Minogue is bringing pop back

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By Corinne Love

(Capitol records)

By Corinne Love

Kylie Minogue makes the boys go “whoo” and the men, too.

According to the pint-sized super-pop-diva, it’s her world, but she’s nice enough to let you live in it.

A great element to Minogue’s brand of pop is it is without a sense of irony.

She’s campy and she knows it; there is no pretense of trying to be ‘cool’ or making a killer pop album for the sake of getting it out there to compete with the Gwen Stefani’s, Miley Cyrus’s and Fergies of the pop universe.

“X” is Minogue’s tenth studio album, and it comes after a public struggle with breast cancer (she’s triumphed!.)

While many would have predicted an album that revolved around her treatment, surprisingly Minogue’s perseverance is carried out via enthusiasm for the dance floor.

She’s enlisted a group of producers to help carry out her devious plan of a world take-over.

Her already thin vocals are stretched, digitized, looped to Bloodshy and Avant’s pleasure.

Minogue has become a playful fembot, hell-bent on making the “heart beat rock.”

A preceding semi-fault with Minogue’s albums has always been the strict concentration on one type of fluff to set the album off.

“Body Language” was set off to interlock R&B with electro, while 2001’s “Fever” was millennium disco, set amidst shimmering and easy to consume.

“X” doesn’t follow the same formula.

A hodgepodge of various musical landscapes, Minogue is deft in what songs should fill up space.

There’s cabaret, ’80s pop, electro and of course, classic Minogue.

The lead single “2 Hearts,” probably the strongest track, tips listeners off to the idea that despite her Euro disco roots, Minogue can be hip.

Only setback is the added “whoos” that send the already campy track into a karaoke stratosphere.

That’s not the only misstep that gets in the way of Minogue’s near perfect pop album.

On “Heartbeat rock” Minogue’s rap is well, insipid. It calls to mind Stefani’s “Wind it up.” This is not a good comparison.

She’s tried rapping before, on “Body Language’s” “Secret (Take You Home)” she spun an Eminem-like verse about going clubbing with the boys and riding Kawasaki motorcycles.

However, listeners can’t help but rap along; Minogue’s girlish appeal makes it incredibly difficult to cringe.

But strong singles like the robotized “Like a drug,” the slinky sexy “Speakerphone” and the Serge Gainsbourg’s sampled “Sensitized” make up for these steps and push “X” to being one of Minogue’s better releases.

The limited edition of “X” is the bang-for-your-buck.

While it doesn’t include the bonus track, a remix of the flagship US single “All I See” featuring MIMS, that’s not a tragedy. MIMS may be a talented rapper, but on the track it’s a bit half-hearted and misguided.

Instead, fans should opt for the limited edition. It includes the great single “Rippin’ up the disco.” The second disc also includes a hearth of bonus content. Minogue has always been generous to fans, and this is no different.

An extensive interview is included, along with a so-so photo gallery, and the backing music of the Scissor Sisters penned “White Diamond.”

“White Diamond” while not a club thumping track is underestimated in delivery, she may not be a Christina Aguilera or the newly popular Leona Lewis, but “White Diamond” is satisfying in its own right.

Minogue’s lyrical content has always been and probably always be about love. Losing love, keeping love, attracting it-it’s a fixture of her records. “Cosmic” steers a bit away from most of the album and does delve if not deeply but somewhat into her struggle with breast cancer.

The song pretty much acoustic which electronic flourishes here and there, ties up “X” as an overall nice gift.

Approach “X” as a thrill ride of pop fun and no harm will be done.

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