I expected a lot of things this year. A new Kylie Minogue single was NOT one of them.
This is all a part of her year long celebration of 25 years in the music business – K25 as it’s known on Twitter and other such places. It’s hard to believe that she’s really been doing this for 25 years. But then again, like most things that are amazing, it seems like it should be so much longer as well because I can’t imagine a world without Kylie music in it. Even though I didn’t follow Kylie’s career for most of the 90s, I was quick to buy up pretty much everything released during that time once she came roaring back with the Fever album and, more specifically “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.” With the exception of the album Body Language, which I still have a hard time with, it’s been nothing but a love affair since then. She made the best pop album of her career (and maybe anyone else’s) with 2010’s Aphrodite, and I even had the privilege of seeing her live in May of 2011 – something I never thought would happen considering her low level of mainstream popularity in the U.S.
So what can I say about “Timebomb” that hasn’t been said on a million other blogs? It’s a pretty perfect beginning-of-summer single. Kylie sounds great – she’ll never sing at the Met, but her voice is perfect for the kind of pop music that she does. Still, her live voice is pretty amazing, even though she does have a backing track like most artists of her ilk do when on tour. It’s 2 minutes and 57 seconds of just the kind of stuff I want to listen to during the summer. If you pair this song with Madonna’s “Turn Up The Radio” from MDNA, we have the beginning of a great summer soundtrack. “Turn Up The Radio” is equally lightweight and fun and honestly, that’s what I’m in the mood for this summer. I mean, lyrically, “Timebomb” is not going to win any songwriting awards especially with lyrics like this:
Tell me now, woo
Do you wanna, wanna, wanna, woo
I wanna, wanna dance like it was the last dance of my life
I wanna woo, wanna, wanna, wanna, wanna, woo
Do you wanna, wanna dance, like it was the last dance.
But here’s the thing – the pop blogosphere has exploded in joyous exuberance over the latest Kylie offering. However, I’m trying to think of what the reaction would have been had this been a new Madonna single. Here’s what I think would have happened. Die hard Madonna fans everywhere would be decrying the simplistic lyrics and lack of deep subject matter. They would call it “beneath her” and “not worthy of her legacy.” Basically, they’d be pissing all over it. Yet Kylie offers it up and we all have a collective orgasm over its awesomeness. This all got me to thinking about whether or not we hold Madonna to an impossibly high standard. Is it because she’s shown that she can produce brilliant work that is deep and meaningful like Like A Prayer and Ray of Light as well as going to the dance well and coming up with something amazing like Confessions on a Dance Floor? Since we know she can do it, do we just end up expecting it every time and when she puts out something like “Give Me All Your Luvin'” (that we would have all jizzed over had it been a Kylie song), we turn up our noses and walk away?
I don’t know. I do think that the Kylie does not have to meet the same standards that Madonna does – at least to the dedicated fans. And it’s why I love Kylie as well as Madonna. Sometimes, I just want to dance.
I hesitated before I posted this because sometimes I feel like every blog I read talks about the same things, especially when it comes to pop music. But after a conversation with a friend yesterday, I realized that maybe not everybody reading my blog reads the same pop blogs that I do and, because I choose to write about this kind of stuff, it exposes those folks to a style of music that may be off their beaten track. For some readers, this could be the only indication in their sphere that Kylie Minogue has a new single out. Or that Kylie Minogue even exists.
So watch the “Timebomb” video. Kylie looks AMAZING. She always seems so engaged in whatever she’s doing and, as one of the commenters on the YouTube video says, she smiles, which is something I think Madonna could do a little bit more of (although she was all smiles at the Sticky & Sweet show I saw.) Every now and then, when I’m listening to or watching Kylie, I fleetingly remember that she’s a breast cancer survivor. To think that we might have missed out on all this. It would have been a damn crying shame.