Album number twelve for the Australian pixie, and her first under the new management of Jay-Z's Roc Nation, this felt like it should have been a moment of re-invention for Miss Minogue. After all, her previous album - 2010's Aphrodite - felt like a natural culmination of her last few outings. Then Kylie dropped the first new single, the catchy and all-too-Kylie 'Into The Blue', and it quickly became apparent that nothing was really going to change, after all. And maybe that's a good thing.
Minogue knows her wheel-house all too well: upbeat, disco-tinged, some influences of whatever is popular right now (in this case, dub-step and EDM), while simultaneously trying to be sexy while remaining quite PG about the subject. Take note of some of the song titles on Kiss Me Once: 'Sexy Love', 'Sexercize' and 'Les Sex'. You wouldn't be mistaken for thinking this is going to be quite explicit, but instead the most adult lyrics you'll hear will be 'I'll make you wait for more, make you get to the core, tomorrow you'll be sore.' Sex as a workout metaphor? Mercy!
Still though, there are some changes to be found. Kylie has replaced automatic-hit-producer Calvin Harris from her last two albums with automatic-hit-producer Pharrell Williams, here providing the cow-bells and choir on 'I Was Gonna Cancel', which works perfectly well, but doesn't really provide the ear-worm you might've expected from this collaboration.
Elsewhere, new hook-ups include so-hot-right-now producer MNEK, who fiddles the knobs on 'Feels So Good', which is probably the first song on the album you'll learn all the words to, and then there's mega-songwriter Sia Furlong, who has exec-produced the whole album, as well as co-writing the title track 'Kiss Me Once' – all wedding bells and love euphoria, but mostly forgettable – as well as the aforementioned 'Sexercize', which manages to survive that horrid title and dub-step influences to end up being one of the best tracks on the album.
There are a few duds in the mix, such as the Enrique Iglesias duet 'Beautiful' which is anything but, and 'Million Miles' which smacks of forgettable filler. It feels like there's none of the artsy risk she took on Body Language, and none of the forward-thinking re-invention of Fever. All in all, this Kylie at her most Minogue, all happy clappy times, but with most of the edges sanded down. Album closer 'Fine' pretty much sums up the album as a whole. It's fine.