[sic] Magazine

Kylie Minogue – Aphrodite

In ancient Greek mythology, Aphrodite was the goddess of love (and by extension, sex and allure). All three have their place in Kylie Minogue’s latest pop album ‘Aphrodite,’ which reverberates with the best of Minogue’s past few albums — lots of deliciously infectious club beats, satiny cool melodies and luscious instrumentation, with her wispy voice in the middle of it all.

“Dance/It’s all I wanna do/So won’t you/Dance/I’m standing here with you/Why won’t you move?” Minogue says softly over a building electronica beat. Then it explodes into a sinuous, writhing melody that assures her boyfriend, “All the lovers/That have gone before/They don’t compare to you…” Up next: the beat-heavy, neon-tinged ‘Get Outta My Way,’ which sounds like a track cut from ‘Fever.’

And there’s plenty more to come — the wild cascade of ‘Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)’ and ‘Can’t Beat the Feeling,’ the silky merry-go-round of ‘Closer,’ the sparkling forceful title track, the champagne shimmer of ‘Illusion’ and ‘Too Much,’ the thick beats and mellow flavor of ‘Better than Today,’ the charming ‘Cupid Boy,’ and the delicately frothy piano-and-strings-led ‘Looking For An Angel.’

What did I not like? ‘Everything is Beautiful’ is a nice song, but it feels… lacklustre compared to the colorful, sparkling songs that surround it. And some of the beats in ‘Can’t Beat the Feeling’ sound like Mario Bros. music (don’t hurt me!).

But despite those small flaws, ‘Aphrodite’ is an intoxicating album — imagine driving with your friends in an open-topped car on a hot summer night, surrounded by glittering signs, dance clubs and shimmering stars. That is what this album is like. It’s an unadulterated guilty pleasure that also happens to be really entertaining; I dare you to put on some of these songs and not feel your feet twitch, just like with ‘Fever.’

And for an album crammed with clubby dance music, Minogue manages to include a lot of musical variation here — her danceable beats can be heavy and thick, ethereal and silky, flexible, or a rapid rain of silvery electronica. There’s also some gauzy swirls of softer, cooler synth, blips and some heavy squiggling — as well as some soft interludes of piano and strings that add an organic edge to the album.

As for Minogue, she sounds like she’s having fun — lots of songs focusing on how she wants to dance ( “My heart plays a rhythm in my head, I can’t help, but move” ), or lose herself in her love for a ‘cupid boy’ ( “If only you knew I shimmer for you/Oh the very thrill of it!” she coos in that song).

‘Aphrodite’ is a welcome return to the sort of clubby, shimmery pop that Kylie Minogue does best, with lots of flourishes, sexy coos and intoxicatingly dancy melodies. Hard to listen to just once.