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Kylie Minogue’s “Skirt” is a poor commercial for her new album

29 May 2013 25 Comments
This blog belongs to Radio Creme Brulee – an internet music radio station that broadcasts globally.

This blog belongs to Radio Creme Brulee – an internet music radio station that broadcasts globally.

Kylie+Minogue+PNG+OptimizerIn our post about “Veteran acts to look out for in 2013“, Aussie pop princess Kylie Minogue led the list. Her last studio album “Aphrodite” (released in the summer of 2010) left quite a sweet after-taste for both fans and skeptics. It was by far her most superior album in almost two decades and more than compensated for some her creative misfires in the interceding years between her commercial high with hit singles like “Can’t you get out of my head” and “Love at first sight” and her intensely awesome comeback in 2010. Her follow-up singles “Time Bomb” and “Flower” (the latter being the better song) were not exactly strong enough to reignite the charts anywhere but they achieved the goal of keeping her in the spotlight as she prepared for new album slated to be released this year. The anticipation levels for this album are undoubtedly high – especially after the high benchmark Kylie set with “Aphrodite”.

A few months ago, when we heard that Kylie Minogue had signed with Roc Nation – the artist management company run by Jay-Z, we had some initial concerns. The roster of artists on Roc Nation sound nothing like Kylie Minogue and are not exactly known for their grasp of melody – something Kylie has had quite a knack for since her “Light Years” album (released in 2000). We were afraid that there would be collaborations with Kylie Minogue that would undermine the pop music template that she created and honed over the years quite well. Judging by “Skirt” – the first auditory “glimpse” into the new album, we get the feeling our skepticism was justified. This new song has been co-written by The-Dream and has been produced by Nom De Strip.

The song introduction opens with an electronic beat and quickly switches to Kylie’s highly synthesized vocals which are overlayed over a sparse but utterly tuneless electronic production. The unpleasant and minute-long monotony sounds like the job of an amateur in his basement playing with the special effects of his new keyboard. Only the true Kylie fan would linger around for the chorus – which happens to be the song’s only saving grace. In fact, if digital services such as iTunes and Amazon MP3 use the chorus as the preview for the MP3 download of the track (when it releases), odds are, listeners that don’t know better (and base their purchase decision solely based on the preview) will download the song. Sadly, the chorus ends and the listener is bound to be jolted back into reality, which with regard to this song, is quite awful. The song has no Middle 8.

Rumors indicate that “Skirt” might just be a “buzz” single and not an official lead single. The average listener can barely tell the difference between the two and is highly unlikely to be less forgiving of this song just because it is only a “buzz” single. Kylie Minogue has been in the music business long enough to be able to objectively discern melody from an absolute lack of it. “Skirt” suggests that she might have lost this ability overnight and it does absolutely nothing to increase anticipation for the new album. We sincerely hope this is NOT the beginning of her commercial downfall. All we know is that with the new album, Kylie has to give us something substantial enough to make us forget that “Skirt” ever saw the light of day. For those of you that are curious, here is a full-length clip of the track:

 

STAR RATING: 1/5 STARS

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25 Responses to "Kylie Minogue’s “Skirt” is a poor commercial for her new album"

  1. kerry says:

    I agree. Love Kylie and was gutted when I heard she’d signed with Roc Nation. I knew then I wouldn’t be buying her next album!

  2. @Kerry: This was a huge concern for us. Based on “Skirt”, my skepticism with regard to the new Kylie record is pretty high. It really would be a shame if this spelled the end for her.

  3. Marieke says:

    Not good, now listen to Dance your pain away, pure retro disco pop from Agnetha Faltskog! That’s cool.

  4. @Marieke: Thanks for the comment Marieke! We will definitely check out “dance your pain away” and consider it for airplay on our station. Thank you so much for the recommendation.

  5. BC71 says:

    RCB I could not disagree with you more … I happen to think the track is amazing … It sounds very much like any relevant EDM / Dubstep track you hear on the radio now … And her signing with Roc Nation will give her more exposure here in the USA … Good for her!

  6. BC71 says:

    RCB I could not disagree with you more … I happen to think the track is amazing … It sounds very much like any relevant EDM / Dubstep track you hear on the radio now … And her signing with Roc Nation will give her more exposure here in the USA … Good for her for wanting to reinvent herself with young, fresh management talent, just as Pet Shop Boys did with signing to Kobalt Label Services after 28 years with Parlophone.

  7. kerry says:

    I think the problem is that skirt DOES sound like everything else out there. I agree it may appeal more to the us market but that isn’t where Kylie has the biggest following. She wouldn’t be the first person to tank their career by alienating their existing audience in an attempt to crack the US market. I wondered whether you played anything off Agnetha’s album too! I like Dance your pain away but I can’t see it getting mainstream radio play unless the video takes off on U Tube. The duet with Gary Barlow is the most 2013 sounding track but no sign of that being released as a single yet.

  8. @BC17: Thank you so much for the comment! So there are two thoughts here. I absolutely agree that signing with Roc Nation will give Kylie a significant amount of exposure here in the US. My concern is that they will “massage” the sound of her music to sound just like the rest of their artists – making her virtually indistinguishable from the rest of their roster. This might also cause her to alienate her core fanbase here in the US. Our opinion on the track itself is based significantly on our own radio format. We play plenty of music by Kylie Minogue. We admire her but we also hold her to a higher standard. We are generous with our praise for her when she crushes it with her music and we’re pretty ruthless when we believe she has deviated towards the lackluster. As far as Pet Shop Boys is concerned, we really hope Stuart Price has done to their material what he did with Kylie’s ‘Aphrodite”. Thanks once again for the comment.

  9. @kerry: I feel the same. I have mixed feelings about the concept of “US market appeal”. History (pre-1996) has shown that mainstream America is quite capable of having eclectic tastes BUT they’re still slaves to the programming format of terrestrial radio. Those folks are tastemakers (unfortunately!). I believe “Skirt” will not go anywhere in giving Kylie the boost she really needs in the US. And I agree with you with regard to the risk she runs of alienating her US audience with this sound. I’ve totally dropped the ball on the Agnetha album. Thanks a ton for reminding me about it. I will get to it within the next couple of days. Just out of curiosity, how did you discover our radio station? Have you had a chance to listen to our broadcast?

  10. kerry says:

    I heard about your radio station when someone posted about it on one of Take That’s U tube videos (as you may have realised I’m a big Gary Barlow/TT fan. I have listened to your broadcast a lot over the last day. Way too much Robbie Williams for me. Sorry but I really can’t be doing with him! Is this always the case because I generally liked the mix of music.

  11. @Kerry: Hey Kerry! Take That and Gary Barlow are fairly regular staples on our station (despite us being American!). Robbie Williams is also a pretty regular staple on our station but we typically only over-emphasize an artist in our playlist when he/she has new material. Last year, we only had three high-rotation tracks by Robbie Williams – and they were all from his “Take The Crown” album. Those songs have been retired from high-rotation but there is a good chance they get played once in two days. For the older material, the probability of hearing a Robbie Williams song is probably as much as it is for any of our “regular” artists. George Michael is still very much our most played artist. Thanks so much for tuning in. It would be totally awesome if you take a few minutes to fill out our Listener Survey.

  12. DBP says:

    I don’t believe what you are talking about!
    Kylie is not just copying herself, she’s evolving to the future’s music…please take a look to what thedream and the rest are doing, and you will have to regret your words, as of course this is not what you are used to hear from Kylie…because it’s how avant garde commercial music will sound let’s say…in a couple of years…
    Aphrodite it’s great!! and that’s the reason why she won’t make an Aphrodite II…
    Bravo Kylie, just hoping to hear the new album now and get surprised about those new sounds not able to be heard by prejudiced, and old fashioned, ears…

  13. @DBP: Thank you so much for your comment. We have always believed music’s ability to endure hinges around its melodic, harmonic, and lyrical (less so) components. High-quality production cannot mask the deficiencies in any of these areas – especially in a way that it can keep people interested in the long run. Kylie Minogue has put out plenty of songs with hook-laden melodies that will survive in the consciousness of people for many years. That is the type of music we are a radio brand are proponents of. We also hold Kylie Minogue to a higher standard. She is extremely capable of putting out high-quality pop but time will tell that in the grander scheme of thing, “Skirt” is unlikely to be a memorable part of her impressive back-catalog. Of course, I might be very wrong here and reality can prove otherwise. My comments on the song are simply based on observations of songs such as these that capture the listener in the moment but cannot sustain that interest in the long run. Thank you once again for your comment.

  14. Duncan says:

    I think you have nailed it. we are over the breath singing and just want to hear her voice. We need to move forward from Aphrodite, not backward toward Impossible Princess. Best of luck Kylie, you need to pull it out of the fire & RockNation aren’t going to help that.

  15. @Duncan: Thank you so much for the comment. I really hope “Skirt” is not the beginning of a downward spiral. I truly fear that RocNation will just have her sound like the rest of their artist roster and essentially take her element of uniqueness away.

  16. kerry says:

    I can’t speak for the US where I get the impression her fan base isn’t as solid but I don’t think it would finish Kylie off in the UK even if the album fares a lot worse than her other recent ones. My generation grew up with Kylie and were fans before she even launched her music career. Yes us 1980’s Kylie fangirls cried when Scott & Charlene got married in Neighbours, wanted to marry Jason Donovan and even had the dodgy perms. This fan base pretty much deserted her when she went all indie on us in the mid nineties but did start buying her records again when she went back to doing what she does best. Pure Pop. This would probably happen again. I can’t see a young demographic buying Kylie records. My 13 year old niece is into Little Mix and my sixteen year old niece prefers the likes of Ed Sheeran, Paloma Faith and cool bands that I haven’t heard of! She will also struggle for radio play I think as the stations that play this type of music are unlikely to play Kylie. It may be my British taste but I don’t consider preferring music with a proper hook or melody old fashioned. I don’t consider Skirt to be an example of Avant Garde music either. This type of stuff has been around for a while in abundance. Again it may be my British interpretation of what it means to be cool or hip but I don’t understand to it mean sounding like everyone else. For me this track is not original or quirky enough to be truly cool or hip.

  17. Junior says:

    You are completely right on your point. This track is a mess for all the things you correctly pointed on your review. This is not just a thing about taste, it’s about quality. Maybe Kylie just wanted to make it loose, try something different and experimentalist… but, hey? This should be THE track for it? She completely forgot that she is the one that once recorded songs like Where The Wild Roses Grow, Confide In Me, In Denial and tracks that would also be a commercial failure but are GOOD, have QUALITY and are flavored with amazing melodies? This is a crap track that only Britney should record because this is what her fans listen all the time. As you said, this is a track that only fans would enjoy singing the chorus, but believe me, I am a huge fan, and since its web release, I have listen to it only 2 times and want to forget that she once recorded this piece of crap.

  18. @Kerry: There is NOTHING old-fashioned about preferring music that has a hook or melody. That is the very definition of music. I don’t know when it became OK for pop music not to have either. The use of term “avant garde” is highly misplaced at times. “Skirt” would be one example of that use. We feature some music by Ed Sheeran but have never played anything by Paloma Faith so far. Those types of music fit just fine alongside Kylie’s music but with terrestrial radio’s largely ageist approach to playlist programming, the chances of that type of musical juxtaposition on terrestrial radio is highly unlikely. I do agree that young people are highly unlikely to buy Kylie’s new records. I seriously hope Kylie is just a musical blunder and not a sneak preview of the new album. Thank you once again for the comment.

  19. @Junior: Thank you so much for your comment. As you said, this song is VERY reminiscent of something Britney Spears would record. We haven’t played a single song by Britney Spears on our radio station for that very reason. We believe that great pop music stems from hook-laden melodies and not from machine-generated sounds that dominate any vocal component of the song. Kylie Minogue has been a fairly regular staple on our radio station but I am afraid we might have to reconsider future airing future releases by her if they sound anything like “Skirt”. We believe in upholding her legacy and “Skirt” only dilutes it. Just out of curiosity, how did you discover us?

  20. Glen McCallum says:

    “Skirt” is just a publicity stunt. I agree, not your typical foot tapping, can’t get the chorus out of your head Kylie song. It was NEVER meant to be that. The new album is far from being finished, and for the first time ever, Kylie is taking her time to perfect this album. Yes, kylie gave permission to leak this song just to cause a stir and that’s exactly what it did. Skirt isn’t a song with a grey area, you either love it or hate it. No safety net here and that is exactly what Kylie needs. She has played it way too safe for a long time. “Skirt” has some amazing remixes “Switch & Cut Snake” but is just a ploy to throw us into a false sense of security. I have been a huge Kylie fan from day one and have enjoyed her incredible journey through the years. We all said “Oh No” when Kylie signed with Deconstruction and that album became one of Kylie’s most creditable and successful album. Let’s not judge the book by it’s cover and break the bubble WE have put Kylie in and let her explore new foundations. Kylie and her new management team Roc Nation are very intelligent people and know how far they can push the boundaries. As Kylie just stated in an interview “The new album hasn’t even got a name yet, it’s still pop, but with a twist” A little something for all of us to go away and think about, “Society have put Kylie in pocket and are scared of change, not the other way around”

  21. @Glen: Thank you for your comment. I really hope Kylie takes her time to get this album right. I have to admit I have not been much of a fan of her musical offerings since the “Aphrodite” album. I just hope the “twist” that Kylie refers to is not a “dumbed down generic” sound that seems to dominates most of the material of RocNation artists.

  22. Jon says:

    You guys got your panties in a twist over nothing.

    “Skirt” was NOT released as a single and it never was. This is where you have your facts wrong. Kylie herself called to the song as an “amuse-bouche” – which is French for palatte cleaner. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she said she had no plans for a whole album of Skirt-sounding music.

    She only released it to keep fans interested in her work. It’s called marketing.

    Also, the song released was a remix – not the actual song.

    I don’t know if you bothered to research why “Skirt” was released in the first place – but doing proper research could’ve saved you a whole lot of grief (as well as this pointless review).

    The other thing too is… you’re an American website, right? I’m British – so you’re going to have a different understanding of Kylie’s work than us Brits do. But if you know anything about Kylie’s work, she chops and changes her style pretty much the whole time. You won’t get another Aphrodite-sounding album again, because she won’t put out the same type of thing again.

    The same with “Timebomb” – we’re not likely to get the same style of track again.

    If your readers want a performer who puts out music that follows a formula (like Pink, Katy Perry), then stick with those kinds of musicians. Kylie Minogue is all about change and risk. If you can’t handle that, follow somebody else.

    Jon

  23. @Jon: Thank you so much for the comment. At the time this review was written, it was not very clear if the track was a “buzz” single or a lead single. But yes, it is only a buzz single that was put out there to keep folks interested in her. I guess I am just not sure if “Skirt” was the way to keep that interest. There has been a lot of skepticism about Kylie signing with Roc Nation much before “Skirt” surfaced. The core of that concern stemmed from what that partnership would do to her stylistically. I truly hope the next album is not full of music like “Skirt”. I had considered the possibility that “Skirt” was a buzz track as opposed to an official single. It still does not change the fact that it is a lousy commercial for the album – from which I still have high hopes.

    Yes, we are an American site. Sadly, the mainstream American media makes most Americans look like geocentric idiots that are absolutely clueless about the international music scene. I moved overseas for many years and hence am familiar with every chapter of Kylie’s career – right from ” I should be so lucky” to “Put yourself in my place” to “Did it again” to the reinvented era that spawned albums like “Fever”, “X”, and “Aphrodite”. In fact, older songs like “Dangerous game” etc are played fairly regularly on our station (please give us a spin, it might change your perception of us). I am aware of the stylistic changes that Kylie has had over the years. We absolutely DO NOT play any music by Katy Perry and Pink. You are right. Their music is tragically formulaic and does not have a strong melodic core. That is where Kylie is different and always has been. We’re admirers of Kylie and we definitely hold her to a higher standard than we do most artists. Just out of curiosity, how did you discover our radio station/blog? Thanks once again.

  24. Alex says:

    It’s funny because Skirt is at number 1 and they said Skirt could lead to her down fall. Bitches

  25. @Alex: We never really thought this track would get an official release.

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