Kylie Minogue remains best known in the U.S. for her 2001 hit “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” but overseas, she’s proven herself as the dancefloor diva to beat, with a career spanning four decades and an impressively consistent track record: Minogue’s electropop is reliably pristine, glittering over four-on-the-floor beats. Her twelfth LP, Kiss Me Once (out Mar. 18 on Warner Bros. Records) shows Minogue nailing her formula once more.
The anthemic lead single “Into the Blue” is big and exhilarating, an exercise in sparkling uplift. “I’d done a lot of tracks that were quite experimental,” Minogue tells TIME. “But when we were recording ‘Into the Blue,’ it just resonated with me.”
Kiss Me Once is more varied than that, though: there’s a Pharrell-produced track called “I Was Gonna Cancel” that’s low-octane, dissonant funk; closing number “Fine” soars and stomps theatrically. Meanwhile, left-of-center songs prove Minogue’s sonic curiosity hasn’t waned, as rising production talents like MNEK (on the spare “Feels So Good”), Ariel Rechtshaid (on “If Only,” which has a lushness that evokes HAIM) and MNDR (on the fuzzy, infectious “Les Sex”) serve to keep things exciting. Kiss was co-executive-produced by singer-songwriter Sia, and her fingerprints are all over the record’s glossy eclecticism.
Last year saw Minogue signing to Jay Z’s Roc Nation management, fueling speculation that she’ll be making another stab at stateside chart success with this latest album; she says that’s a goal but not a priority. “I would love the opportunity to come back to America,” she says. “I have a following in the states that’s not as big or mainstream as in other territories; it’s small but mighty. But I don’t want to set myself up for a fall and say that Roc are going to magically make America happen, because it just doesn’t work like that.”
It’s also arguably her sexiest album to date, at least as far as the song titles go: alongside the aforementioned “Les Sex,” there’s also “Sexy Love” and “Sexercize.” Minogue says this wasn’t entirely deliberate.
“There was a point where Sia and I were looking at the songs we had so far,” Minogue says “We thought there were nice ones, but we didn’t feel like we had a sexy one. Then I ended up within a short space of time with three songs that had ‘sex’ in the title. I actually tried to offload one of them, but then I would have missed it. So yes, there’s three sex titles, but we had none for quite a long time. We went from the sublime to the ridiculous.”
As usual with Kylie, that works quite nicely.
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