When the news that Kylie Minogue was going to release a self-cover album popped out, both her fans and music critics became reluctant, thinking that the Australian diva was out of ideas and that she would just throw a few remixes in to make some more money out of it. But Kylie showed them otherwise, as when The Abbey Road Sessions hit the stores, everybody received it with open hearts.
It seems that Kylie didn’t want to fulﬁll a last album obligation in an assumed soon-to-be-ﬁnished recording contract as everyone else speculated earlier this year, but to celebrate 25 years of recording and performing by offering her fans a gift. And so, the singer took a bold decision: to re-imagine some of the most popular songs by stripping them of her stock-in-trade, the disco glitz. She also gave up the vocal effects and chose to record all the hits that made her famous at London’s famous Abbey Road Studios. There, a full orchestra backed her unconditionally while producers Steve Anderson and Colin Elliot supervised everything with extreme care.
It’s difficult to imagine ourselves listening to Minogue’s music without the very ingredients that turned her into an acknowledged pop icon, especially since we all know that, despite her fame and glory, she is not much of a singer. However, listening to this album, you will be more than thrilled to discover that Kylie Minogue is actually a talented singer. For instance “Slow”, that pulsing electro-pop song, which used to ignite our inner sexuality, was turned into a sultry and playful jazz shuffle. On this song, Minogue’s vocal performance is seductive, smooth and yet very mature.
Nevertheless, perhaps the most interesting reinventions are her Waterman tunes like “Never Too Late” and “Hand On Your Heart,” but this doesn’t mean that the rest of the tracks don’t deserve your listening. In all the 16 songs Minogue offers some variety and the lyrics come to the fore. Minogue’s 1980s favorite “The Locomotion” returns to its classic girl-group roots, “Flower” reveals one more time the maturity Minogue never proved to have, on “Where The Wild Roses Grow” she re-teams with Nick Cave, only that this time the song is different than the original, and “Confide in Me” is more emotional and heartbroken when Minogue whispers “Stick or twist, the choice is yours.”
“On A Night Like This,” “Love At First Sight,” “Finer Feelings” and “On A Night Light This” are shivering with drum beats and suspenseful strings, which makes them more pulsing than the originals, as if they were ready to soundtrack an action movie.
That said, Kylie Minogue pulled it off and this collection or re-worked hits is beautiful. It has everything a fan would expect from such a diva: piano ballads, orchestral treatment and a few folk-pop songs that definitely don’t usurp the shimmering originals. Besides, considering the fact that the album puts Kylie’s vocal performance on a higher scale, you may even ﬁnish The Abbey Road Sessions falling for a single that previously made you sick.
Kylie Minogue - The Abbey Road Sessions Album Cover
Kylie Minogue - The Abbey Road Sessions Track Listing
1. “All the Lovers” - 3:22
2. “On a Night Like This” - 3:00
3. “Better the Devil You Know” - 3:58
4. “Hand on Your Heart” - 3:36
5. “I Believe in You” - 2:48
6. “Come Into My World” - 3:32
7. “Finer Feelings” - 3:35
8. “Confide in Me” - 4:08
9. “Slow” - 4:08
10. “Locomotion” - 2:34
11. “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” - 3:33
12. “Where the Wild Roses Grow” (with Nick Cave) - 4:05
13. “Flower” - 3:31
14. “I Should Be So Lucky” - 3:14
15. “Love at First Sight” - 3:35
16. “Never Too Late” - 3:01
Australian bonus track
17. “Wow” - 3:04
Japanese bonus track
17. “In My Arms” - 3:41
Released 24 October 2012
Recorded November 2011; Abbey Road Studios (London, England)
Producer Steve Anderson, Colin Elliot