don't get to be a diva for going on twenty years without a
little chameleon in you. After a few missteps in the
90s, Kylie Minogue has shown an amazing ability to adapt to
the changing styles and subjects of the musical world;
reinventing herself again and again so that as a woman in
her mid-thirties she is every bit as with it as she was when
she originally came to notice as an cute eighteen-year-old
the follow up to her smash US comeback CD Fever,
Minogue and her compatriots pull off the not unimpressive
feat of making a modern techno album that feels strangely
timeless. In fact, Body Language seems to be
the album that Madonna was trying unsuccessfully to make
with American Life... a musical statement that was at
once completely up-to-date and yet would not scare off long
Sometimes, in songs like
the impossibly sultry bedroom jam "Chocolate" and the torrid
single "Slow," the songs are undeniably sterile dance tracks
and yet Minogue's cooing voice and innate songcrafting
ability heat up what could be a cool dish. Retro-vibed
dance tracks like "Obsession" and "I Feel For You" seem
wonderfully timeless, these songs could have been hits in
the 80s, 90s or today. "Still Standing" uses a clever
quote from Lisa-Lisa and Cult Jam's "I Wonder If I Take You
Home" to ground the song in a funky place.
Very few veteran artists
can do a techno-colored album any justice. Heavy
hitters like U2, Madonna, David Bowie and many others have
failed miserably. Who'd have thought the tiny
Australian thrush who just three years ago was best known in
the US for a chirpy Hi-NRG 1988 remake of "The Loco-Motion"
would be one of the few who could do it right?
Jay S. Jacobs
2004 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: February 8, 2004.