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Album Review

Little to love on Kylie’s ‘Aphrodite’

July 5, 2010

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‘Aphrodite’’ is being plugged as her return to the dance floor, but when did Kylie Minogue ever leave it? Did we miss the Aussie pop star’s reggaeton detour and jazz masterpiece? Instead, her 11th studio album holds another distinction: It’s the least interesting work she’s made in a decade. The release date is 2010, but its freshness seal is clearly stamped 2000 (circa Minogue’s “Light Years’’).

By design, tastes in dance pop routinely evolve, but “Aphrodite’’ makes no concessions to any shifts in style or current hipster dance divas (Robyn, La Roux). That’s admirable. Minogue has never exactly fallen out of fashion because she never really chased it in the first place, and yet she’s been responsible for some of pop’s most delicious moments in recent memory. “Can’t Get You Out of My Head’’ was the summer jam you couldn’t get out of your head, and “Slow’’ was a winking slice of slinky Europop.

Maybe that’s why “Aphrodite’’ is such a letdown — there’s nothing nuanced or even catchy about the material. It’s a perfectly serviceable soundtrack to a thumping Friday night, but it’s also a flat listen, from “Looking for an Angel’’ to “Everything Is Beautiful.’’ If the beats could shake you out of the stupor, you could probably overlook hollow lyrical statements like this: “Now put your hands up/ If you feel love tonight.’’

Yes, this album is meant to get your feet moving, but that’s no reason why it can’t appeal to the heart and head as well. Sometimes simply being fabulous isn’t enough. (Out tomorrow)

JAMES REED

ESSENTIAL “Cupid Boy’’