Album Review: Kylie Minogue - DISCO

Elizabeth Lamb reviews the latest full-length release from pop icon Kylie Minogue.

Elizabeth Lamb
19th November 2020

When the world needed her most, Kylie delivered.

DISCO dropped earlier this month, and it is an album for the times. The lyric “Oh, we all got wanderlust / In the darkest place” from stand out track ‘Say Something’ perfectly captures the global mood. While we all may be trapped indoors for the foreseeable, DISCO offers escapism, its twinkling synths, catchy bass lines, and funky guitar riffs infectious enough to rival the virus.

The album reads more as a love letter to disco than a pure interpretation. ‘Where Does the DJ Go’ shouts out Gloria Gaynor’s timeless hit ‘I Will Survive’ (“Now I'm leaving behind / All the stress in my mind / Singing I will survive”), capturing the entire album’s ethos of dancing in spite of the darkness with its melodramatic piano intro and the uplifting strings which carry the chorus.

Subtle Calvin Harris 'Acceptable in the 80s’-esque synths keeps it fresh and timeless rather than a tired imitation. The risk with a concept/genre revival album is that it may fall flat and feel gimmicky but Kylie pulls it off by hitting the nostalgic sweet spot, which lies somewhere between Studio 54 and every gay club from the early 2000s onward pumping ‘Spinning Around’ through its speakers. This would not be the first time Kylie has dipped her toe into disco (further reading: Kylie’s 2000 album Light Years) but in case you forgot that Kylie was queen of the dancefloor, DISCO is here to remind you and extend her reign to the makeshift living-room-sofa-pushed-back-against-the-wall dancefloors that we’ve had to make do with in 2020.

in case you forgot that Kylie was queen of the dancefloor, DISCO is here to remind you and extend her reign

The album leans a little twee at its worst on ‘Celebrate You’. “Mary, Mary, I know you've been feeling down / Mary, Mary, when you gonna figure out?” is one for the Irish mammies that will no doubt go down well with a glass or two of Echo Falls - something for everyone on this record. But even in its weaker lyrical moments or more forgettable tracks, DISCO is never not a good time. It is 54 minutes of perfectly cultivated vibes. No skips, just press play and prepare to ascend to disco-pop heaven.

(3.5/5)

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