First review: Kylie’s country club
WELCOME to country Kylie.
Kylie Minogue's brand new single Dancing is actually more country/club, the first taste of her 14th album Golden, out April 6.
Written with Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud) and Sky Adams (Ella Eyre) Dancing's mix of banjo and beats recalls Aviici's folk/dance hit Wake Me Up.
Minogue is no stranger to a euphoric chorus or lyrics about rug-cutting and the instantly-catchy Dancing delivers both in spades, just now in a pair of cowboy boots not high heels.
Depending on how you look at it (or how morbid you're feeling) the chorus line "when I go out I want to go out dancing" is either a statement of intent for a big night on the tiles or a triumphant final request.
The song's first two verses include lines like "no one wants to say at home, nobody wants to be alone, when you come knocking I'll be at your door" and "this is where I wanna be, with your arms wrapped around me and fireworks reflecting in your eyes." Bless.
It's maybe the final verse "everybody's got a story, let it be a blaze of glory, burning bright never fade away, and when the final curtain falls we can say we did it all, a never ending of a perfect day" that has seen Dancing interpreted as a hands-in-the-air, boot-scooting, fist-pumping epitaph. Although Minogue could just as easily be singing about the end of a relationship not musing on her mortality in a three minute pop song. She wouldn't be the first person working on music in Nashville to get a bit reflective.
Minogue's giving nothing away in the brief bio for the single, stating of Dancing "You've got the lyrical edge, that country feel, mixed with some sampling of the voice and electronic elements, so it does what it says on the label. And I love that it's called Dancing, it's immediately accessible and seemingly so obvious, but there's depth within the song."
The organic electronica feel is a smart way to ease fans into some of Golden's more countrified moments.
But there's no doubt Dancing is going to divide Kylie fans. It already has - the song leaked last weekend prompting this week's rush-release.
Some fans were taking a while to process a disco-free Kylie single, and they were the more polite ones. This week marks 20 years since Minogue's last real musical 360, Impossible Princess, now viewed as many fans' favourite Kylie album - and home to her new motto Cowboy Style.
Dancing is a smart first single as it is one of the most traditional Kylie moments on Golden.
Advance warning: there's no classic Kylie straight-up electronic dance pop moments on Golden, but certainly nothing that will alienate true fans and indeed many will enjoy her trying something different and moving out of her comfort zone. Kylie has committed to her Nashville epiphany and the country feel suits her voice on the lower-tempo moments.
And rest assured Kylie's take on country is more akin to Dolly Parton at her poppiest, rather than Alison Krauss.
There's even a hoedown feel to A Lifetime to Repair, while Raining Glitter is another more traditional Kylie moment (from the title up) for fans struggling with the slight diversion in direction.
Golden also includes a moody duet with up and coming British singer Jack Savoretti, Music's Too Sad Without You that is the closest she's come to her work with Nick Cave in years.
Remarkably Dancing is Minogue's 72 single, but will it become her eleventh No. 1 in Australia? Country is on the radio right now (Sam Hunt, Morgan Evans, Florida Georgia Line) and Taylor Swift's left the genre behind for now, so now let's see if commercial radio support our Kylie again.