THE LO DOWN: Kylie vs. Kelis – It’s a Dance-Off
What better way to recover from the holiday weekend than with 29 tracks of mind-numbing synthesizer? With new releases from both Australia darling Kylie Minogue and my-milkshake-hasn’t-brought-boys-to-the-yard-since-2003’s Kelis, the dance-pop void in your life â€“ of which you are likely unaware â€“ is filled at last! Bust out your spandex folks, â€˜cause this here is a dance-off.
EMI Records (July 5, 2010)
Kylie’s 11th studio release opens with “All The Lovers,” a track that recalls the perfect ending to an 80s film, poorly dressed teenagers finally neckin’ at prom. A nice warm-up, I suppose, but these Reeboks aren’t going to move themselves. Luckily, Kylie delivers the goods with track two’s “Get Outta My Way” and never lets up. Bottom line, Ms. Minogue practically created this genre â€“ her voice rings just shy of sickeningly sweet and the four-on-the-floor beat drops exactly when you want it to. If you’re a longtime Kylie fan, you won’t be disappointed. If you’ve been living under a rock for the last 13 years, start with 2002’s “Can’t Get You out of My Head,” watch some Neighbours re-runs, and give Aphrodite a go. Once you get past the headache, you’ll have a great time.
Interscope (July 6, 2010)
Kelis left Jive Records to take a spin with will.i.am’s Interscope-affiliated label and well, it shows. Not necessarily in a good way. “Intro” opens the album with dark lyrics and a tone to match, but it sounds like Kelis is singing just out of her range â€“ both technically and stylistically. Actually, most of the album embodies this conflict â€“ namely, who is this? I’m stuck wanting to push the record towards the “deeper” works of artists like Bat for Lashes, or pulling back into the mainstream pep of our Australian contender above. Instead we’re left in lackluster limbo â€“ which may capture the essence of this artist’s new motherhood and recent divorce (from rapper Nas), but does little for my, you know, kickin’ dance moves. Sorry Kelis, my favorites remain your hook for Ol Dirty Bastard’s “Got Your Money” and your hairstyle circa 1999. Flesh Tone is about as nondescript as its title.