This long-awaited album from the Princess of Pop Kylie Minogue initially disappoints me. After the fabulous Impossible Princess, the four-year wait has to result in Light Years, a fluffy disco stomp album? Ugh – it offends my sensibilities.
But after I calm down, I start seeing things a different way. Actually, Light Years is a great pop album. The joke I have to get here is that, in this album, Ms Minogue is taking me into a world of sun, tan, and Bond Girls. It is a fact that she cheerfully acknowledges in Love Boat, a great summer anthem: she is in fact playing on every horny male’s fantasy. Here is Kylie, your Bond Girl/Disco Dolly.
Ms Minogue may just single-handedly spearhead the 70’s Disco Revival. Really fab campy tunes like the masterpiece cabaret/cross-dressing queen showpiece Your Disco Needs You drive me into waving my hands cheerfully and screeching along to the Village People-like male backing chorus. I can just imagine the music video should this song be released as a single: Ms Minogue in a tight white shirt ending just below her chest and in a cop hat prancing around on stage before a go-go line of scantily-clad men and women dancers. Camp in the very essence of the word.
Cementing the disco revival are Disco Down (sounding very much like Pulp’s Disco 2000), Under the Influence of Love (what will Barry White think?), and I’m So High. The only token to modern house trend is Butterfly. There’s even an 80’s pop revival in Spinning Around (co-written by Paula Abdul with Ms Minogue sounding just like Ms Abdul) and an Europop fluff tribute in her cover of Pandora’s On a Night Like This.
And then there’s the naughty duet with Robbie Williams in Kids, which has she playing groupie to his “messy, greasy drummer”. It probably set back the feminist movement by ten centuries with Ms Minogue going “the purpose of a woman is to love her man”, but it’s all a joke.
In fact, Light Years is one great laugh. It’s a trip to a cheesy, campy world where impossibly plastic and beautiful men and women in skimpy clothes lounge around and make love under glorious sun, white sands, and endless martini fountains. It’s The Love Boat meets James Bond, and she is here to play, uh, purser on every listener’s trip. Kitsch is never this fun.