that are one night only affairs, like a real gig, that you won’t be able to see again for the foreseeable future, if ever again. That’s the unique selling point of these events with the artist charging a one-time fee and sending out links to the streaming platform in the hour running up to the show. Dua Lipa has her very own one in a few weeks entitled Studio 2054 and it’s already sold over 100k tickets.
Kylie giving it her sparkly all on stage
Back to Kylie though, Disco the album is packed with seventies and eighties inspired tracks that wouldn’t have been out of place in her earlier work. It’s brimming with exhilarating hooks and production that is by turns forward thinking and joyous fan service in equal measures. It’s like Kylie has after years of being the musical chameleon, found the pinnacle of her sound. She has discovered, distilled and perfected the essence of pure Kylie and the album bathes in the warm sparkly glow of it.
Are online events the future?
The great thing about an online event is that you get to see your favourite artist perform tracks you might have had to wait over a year to see live. Highlights from Disco such as the driving beat lead, cosmic smasher Supernova or the frankly sublime 80s inspired epic Dance Floor Darling are laid out in front of you with production values and camera angles you wouldn’t get with a live performance. The fact it’s pre-recorded means there’s so much more you can do creatively. The lasers, the lighting, the dancers, it was all delivered in a slick futuristic setting and Kylie didn’t miss a beat.
Will we ever be able to get Kylie out of our heads?
Infinite Disco took the best of the tracks from the album released only a few days prior and pumped visual ecstasy into 50 minutes of pure Kylie magic. She integrated some fantastic remixes of some of her most beloved hits and even the odd album track like Light Years (title track from the album of the same name) that rarely gets an airing but totally fit in with the aural aesthetic.
There are a few tracks taken from the show you can catch on YouTube such as the smooth funk-lite of Real Groove to get the gist of the show as a whole. At the very reasonable £16 and with a £9 bottle of Kylie Rosé and a decent sound system it was an (almost) hour not to forget. The best thing a concert can do is leave you feeling euphoric and that you want to dive deep into the artist you just saw’s back catalogue.
Making the most
Whilst there is no comparison to a live show, that feeling of being together with like-minded fans and the collective excitement that brings, a live event gives a semblance of that which we are all missing under the current restrictions. Dancing around with your nieces and pretending you’re at a concert might not be the night out we’re all craving at the moment but it is the one we’ve got and I’m sold on the concept.
Thanks to Infinite Disco, my expectations are galaxy high for Dua Lipa’s Studio 2054 and she promises not to disappoint with guest stars promised and a track record for pushing the limits of creativity. In the meantime, it’s heart-warming and encouraging that Kylie is still breaking records, cranking out chart topping quality music and pushing the boat out when it comes to innovation.