Friday, May 17th, 2019

Kylie Minogue – New York City

All you can do is step back in time


Andy Hutchins: Kylie’s reference point for a disco-pop track called “New York City” being 2000s-as-’80s production that largely wastes the utterly classic bass lines and grooves of its sample makes a lot more sense if you know this is a single from a fifth (!?!?) greatest hits album. Ah, nostalgia.

Scott Mildenhall: The biggest-selling of Kylie Minogue’s many hits collections, Ultimate Kylie, was released in 2004, and had room for two new songs of such quality — “Giving You Up” and the unimpeachable “I Believe In You” — that a more than serviceable third, “Made of Glass”, was relegated to b-side status. Fifteen years on, the Ultimate has been usurped by the Definitive, and the former’s formerly unknown fourth recording seems to have been uncovered. How could a song based on “Drop the Pressure” come from any other time than that evoked exactly by the first three? Accepting the reality that this is new is a pleasure. It’s refreshing, after Golden, and another reminder that this is an artist with more hats than Luton. Most tantalisingly, it raises the fantasy of a whole album of this stuff.

Tobi Tella: Coming off a more mature pop album, this is unabashedly fun. It’s joyous, simultaneously more clever than it seems and completely, meaninglessly upbeat — it feels quintessentially Kylie.

Will Adams: The Mylo sample is inspired, Kylie actually manages to sell the appeal of a big city without naming a single defining attribute (uh… it’s pretty!), and in theory this would wager at least a [7]. But the horrendous mastering job here absolutely kills the fun. It’s worst in the chorus, where you can actually hear Kylie’s vocals ducking in and out to account for the backing track being slammed to 10. It’s unconscionable that a song from this level of pop star could sound like it was ripped from LimeWire at 96kbps. What a waste.

Iris Xie: The chorus is basically the same peppy instrumental found in Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Now That I Found You,” but the compression is bloated and forces the synths to sound like they’re breaking apart at the edges and makes Kylie sound like a pixelated cyborg. It’s breezy, fleeting and perfunctory, and leaves me feeling like Kylie is phoning it in with a prequel to an actual dance song.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The greatest argument against the power of travel as a culturing force is the second verse of this song. The rest is also almost offensively underwritten, but the production and the joy in Kylie’s verse is winning enough to mask that.

Alfred Soto: Kylie’s been fizzier and friskier than “New York City,” but she’s determined to show the Julia Michaels and Diplos how turning oneself into a medium through which the supernatural, mythopoetic Spirit of Pop Disco, about which Hegel was so eloquent, manifests itself to the world. 

Ian Mathers: I’m not sure how much either of them wants the comparison, but stacking this next to the Madonna single sure is a stark difference, huh?

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