Kylie Minogue – Can’t Get You Out of My Head (Parlophone, 2001)
This review originally appeared as part of The Stylus Decade, January 2010.
Like so many great pop records before it, “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” represents a graceful collision of contrasts. It is both participative and private, matching perky singalong sections with intimate confessions, worried pleas, and moments of blissful surrender. Beneath the archetypal gay-disco bounce, an electric piano sketches a melancholy counterpoint, adding blue notes to the primary coloured template. A soaring, swooning glide of strings is subverted by a series of blaring electronic miaows, which in turn remind us of those strange purring noises which greeted us at the start of the track. Do they subliminally reinforce our image of Kylie-as-sex-kitten, or are they there to satirise, and gently debunk? We could chuckle at the arch wryness of it all… or we could dismiss all these jolly trappings as misleading flim-flam, a smokescreen for the “dark secret” which lies at the heart of the composition… or we could simply de-tune from the detail, yield to the magic, and luxuriate in its utter perfection.