2020 – Disco
On her fifteenth studio album, DISCO, singer Kylie Minogue takes on the role of a tireless dancer and builds a catchy, fun and well-produced project.
Throughout this year, several artists have been looking for ways to find light in music in order to go through the dark and gloomy period that 2020 was and is being. In the case of Kylie Minogue, that light spills from her chest that is pointed out by the meeting of her two hands on the cover of her new album, DISCO. However, this light cannot be seen easily. According to Minogue, the best way to see it is through a mirror ball that, in addition to revealing the brightness, increases and expands it in all directions. In fact, she was right and she does it in the successor to 2018’s country-tinged Golden, revealing a captivating light from another galaxy that is capable of bringing a party into a boring room.
“I’ve turned off the dirt road and onto the supersonic highway — straight to the galactic record,” she says of the unexpected transition between her previous album, Golden, and her new project. Indeed, you can feel it since, at different times, you feel you have entered a vintage spaceship and are in another galaxy dancing to the songs from DISCO. With brilliant and sparkling synthesizers and empowered lyrics that show Minogue taking on the role of a tireless dancer who knows her own power on the dance floor, DISCO arrives with a set of captivating, cool and entertaining songs that spark an infectious dance feeling in ours inland. Even those tracks that seem to be without creativity and do not go beyond generic nightclub songs, all songs have a unique shine and catchy charm. Without a doubt, one of the best Disco records of the year.
One of the points that DISCO stands out in the middle of several other projects that has been trying to revive the genre from decades ago ― the successful What’s Your Pleasure? by Jessie Ware and the flawed Róisín Machine by Róisín Murphy ― it’s the fact that it goes far beyond a set of well-produced and captivating tracks. In fact, the songs here, several times, promote a slightly deeper and sharper experience, with songs capable of making you feel what Minogue really wanted: a futuristic retro Disco album that makes you feel inside a stylized movie. The album’s opener, “Magic,” is a beautiful example of this with stylized strings, timeless samples and Kylie’s voice worked in a captivating and memorable rhyme. She asks tirelessly while a kind of soundtrack from an old and shiny movie plays in the background, “Boy, do you believe in magic?/Do you, do you, do you?” Later, sparkling trumpets and pianos come together to make the whole scene of a bright and lit dance floor even stronger ― a scene that remains for the rest of the album.
Fortunately, several other songs on the album are like that too: rhythmic and captivating sound pieces with a vivid sound and lyrics capable of creating almost realistic images in our heads. While “Say Something” is a complex track with electricized strings that play a friendly chord and Minogue features incredible vocals, especially at the end when the song seems to have become a kind of dream, “Supernova” seems to have come straight from a 2000s futuristic electronic album, with Kylie painting the most spatial scenes on the record. “It’s supernatural, your energy/New horizons, new galaxy (Ah),” she sings. “I Love It,” in turn, despite having somewhat tiring repetitions, has as its strongest point a smooth and pleasant fluidity and “Dance Floor Darling,” again with stylized and well-coordinated set of strings, is one of the most romantic of the album, where she dedicates her love in an appropriate way within the whole context. She sings, “Gonna take you where the music never ends/My dance floor darling.” These songs have brilliant, electric magic.
In contrast to this we have the weakest tracks on the album which, although not necessarily bad, do not have elements as creative or striking as the other songs have. In this set, “Miss a Thing,” with a somewhat disappointing lyrics, and “Real Groove,” which has a chorus that seems to beg to be something explosive, are the most charmless moments on the album. Although they have their qualities, both lack something that makes them more like the rest of the album than something very generic and nothing interesting. In addition, there are other songs on DISCO that seem totally out of place. “Monday Blues,” despite being a really cool song, doesn’t talk to anything on the album and looks like a Pop demo track of Minogue’s latest album, and “Last Chance” looks like something out of a recent Madonna album, more precisely Rebel Heart.
Despite the album closing with two good songs, no other track would be better closer than “Where Does the DJ Go?” In this track, she sings about how she is not ready to go home and wants to continue partying until dawn. She asks, “Where does the DJ go, go, go/When the party’s over tonight?” while the music makes up a nostalgic instrumental that makes the song look like one of those timeless songs. However, this does not mean that the two songs are bad. The biggest villain of “Unstoppable” is the position on the album which, being in the end, makes the song seem more tiring and much longer than it really is ― although it sounds like a hymn that could easily be sung by Whitney Houston. “Celebrate You,” lastly, although very good, it does not have the energy that sums up the entire album and that gives a feeling of “I want more” that this album requires at the end.