Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue

Kiss Me Once

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(Parlophone)

AT the age of 45, Kylie Minogue is mother's generation to many of the pop princesses parading the glitzy catwalk of the UK Singles Chart.

Perhaps that's why her last album, The Abbey Road Sessions, traded on her mature status via orchestral-blowout and hotel-lounge arrangements of past hits (including a suicide cover of I Should Be So Lucky - that is, when you murder your own song).

However, Kiss Me Once is a step backwards to the album before that - 2010's Aphrodite - with Kylie's distinctive but gossamer-thin voice hanging as precariously on dancefloor bangers and synth-pop tunes as that white hoodie did on her petite frame for the Can't Get You Out Of My Head video.

Once again we're in a music-industry pre-packaged world where it takes upwards of 15 producers and 20-odd co-writers to craft a single album. Attention falls, quite naturally, on track three, I Will Cancel, another sound-of-now Chic-by-way-of-Daft-Punk-by-way-of-The-Neptunes slice of retro disco-funk written and produced (with one hand tied behind his back) by Pharrell Williams.

Elsewhere, the trilogy of Sexy Love, Sexercise and Les Sex positions Kylie uncomfortably as Rihanna's naughty-but-nice cousin, while Beautiful, a passionless duet with Enrique Iglesias, is a commercially-driven dud. Generic and artistically anonymous, Kiss Me Once fulfils its basic dancefloor duties, but no more than that.

ALAN MORRISON