Radio Creme BruleeKylie Minogue underwhelms with "Into The Blue"
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Kylie Minogue underwhelms with “Into The Blue”

19 January 2014 25 Comments
This blog belongs to Radio Creme Brulee – an internet music radio station that broadcasts globally.

kylie-minogueAussie pop princess Kylie Minogue is one of the artists we listed in our post on Veteran artists returning with new music in 2014. Given the brilliance of her last studio outing “Aphrodite”, we have plenty of reason to wait for new material with a high level of anticipation. In 2013, the only music that revolved around Kylie Minogue related to her signing with the RocNation artist agency and her two releases – “Skirt” and “Limpido” (a duet with Italian pop star Laura Pausini). The only piece of news that did NOT polarize her fanbase was her hit duet with Pausini. The name RocNation is practically synonymous with that of hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. There was a lot of concern about Kylie’s sound being modified to cater to America’s lowest common denominator – due to her affiliation with Jay-Z. Fortunately, with her new single, “Into the blue“, that concern can be put to rest. But does that mean this new single breaks any new ground? Unfortunately not.

The first few seconds of “Into the blue” sound very promising. The song opens with electronic chords and string arrangements which quickly flow into a sparse verse, followed by a generic pre-chorus and an even more tired and generic chorus. The Middle 8 of the song adds absolutely nothing to the track. Overall, the song sounds like something that could have fit well on the “X” album – which was pleasant enough but far from earth-shattering. Kylie does not exactly break any new ground here or build off the brilliance that was “Aphrodite“. Besides the strong vocals, the song’s only saving grace is its euphoric lyrics:

When I got my back up against the wall
Don’t need no one to rescue me
Cause I quit waiting up for no miracle
Tonight i’m running free
Into The Blue, Into The Blue
With nothing to lose, Into the blue

One can only hope that “Into the blue” is not the best that the new album has to offer. We most certainly have hope. “All the lovers” – the lead single off her “Aphrodite” was underwhelming at best but everything that followed was absolutely fantastic and everything that modern pop should be. We still look forward to the new Kylie Minogue album and hope that she surprises us the way she did with “Aphrodite“. Here is a full-length video of the new Kylie Minogue single “Into The Blue”:

STAR RATING: 3 STARS (out of 5)

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25 Responses to "Kylie Minogue underwhelms with “Into The Blue”"

  1. Frannie says:

    I have to admit I’ve never been a fan of Kylie. To me all her music is kind of generic and sounds the same. I have not heard the Aphrodite album Also, I find the tone of her voice very unappealing. When it comes to pop/dance divas I much prefer Madonna and Gaga because I enjoy their voices much more.

  2. @Frannie: Kylie has definitely had her moments. Songs on “Aphrodite” worth checking out are “Get outta my way”, “Everything is beautiful”, “Aphrodite”, and “Can’t beat the feeling”. In this genre, I definitely preferred Madonna up until 1998 but since then, not so much. I still don’t really get Gaga.

  3. Frannie says:

    I love everything Madonna put outs. She’s my all time favorite artist! I know people criticize her recent records, but I love it all. I think you said George Michael is your favorite artist. Madonna is that for me. I got into Gaga with the Born This Way album. I think that’s a great pop album. I really did not care for Artpop her recent album too much though. She kind of lost the pop aspect and the songs were too thumping with not enough melody and they had a weird structure to them. Maybe it’s because I live in the US and Kylie’s not promoted here much, so to get into her you have to make an extra effort to find her music on the Internet.
    But I do feel that because Kylie has a nice personality and is less controversial, people hold her to a less harsh standard in judging her music than they do Madonna and Gaga.

  4. @Frannie: For me Madonna’s golden period was 1984-1998. Everything she released during this period gave me goosebumps – especially songs like “Rain” and “Bad Girl”. We still play her newer material on Radio Creme Brulee but I rarely play it with the same excitement that I do the older material. The only exception to this is the brilliant “Miles Away” (from the “Hard Candy” album). I agree that Gaga’s new material doesn’t have much in terms of melody. I have to admit I found that problem even with her “Born this way” album though. Songs like “Judas” etc did nothing for me. It is interesting that you mentioned Kylie’s lack of controversy. I actually never thought of that. She literally is controversy-free. Part of the reason we launched Radio Creme Brulee was to give Americans an avenue of exposure that celebrates a more global view of the pop landscape as opposed to the limited view of pop music that we’ve had in the US since the mid-90s. The idea that only 6 artists are supposed to dominate the pop scene at any given time is a ludicrous one in our opinion. Fortunately, our growth in recent years has validated our assertion that pop music fans do want more in terms of the notion of what is mainstream. Have you had a chance to give us a spin? As always, thank you so much for the comment!

  5. Kerry says:

    Oh dear…….

  6. @Kerry: Do you agree with our review?

  7. Kerry says:

    Yes and no. I think it’s worse! Exactly what I thought Roc nation would do to her! First Kylie album in years I definitely won’t be buying….

  8. @Kerry: I actually didn’t see that much of a RocNation influence on this track. Unfortunately, I have a feeling the influence will be seen in some of the other tracks off the album (will.i.am is involved!)

  9. Frannie says:

    I don’t care for it too much, but then I’ve never been a Kylie fan. I looked on a couple of forums around the Internet and most of Kylie fans seem to really like it. It seems like the happy sort of superficial pop/dance anthem her fans have come to expect from her. I agree there doesn’t seem to be any kind of urban or hip hop influence that you might expect from Roc Nation. It doesn’t seem that different from the few of her older songs I’ve heard. So it doesn’t seem Roc Nation has made a big change at least on this song.

  10. @Frannie: Surprisingly, the reception to the track has been very positive. I am not sure what exactly people are warming up to. And yes, RocNation has not really had much of an impact on this track but it is likely they have on some of the other tracks on the album.

  11. Frannie says:

    I guess some people don’t like urban/R&B/hip hop influenced stuff, but if someone like Kylie wants to do something slightly different that’s a good direction for her to go in. Madonna and Gaga have done R&B or hip hop influenced stuff. If Kylie wants to do something different, that sort of direction would work better for her than trying to do some guitar based rock sound. So I could see why she would hook up with someone like Roc Nation.
    The only recent song I remember liking by her is her song Slow. That had a cool trip hop feel to it. It was co-written by Emiliana Torrini, a singer from Iceland who has solo records out in a trip hop style that I’ve enjoyed. You should check out some of Emiliana’s music if you haven’t heard it.

  12. @Frannie: I am not opposed to stylistic change. What I do have an issue is where the artist’s vision is completely hijacked by that of the producer and the artist becomes a guest vocalist on his or her record and ends up not leveraging distinguishing competencies. I don’t want what happened to Janet Jackson in the 2000s to happen to Kylie and that is the risk she runs by hooking up with folks like RocNation. I have actually heard of Emiliana Torrini but have not really spend time discovering her catalog. I guess I should devote at least some part of this weekend to doing that. Thanks a ton for the recommendation – and as always, thanks for the comments. I find the discussion around a post even more valuable than the post itself.

  13. Sam says:

    This review hit the nail on the head. I also agree that “All the Lovers” wasn’t that hot, but that “Aphrodite” as a whole was great. I might give “Into the Blue” 3 1/2 stars for its energy, interesting music (in parts of it), and solid vocals, but it’s still rather disappointing. I don’t find many music reviews that I agree with, but this one I do–good job.

  14. @Sam: Thank you so much for the kind words. Interestingly enough, our review might be on the few that are not overly positive about the new Kylie single. Most critics are hailing this single as a return to form of sorts for Kylie. We personally think that is far from accurate. And yes, the vocals are strong. Just out of curiosity, how did you discover our radio station?

  15. Sam says:

    You’re very welcome. I can at least understand the positive reviews of the single, because it’s like one of those movies with so many special effects that they make you forget the plot is kinda thin. 😉 I think it takes a lot of discernment, which the average critic tends not to have, to see through all the glitz.

    I discovered your site by doing a Google search for reviews of the new single. On the way, I encountered a bunch of positive reviews, and was kind of rolling my eyes. It was refreshing to read a balanced review like yours.

  16. Sam says:

    Oh, speaking of a possible return to form, I found the track listing for Kylie’s new album, and here are some of the song titles (no joke): “Sexy Love,” “Sexercize,” and “Les Sex.” If this is any indication, it sounds like the album may end up being about as deep as a thimble. 😛 Not exactly the song titles you’d expect from someone who’s 45.

  17. Frannie says:

    I’m not a Kylie fan, but haven’t her lyrics always been fun and lighthearted? Why would people expect to all of a sudden change to be a deep introspective songwriter, just because she’s older? There is so much ageism in the music business. Why can’t older people still have fun and sing about sex if they want? You don’t die after age 40 and stop wanting to enjoy life. I don’t like it when pop artists all of sudden take themselves too seriously and think they are philosophers. Not everyone can be Joni Mitchell as far as lyrics. I think there should still be room for fun pop singers even ones who are a little older. My problem with Kylie is not her lyrics or lack of maturity or depth, but that I personally don’t care for her voice and the hooks on her songs don’t grab me because they all sound so similiar.

  18. Sam says:

    I’m personally not expecting anything super-profound or philosophical from Kylie. (Besides, someone like Aimee Mann can do profound a whole lot better. 😉 The songs on Aphrodite weren’t super-profound, but they weren’t sleazy either. They were sophisticated, mature dance-pop. There’s a big difference between trying to stay tastefully sexy (while still acting your age) and going the Janet Jackson route.

  19. @Sam: So glad you liked the review. Kylie is a fairly regular staple on our radio station – even though we are an American radio station that broadcasts worldwide. Definitely give us a spin @ http://www.radiocremebrulee.com when you get a chance. I have never expected anything deep from Kylie – ever! Just good hooks – which Aphrodite had and Stuart Price’s production definitely gave the album a classy layer.

  20. @Frannie: I agree that there is rampant ageism in pop music. I have no problem with older artists having light-hearted themes lyrically speaking for their songs. The unfortunate thing with Kylie is that she actually CAN sing but forces poor vocals many times.

  21. Sam says:

    OK, RCB, I’ll try to give you-all a spin when I get a chance. 🙂 Glad that you seem so eclectic, because most American radio stations are anything but. 😛

    I think what it boils down to is that, no matter what your age is, it’s fine to make “fun” music, as long as you show some class and intelligence, which Kylie did on her last album. And lyrically at least, “Into the Blue” does that. It just needed better hooks.

    As far as her voice goes, Kylie’s is pretty nasal, and it still has a “little girl” quality and doesn’t sound especially mature. But there’s a lot more to being a good singer than just having a killer voice. A famous opera singer once commented that she would rather listen to a singer with a great personality but a mediocre voice than one with a great voice but a mediocre personality. (For me, Mariah Carey comes to mind. ;)) I think Kylie has succeeded because she shows warmth, charisma, spunk, creativity, etc., which definitely help make up for her vocal limitations.

  22. @Sam: I actually find the “little girl” quality of Kylie Minogue quite annoying – especially when she is capable of such more. I actually think she really shines on songs like “Dangerous Game” etc etc. I actually thought she sounded great on “Limpido” (duet with Laura Pausini) too. I absolutely agree that there is a LOT more to being a good singer than just having a killer voice. I find a lot of belters insanely boring. Kylie defnitely has that perfect blend of spunk, charisma, warmth, class, and sex appeal.
    Definitely check out our station. To really get a feel of it, please at least listen for an hour (I realize what a tall order and lofty expectation that is). We tried really hard to create an avenue that celebrates a mainstream sound way better than American radio does. We would love your feedback! Thanks once again for the discussion on this page. We love the exchange of ideas and thoughts here. It adds more value than the post itself does.

  23. Kadu says:

    OMG! I think this review is funny, to say the least.
    Yes, Into the Blue is not that good, but it’s a statement, just read the lyrics. Yes, it’s not material worth of a single, maybe a buzz single would’ve been better, but I couldn’t agree less with your opinion on Aphrodite.
    Aphrodite was a superficial album, overly campy, targeted only to gay people and pushed back regular and young people. The lyrics were pathetic, and c’mon, sounds dated. It would be a good album when Madonna released her last album, Confessions on a Dancefloor (I don’t acknowledge Hard Candy or MDNA as Madonna’s albums, I never will)but it sounded dated when Miss Minogue released it. The best song on the album was a Deluxe bonus: Mighty Rivers. It’s dated, repetitive, overly campy, too much gay to work for newcomers, new fans. The show was a delight, it worked very well put together I confess, but the tracks don’t work alone, they needed the old hits to work and that’s the big fault in Aphrodite and the lack of a Statement song.
    X on the other hand was a great album, with great songs but could’ve been bigger. Due to her overcoming cancer I think No More Rain should’ve been the lead single, but the weakest song on the album: 2 Hearts was picked instead. She wasted many great songs like Like a Drug and Sensitized (number one hit in France with a french rapper – that alone tells all we need to know).

    She needs a good manager, she doesn’t pick wisely her singles, instead she picks the songs she’s attached to, not the ones that could be good at radio, like picking Into the Blue instead of Les Sex (the obvious catchy song in the album – sounds like a love child of Can’t Get You Out of My Head and WoW), X, Aphrodite and Kiss Me Once proves that she’s terrible running her career.

    Kiss Me Once sounds to me, like a modern version of X. Sounds like each song could’ve been on a different album yet connected to the current time. That’s how pop should sound in 2014, but pop is not doing well these days, R&B, Rap, Hip Hop are the trends. Some eletronica like Avicii (David Guetta sounds terrible and confused). Alternative is ruling, Sia and Lorde, quite similar in their weirdness and Kylie can’t sound like this. I think she did the best best she could’ve given the circumstances, the album delayed too much, but single choices were terrible, that’s why people ignored it.

    I think sales on Kiss Me Once were good given the 12 position lead song it was not suposed be any better. Given her circumstances she went better than Mariah and J-Lo. Maybe the same as Gaga and Miley Cyrus given USAxEngland circumstances. The shows are gonna turn the tables, I believe. She’s always great live and we can count on her, she never disapoints us at her shows, but this album is doomed.

  24. @Kadu: Thank you so much for your comment. We tend to look at singles from both an artistic and commercial perspective. On the artistic side, we try to take a step back and see if a single will be considered an essential by an artist a decade from now or if it will just get lost with lackluster material. From a commercial perspective, we do evaluate artists on their ability to understand what is single-worthy and what is not. I agree with your comparison of “Kiss Me Once” and “X”. There appears to be quite a consensus on the stylistic similarities between the two albums – both of which I think were quite stale. As a straight male, I used to think “X” was targeted to a gay demographic while “Aphrodite” had a more universal appeal – especially with songs like “Get outta my way” (in our opinion, Kylie’s best single since “Love at first sight”). I remember “Mighty Rives”- good song and once again, a lost opportunity for Kylie.

    Her management seems to be quite incompetent at picking singles AND their order. The latter is quite consequential. I understand that there is an element of subjectivity when it comes to appreciation of pop music, but we remember struggling with potential high-rotation candidates for our radio station from Kylie’s “Kiss Me Once” album. We just had to shrug our shoulders and resign to the fact that we would not be playing much new Kylie material this year since we did not have a whole lot to work with.

    I agree that she fared better than Mariah and JLo. I have never watched Kylie live but I know her live performances are amazing and quite a spectacle. I am hoping those shows revive her commercially since as you said, the album is doomed. Thank you once again for the comment.

  25. Mark says:

    I’m glad her album is doomed, she like Madonna the horrible has been putting out the same old boring drivel for a 100 years. But oh no! Can’t criticise them. Madogga and her are perfect, and everything today is perfect, isn’t it, tone-deaf screaming harridans like Pariah Carey and embarrassing David Bowie knock-off Madogga sisters like Lady Gaga. You want normal women in their forties or older with stuff to say and sing about, for you I have three words: KIM WILDE…SANDRA.

    Both these two have been knocking out consistently brilliant, completely varied pulse-finding music with excellent storytelling, muscianship and drive ever since they appeared, each album and tune points to something different, but oh, cos we only go on about the same OLD rubbish, let’s forget the decent ones that don’t shove their sexuality in your face, even when younger, it was all about the song. They could be explicit, sensuous, daring, brave, but to them the song came first. Ever heard Madogga, Minogue, or any of those other bimbos deal out songs citing crashing aeroplanes, police brutality, suicide, virtual rapists, unfeeling chauvinistic self-lovers, paranoia-and all on one album, yes that’ll be the Kim Wilde “Select” masterpiece of 1982. But no it has to by Kylie this, Madonna that etc. I hope Minogue flops, but you wouldn’t know it, cos on here whole space is being used to talk about her and upload her stuff. Why? You say it’s underwhelming, so drop her out! She peaked 12 years ago with “Fever” and damn lucky she managed that! I don’t dislike her (best single run from 1995-2004) with a few snippets of good here and there since, but she was never an album artist, like most people aren’t, and she’s nothing deep, yet she spoken off in the same tones of Madogga that she can’t do anything wrong, or if she does it’s “poor her, she’s been utilised wrongly, she’ll get it back”! HA!Kim and Sandra would be so lucky, Sandra never troubling the so-called minds of any UK/US failed musician journo anyway, what with the prejudicial 80s movement that declared any artist coming out of Europe should not last more than one song, yet when she backed up her then-husband on his Enigma stuff, THEN the hypocritical UK & even worse US cared, but not for her. She, who has dealt almost as many great artists as Kim Wilde. And oh, I don’t think I ever read one actually accurate review praising her excellent 80s and following, and her weakest moment was only ever done last year, and that’s because it was a Christmas album. She’s a sublime pop/rocker who’s covered more musical styles with integrity and class over the years than most artists ever do, does she ever get thanked or remembered? No! It’s all Minogue this, Madonna that and all the other tramps of today and yesterday, people acting now like women are amazing when the 80s was actally full of them, it was just the men still called all the shots and the male label execs spent most of their time trying to screw them over. I bet Kim, who finally gets to release an album in her own country next year gets nothing of the promotion Minogue is getting here, and that’s from you all decrying the work as not that good. God knows what you’d do if you liked it, she’s probably be featured on here for the next year or so until her next one comes out.

    Can’t we just admit there’s only so much saccharine, non-challenging and repetitious the same person can get away with doing for a 100 years, but Minogue is one of them, denigrate her not, she, like Madonna, can’t be faulted among the world ever. It’s like as soon as the 90s came, normal critics died, leaving a robot army of pre-programmed praisers for their owners every move-disgusting. Like the 80s where the hate-critics were in over abundance and never treated anything fairly or right, unless it was the overrated people they loved. And yet with the 90s, and each year since, critics have never been needed more, we’re surrounded by utter trash and have been for absolute ages.

    Kylie, Madogga and co, you want to know how to deal out clever, varied synth-opo with class and style memorably. She’s called Sandra, it was out October 2012 just in time for my birthday, the album is called “Stay In Touch” and boy does she know how to. Her 2002 “The Wheel Of Time” whipped Kylie’s “Fever” as well, and that was Kylie’s best, but then Sandra and Kim are on a different plane altogether, so much so that almost everyone on this one seems completely (and conveniently) unaware of it.

    Well ignorance is no defence any more. We have Google. Kim Wilde. Sandra. The Queens. And Bangles are still pretty much there, to, even without (sniff) Michael.

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