Aphrodite

Kylie MinogueJuly 2, 2010
Dance Pop℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company
500
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Aphrodite is the eleventh studio album by Australian singer Kylie Minogue, released on 5 July 2010 by Parlophone. Beginning in early 2009, the singer met with British singer-songwriter Nerina Pallot to begin recording sessions for a new album. Although successful at first, the sessions later became unproductive; Minogue then began working with British electronic music producer Stuart Price, who became the executive producer of the album. The two collaborated with various producers and writers on the album, including Jake Shears, Calvin Harris, Sebastian Ingrosso and Pascal Gabriel. Aphrodite follows a musical approach largely similar to Minogue's previous albums and is primarily a dance-pop and disco record. It draws influences from various dance-based genres including electropop, hi-NRG, club and rave music.
Upon its release, Aphrodite was met with generally positive reviews from music critics, many of whom complimented it as a return to form for Minogue. However, critics were divided on its production; many felt Price's production helped make the album cohesive, while some felt it made the album sound too similar to Minogue's previous work and lacked innovation.

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Songs
Popularity
1
All the Lovers3:20
2
Get Outta My Way3:39
3
Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)3:37
4
Closer3:09
5
Everything Is Beautiful3:25
6
Aphrodite3:45
7
Illusion3:21
8
Better Than Today3:25
9
Too Much3:16
10
Cupid Boy4:26
11
Looking for an Angel3:49
12
Can't Beat the Feeling4:10
4.8
500 total
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Additional Information

Total length
43:21
Tracks
12
Released
July 5, 2010
Label
℗ 2010 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company
File type
MP3
Access type
Streaming and by permanent download to your computer and/or device
Internet connection
Required for streaming and downloading
Playback information
Via Google Play Music app on Android v4+, iOS v7+, or by exporting MP3 files to your computer and playing on any MP3 compatible music player
A welcome return from one of the most sophisticated and distinctive voices in British dance-pop, Trip The Light Fantastic is easily Sophie Ellis-Bextor's most dynamic album to date. Markedly more consistent than its enjoyable-but-spotty predecessors, but also -- more importantly -- far more gutsy, varied and vital, its many strong points are the most exciting of her career. It had been four years since her previous album -- a considerable span in pop terms -- but Ellis-Bextor's music has always hearkened to smartly classicist, new wave-informed synth-disco, even in the days when the Pet Shop Boys were practically the sole remaining practitioners of the style, so it didn't require much alteration for her to sound right in step with eighties-resuscitation that was in full swing by 2007. Even so, she sounds dramatically reinvigorated here, with a notable infusion of rock guitars and often a forceful, even menacing, electro edge to the productions, both evident right out the gate in the strident, barnstorming first single "Catch You." The highlights follow fast and furious: the immaculate disco glide of "Me and My Imagination" (whose canny lyrics advise an overeager suitor to play harder to get), the robotic, strobing "New York City Lights," the Xenomania-esque, Emma Goldman-quoting stomp of "If I Can't Dance" (the actual Xenomania contribution, "If You Go," is nearly as good), and the lovely pop ballad "Today the Sun's on Us," Ellis-Bextor's entrant in the late-2000s "Time After Time"-homage sweepstakes. Amazingly, despite that practically flawless opening sequence, the latter half of the album is nearly as strong, boasting the bouncy, fun-loving pop of "Love Is Here" and the twitchy electro of "China Heart," while the brashly optimistic disco-schmaltz apotheosis "Only One" stands as the album's most triumphantly over the top, life-affirming moment. In a banner year for British, female-fronted electronic chart pop, which saw excellent albums by Sugababes, Girls Aloud, Róisín Murphy, Siobhan Donaghy, Tracey Thorn, and Kylie Minogue, among others, Ellis-Bextor more than held her own with a classy, romantic, and, above all, tremendously enjoyable record that stands as a shining example of the state of the art. [Polydor's 2007 U.K. edition included two bonus tracks.]
By the time of 2004's Body Language, Kylie Minogue was seemingly unassailable, with three hit albums (both critically and commercially), a number of hit singles, and a recharged career that only a few years before had seemed precarious at best. She backed up the new material with a collection (Ultimate Kylie) that boasted excellent new material as well. All things seemed to be destined for further glory. And then, unfortunately, cancer hit. While she did recover fully from her illness and ordeal, there was some speculation on how she would deal with this event, and how her music and choice of collaborators would be affected. Many artists have come back from a potentially life-threatening disease with work that is a flat-out declaration of victory, songs and images that are thinly shrouded metaphors for rebirth or newfound strength. Therefore, it must have surprised many that the leadoff from Kylie's new record would be "2 Hearts," a '70s-style Roxy Music-esque glam jam that clocks in at under three minutes, and is -- seemingly -- devoid of any sort of "I'm back from the brink" anthemizing. Couple this pop gem with the gaudy early-'80s artwork, and the buzz was that Kylie was not only back, but back with a Me Decade swagger and ready to take back the momentum she'd been building since 2000. But to call X an '80s record is really only getting halfway there. Sure, the cover art is vintage 1982, and the majority of the record calls on production tricks and techniques that are of the same time, but much of the record calls on different eras -- not generalized decades as such, but eras in Kylie's own career. Most of the tracks could have fit in on earlier work, answering the question: what does a pop artist do when she's come full circle? She's been influenced as of late by '70s disco and '80s electro, but with X, it feels like Kylie has decided to take inspiration from Kylie herself.

But there's more here than just that. From a musical standpoint, X is all over the map. If that's due in part or in whole to reassessing one's career, that's all well and good, but after the last three albums, it is not what her fans have really come to expect. To break it all down: after the nod to the days of Roxy and Bowie and Bolan in the aforementioned lead single (and fantastic album opener) -- which has a very warm, organic feel to it, almost conjuring up the heart musically -- the electronics kick in and an icy chill fills the room. From then on the album bounces back and forth from cold, calculated dance-pop that is more indicative of her recent work ("Like a Drug," "In My Arms," "Heart Beat Rock," "The One") and more personal, expansive work à la 1997'sImpossible Princess and 1994's Kylie Minogue ("Sensitized," "Stars," "Cosmic"). While some of it is very very good (Guy Ritchie's "Sensitized" is arguably the best track on the album, so much so that it's disappointing that she didn't work with him more on X), most of it lacks -- when all presented as a whole -- what the last few collections really had: consistency. X isn't a "piece" as, say, Light Years was. It feels more like an artist trying to make sure she has all her bases covered. She even touches -- for the most part -- on her recent illness with the admittedly strong "No More Rain." But while tracks like "Nu-di-ty" and "Speakerphone" would have sounded better on the last Robbie Williams record and working with Bloodshy & Avant is questionable from time to time, the majority of X is exactly what it's meant to be: a collection of songs by a pop artist who is aware of her past achievements and doubly aware of her need to stay relevant in the face of unwanted diversion. [The U.S. edition of the album adds a bonus track: a version of "All I See" with a guest rap from Mims.]
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