After a career that started in a permed stint on Neighbours, spawned 11 studio albums and registered number one singles in each of the last four decades, one could be forgiven for thinking that maybe Kylie Minogue had done it all. In the words of Rufus Wainwright “Kylie is the gay shorthand for joy.” These words could easily be the most appropriate way to describe the Aphrodite Les Folies live album and DVD.
Spanning two CDs, the choice of what songs are included and which are omitted is interesting. Obviously the Aphrodite album fills up the bulk of the show, “Get Out Of My Way” being particularly impressive, but for the most part Kylie plays it safe when it comes to song selection. With a back catalogue of eleven albums, she sticks with the same handful of old favourites – “Better The Devil You Know”, “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” and “On Night Like This” – when perhaps a further trip through Kylie’s hit-lined archives would have turned up a few rarely heard gems. A stripped back, jazz influenced version of “Slow” also stands out, giving a different angle to the original electro version. She has an amazing energy and clearly comes to life onstage.
Though the show is fun, the stone cold fact is that Kylie really doesn’t have a great voice. She is nasally at times and relies on her two talented back up singers to fill in the gaps. The onstage banter to no-one in particular in what can only be described as a bizarre hybrid American-English-Aussie accent is lame. Her shouts of “It’s sexy time!” during “Wow”, are particularly cringe worthy.
While she isn’t breaking the mold in terms of live albums, the reasons for her great success is that she knows what works and who her fan base is. Kylie may be more aware of exactly who she is playing to than any other touring artist. In terms of a show, the DVD is lush, loud and totally over the top. Clearly angled towards her gay (or perhaps, hetero girl) fan base, it is wall-to-wall muscular men wearing very little gyrating around the stage behind Kylie who is styled as a Dolce & Gabana clad Greek goddess.
Wherever else she may fall short, the D&G boys have made sure that “Stylie Kylie” remains at the top of her game costume wise. The sets however seem like tacky leftovers from a 90s Greek-themed game show. For the most part, it is hard to work out what is actually happening on the stage. She has had much better tours in every way from costumes to sets to song selection: the “Showgirl” tour was far superior but the people who are going to buy this album/DVD combo are going be hardcore fans. It’s fun and frothy but ultimately one for anyone less then an uber fan to steer well clear of.
– Madison Thomas