X is Kylie Minogue’s tenth studio album, hence the title. She has lost a fiancé and triumphed over breast cancer prior to coming out with X, but it’s still business as usual for dear Ms Minogue. X is similar in many ways to Body Language apart from one noticeable difference: while Body Language is experimental but boring, X is packed with good tunes.
Her cover version of Kosh Mauve’s 2 Hearts sees her pulling out all kind of rock-and-roll pretensions that shouldn’t work on someone like her but do nonetheless. It’s borderline ridiculous (if only because one doesn’t expect pop singers like Kylie Minogue to pull a stunt like this) and sublime (because she pulls it off nicely), everything I like about the Kylie Minogue who sang with Nick Cave, made a music video of her various incarnations fighting each other, and floated in space.
The rest of the CD however is a mixed bag of catchy electronica that is far more to expected from Kylie Minogue. The catchy Like a Drug and Sensitized, for example, are the seductive trance-like dance floor grooves that she has been making in the last few years. In My Arms is just insane, I tell you, in how fun it is to screech along during the chorus, while the shallow and bouncy Wow reminds me of Madonna’s Holiday given an updated spin. Some of the slower songs, Cosmic and No More Rain, still get the feet tapping. Even when things are at the most experimental – such as the beatbox grooves of Nu-di-ty and Speakerphone – the music is still as gorgeous as ever.
The only misstep that I can see is the tedious American R&B wannabe All I See but that’s only one song so everything is still okay to me.
X is a complete step-up from the tepid Body Language. Listening to this is like being in a psychadelic party with a eighties theme. It’s too fun for words, just like how pop music should be.