Kiss Me Once is the 12th studio album by Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue. It was released March 18 2014, and is her first studio album release since Aphrodite (2010), and first album under the management of Jay Z's Roc Nation.
The first song and first single "Into the Blue" was written by Kelly Sheehan, Mike Del Rio and Jacob Kasher. The song incorporates instrumentation from strings, guitars and synthesizers; as well as being generalized as part of the electronic dance music genre.
If you know anything about my critiques of music, you’ll know that I believe the first single released is the most important release of an album so it’s very important for the record label to get the first single right. As with most of Kylie’s singles – the label once again picked the wrong song to use as the first single for the album.
Parlophone had it right with “Spinning Around” as the first single from the “Light Years” album and “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” from her “Fever” album but since then they have struggled to pick a universally catchy song to use for the first single for each of the next 4 albums, including “Kiss Me Once”.
To promote “Kiss Me Once” Parlophone and Kylie decided to release “Into the Blue” as the first single. I see what they were doing by using the song as the first single, although I think that was a mistake. I think the label thought it was the most universally appealing song – something that new and old fans would like – and I think they were trying to play it safe with the single. It just wasn’t catchy enough. In fact, I think the song is a little bit depressing to listen to. If I was at the label, I would have selected Million Miles, Sexy Love or Les Sex as the first single from the album. You have to make a statement with the first single - it usually gets the most publicity of any single from the album.
To promote the single, Kylie released a creative lyric video which was brilliant and matched my own vision for the song. The official music video has absolutely nothing relevant to do with the song at all- Kylie walking around outside and rolling around in bed with a French actor. Uninspiring. Boring. Again, at least the lyric video had more of a theme to it.
Into the Blue is not Kylie’s best but it’s not her worst. It was not single material. The video was boring. The remixes were not worthy of buying. The b-side “Sparks” – was creative but also not single-worthy.
Sexercise was released as the second single from the album. Sexercise is a great song. Brilliant – the production on it is amazing. I love the instrumentation on this... I mean this was meant to be a club song... strip club song... in your bedroom getting’ freaky kinda song. But I love the almost way Kylie raps in the song – the lyrics –Sia is an excellent producer – I mean the way they did Kylie’s vocals and the beats and instruments they used – this is a tight song – this is something I would have expected Britney to do. It’s an updated “Give It To Me” moment from the “Fever” album ... the song has amazing remix potential.
With that said, you’re probably not going to understand my next statement. I don’t understand Sexercise as a second single. I understand the “exercise” niche that Sexercise fills and the controversy of the video which I could care less for, but I think the single choices are a poor representation of the goodness of this album. Honestly. Now don’t get me wrong – because I love love love Sexercise – I’m speaking purely from a commercial radio – commercial audience standpoint.
“Sexy Love” is more pop friendly – and would reach a wider audience. I could probably pass off “Sexy Love” and let the kids hear it and be ok with that playing on the radio – but Sexercise – no way I can play that for my kids who love love Kylie – and if I heard it on the radio I would have to switch it off with them in the car... I just don’t think that was the way to go for her.
“Sexy Love” is hands down my favorite song on the album. I got a copy of the album for my Aunt and straight away when we compared notes – this was her favorite song too – and she’s 50 now. So if young guys like us and a 50 yr old woman like it what does that tell you? Obviously it has universal appeal... so it should have been a single. I can already see the choreography for the dance moves to this song in my head- and is it just me or does it remind you a little bit of Love At First Sight too? It’s so bouncy and upbeat. Most played song on the album right here. I would have paid the full price of the album just for this song. The instrumentation is absolutely brilliant.
“Million Miles” is such an amazing song – I love the instrumentation – the song has meat to it. The lyrics make sense – I love how Kylie says “million—milllll-ion miles away” - this was the most listened to song on the SoundCloud preview – what does that tell you? Sexy Love and Les Sex and Sexercise had a ton of plays too. This song definitely gets an A+ in my book and is one of my favorites on the album. I just love listening to it – the chorus is great and it’s a perfect fit for Kylie.
“I Was Gonna Cancel” – (the 3rd single, just announced) has a cute back-story about Kylie’s breakdown in the studio and almost cancelling on Pharrell who then wrote the song on the spot.
Honestly this is the only track on the album I have a problem with – it’s such an annoying song – the melody – the instruments – just annoy me. Pharrell is creative – I love what he did with Daft Punk but this song is not my favorite and honestly I skip it now. I could live without it – but it’s still not as boring or unimaginative as “Slow” from the “Body Language” album. I wonder if they picked this song as the 3rd single strictly because of Pharrell (or if his contract stated that his song had to be a single if he was involved with the album).
“Feels So Good” – It’s a slower song but it’s still good and I don’t mind listening to it. The lyrics and music are both good. A good filler track.
“If Only” – Another gem on the album. I like the intro – the producer tries for a second to make you think the song is going in one direction and then takes the music in another way – I like the instrumentation – the lyrics are great – and I’m betting “Two hearts, wanna left to be lonely, if only”... watch this song get blended and remixed with “2 Hearts” from “X” – I bet Steve Anderson will catch that. Anyway I like this one a lot. I think it has some potential to be remixed too.
“Les Sex” – sorry but I have to say it- this song is the “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” moment on the album. It truly is. It should be, has to be a single. Kylie must know this as she performed it live the first time she performed “Into the Blue” live. Instant hit in France – we know this for sure. I think it would do well in the US. I could totally hear it on the radio and the music video – I’m channeling something along the lines of Kylie’s “Sensitized” performance from her TV special where she performed the songs from X meets the commercial she did for Agent Provocateur. And remixes – helloooo – I think they would be amazing... kick ass. The lyrics on this song are brilliant.
“Kiss Me Once” is a standout track too – if it was a single I wouldn’t be bothered by it. It’s kinda an anthem song. I like it. I enjoy the song – I like the lyrics and the instrumentation. If they remixed the song there would be potential for something good. It may be just a little too slow for me – but I like it a lot. Kinda reminds me of “All The Lovers” only better. Oh I could hear a Kiss Me Once/All The Lovers mash-up coming on in my head. I hope Steve Anderson is getting this – I’m trying to telepathically send it to him – these are great ideas right?
“Beautiful” – we already talked about this one. It is beautiful, great ballad. I hear it will be a single for Enrique? I think that’s a good idea. Its worthy of a single if done right.
“Fine” – Wow. Another brilliant moment on the album. I love the lyrics. This could have been a single too. I mean, it’s almost as slow and sappy as “Into the Blue”. I like the male voice in the background – much like she tried to do with Into the Blue. The lyrics to this song have a deep meaning – she sings it with convincing feeling, which I like. I like the positive tone –“you’re gonna be fine”. The production on this was really well done. I would like a “Fine” remix. It’s rare that a song as excellent as this is pushed to the end of the album but it’s a hell of the way to end the album.
“Mr. President” – Wow. I love the instrumentation. Definitely “Fever” 2.0 here. How can I complain? I can’t. I can’t!!!! This song goes right along with the rest – and include “Skirt” and “Timebomb” with them too. Kinda a dub step – Kylie’s version of a sexier more adult “Femme Fatale”. I mean I could care less about “Mr President” for the lyrical content but I like the play on words – “I’ll be your Marilyn” – and the freakin’ instrumentation is so well done – I never get tired of listening to this. Kylie really delivered!!!
“Sleeping with the Enemy” – I like this one – the lyrics are good – the song kinda is slow and a melodic way to end the album with the bonus tracks. The lyrics are good and the music was put together really well. I could totally hear Kylie singing it live – and man, she is so believable on this song. She did a great job.
In closing, aside from the single choices, it’s hard to find any fault with the album. I am speechless – no complaints here other than questionable single choices and poor music videos. I was hoping for creative videos like the “Fever” album – but hey I’ll take an album of 14 hits over the videos. I’m looking forward to the tour. I hear Kylie will be in the U.S. in May. Not sure what that’s all about but we shall see. U.S. Tour dates have not been announced yet but I know she will be touring here this time around – she said she would.
I will say that, not helping Kylie – I went to both Walmart AND Target – 2 big box stores here in the U.S. and zip – zero – no copies of “Kiss Me Once”. So it’s apparently an uphill battle for artists to sell music. I was going to buy 2 copies of the album to give away to co-workers and friends and the stores weren't even selling it. Their web sites are selling them – but if I'm going to order the album online I might as well buy it on iTunes- so it makes no sense. How is Kylie supposed to sell records if you can’t even find them in stores? Not everyone wants to download the album. I did of course, on iTunes but I also like to have a physical copy in my collection – and copies to give away.