The Best Of Kylie Minogue

EMI Records, Audio CD: Rs 395

Has it really been 25 years of Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue? The Goddess of Pop, as she’s been dubbed by her fans, survived an encounter with breast cancer in 2005, and came back with two albums of new music after that. She’s now managed to hit the 25-year-mark – and that, apparently, warrants yet another compilation album. Released in June this year, The Best Of Kylie Minogue isn’t Kylie’s first compilation album, and it’s unsure why it was called for, especially since she has another album – arguably more interesting – coming up this year. The Abbey Road Sessions is out in October, and sees Kylie reworking her dance-pop concoctions with the help of the BBC’s symphony orchestra.

The Best Of Kylie Minogue has 21 songs, from her first album in 1988 to more recent work from 2010. The 2001 album Fever appears three times. The (aptly) feverish ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ opens the proceedings; later in the album, ‘Love At First Sight’ and ‘In Your Eyes’ make appearances to remind us of Kylie at her whispering, ‘sexy’ best.

There are many Kylies to be found in this album: the sounds are typical of the dominant popular music of their time. Unlike the overly-sexed-up Kylie seen in songs from Fever, in the bubblegum pop-like tunes from her 1988 debut Kylie, there’s a cheerful girl begging to be ‘noticed’ by the object of her affections in ‘Lucky’ (‘I should be so lucky’, she sings, to upbeat guitar).

Of course, there’s also her well-known ‘Locomotion’, with its simple, catchy allure and Kylie exhorting you to ‘Sway your hips, now’. The simple romance and waltz-time of ‘Tears On My Pillow’ is possibly a revelation to those who have only heard the singer in her later years. Other tracks with a distinctly (dare we say it?) retro sound are ‘Better The Devil You Know’ and beseeching album-ender ‘Never Too Late’.

By 2004, the mournful ‘Confide In Me’ had made an appearance, in another album titled after her name (the full name, this time). This began to be influenced by the increasing presence of ‘world music’, evidently; besides Kylie’s wail on vocals, a melange of strings and percussion finds its way into the song. At 4:26, that’s also the longest song in the album, and a refreshing break from the dance machine.

Other tracks on the album are the Robbie Williams collaboration ‘Kids’, with its energetic-but-repetitive chorus; ‘Wow’, a song that is literally full of the guitar “wah” pedal effects, and the hip-hop infused ‘Red Blooded Woman’, a song about sexual empowerment.

The songs are, on the whole, perky enough that they might, as soundtrack, enliven some dreaded household chore. What the album also does is offer (yet another) retrospective of the singer-actress-cancer survivor. The music does not, however, warrant a purchase of the CD.