Fever is vintage Kylie Minogue, yet in a way it feels brand new. Unlike last year’s disco-pink-flamenco tinged Light Years, which was an album created to woo back her gay fanbase, Fever won’t make straight people flee the record stores. Ms Minogue is always an anomaly, mind you. The press is fixated on her despite her bland interview style and non-exciting love life (other than Michael Hutchence, that is). She has it, the charisma factor. At the same time, while straight guys may ogle her, they won’t touch her music. Maybe Fever change that.
It’s heavily borrowed the finer moments of 1980s dance music, mixing it and updating it with modern high energy drum and synthesizer beats. Hence, it kills two birds with one stone: the pink triangle crowd can still boogie to the Chic and Donna Summer-like tunes, while the sophisticated clubs can belt out groovy stonkers like that wildly overplayed Can’t Get You Out of My Head.
Fever is a dance album, make no mistake. The closest to ballads are the haunting Fragile and my favorite, the title track (not the Peggy Lee cover, but an original). On the latter, Ms Minogue turns the teenagers’-favorite-pastime of playing doctor into one that will send the tree house into immediate combustion. Let’s just say you don’t hear “diagnose” rhymed with “should I take off my clothes?” every day. Still, this time around Minogue is flashing her skin in a more classy way. Can’t Get You Out of My Head and its clones Dancefloor and Come Into My World are actually very good and insanely infectious tunes, and all those “la, la, la” will never get out of one’s head after a listen.
In a way, this is Kylie Minogue, still showing skin, still jiggling around and using the microphone in ways that are vaguely obscene, but also a confident, grown-up version who struts around like a diva who knows her worth. It’s about time too. There’s very little that feels wrong on Fever, it is a bloody good pop album.