After a string of underwhelming studio albums and negligible digressions like the holiday album “Kylie Christmas,” Kylie Minogue has finally released a modern album worthy of her considerable talent and charm. In some ways, this is a sonically mature album for Minogue: The songs are sophisticated, the album’s overall sound is mellow without being boring, and Minogue’s vocals are front and center over the swirling beats and bops. It’s an adjustment at first and requires a few spins to really sink in but once it does, it’s an all-around success. Lead single “Dancing” offers a representative sample of the album’s overall sonic texture, and is supported by strong tracks like “Stop Me from Falling,” “Sincerely Yours” and “Shelby ’68” that showcase a surprisingly versatile grasp of mid-tempo pop. This is not an album likely to satisfy longtime fans looking for something closer to, say, “Into the Blue” or “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” but it’s a strong, refreshing entry in an inventive but stiffening discography.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)