City Games 'review'
- To be honest, I found this track an odd choice for lead single. Many of the other tracks are far more instantaneous and memorable. This song is cool, very subtle, whispery vocals, foreign/exotic-esque production. The next Can't Get You Out Of My Head it isn't. But it doesn't claim to be. It's a subtle, electro, R&B-tinged track. Definately the 'coolest' sounding thing she's done since the DeConstruction days. I can't see it being a HUGE, huge hit though.
- City Games
- This song is the most poppy, dance-orientated track on the album. It has a kind of summary vibe to it. It has an almost drum and bass beat but with a rather casual, poppy melody...dare I say a little Motown! Nice fun track!
- You Make Me Feel
- Kylie's vocals sound unreal on this one! The chorus is the best thing about it. She sings in a very high register in the verses, almost doing vocal acrobatics in a way we've never heard from her in the past. Got a kind of R&B beat with good use of strings. One of the most catchy on a first listen. A good US single too.
- E-Z St
- A breezey, fun, hip-pop record... If it had to be likened to anything it'd be Cowboy Style from the Fever tour. It's got that kind of breakdancing beat with whistful vocals and a great, great bassline. Not very Neptunes sounding at all. Has Kylie written all over it. R&B influenced but still pop.
- In The Dark
- I think this song is about James Gooding... it's not very subtle in it's content, that's for sure ("You left me in the dark / How am I supposed to trust you now?"). The song itself is quite dark... dare I say quite Impossible Princess-ish. It has a Too Far-esque piano part on the second verse which f*cking rocks! And Kylie must've written the lyrics because they seem very personal.
- How Can You Say No?
- This is the song she wrote with Dannii and is an improvement on Love Traffic. It's quite electro sounding with a very bizarre sounding loop repeated throughout - couldn't for the life of me make out what it was! Like a cross between Dannii's Creep and a Janet Jackson eighties track!
- Second Thoughts
- A Kylie ballad. Need I say anymore?
- Heavy Handed
- This song is cool - kind of rocky R&B. Think Janet Jackson's Black Cat crossed with an En Vogue number. I was worried when it opened that it'd turn into a Xtina-type Fighter piece of drivel, but it's far superior to that. It has a hell of a lot of attitude. Almost reminiscent of an updated version of Dannii's Get Into You.
- This song is my favourite. Up there with Dreams, Can't Get You Out Of My Head and Limbo being an all time favourite. It has a great guitar hook that is repeated throughout... it's very melancholic sounding, very cool - would've been the perfect lead single. She speaks some parts of the song which probably sounds really early-nineties-ish but it's not like that at all. Elegant, infectious, warm and classy.
- Attention Seeker
- This song kind of stands out like a sore thumb. It's dance-orientated - imagine Love Takes Over Me with the beat of Confide In Me. It has lots of futuristic electro sounds - a bit Neon Nights-ish... A cool track, probably the most European thing on the album. Will please non-R&B lovers among us!
- Beat U
- A great way to end the album. Shockingly R&B for Kylie! Some fans will loathe this track. Personally I love it. It has a heavy bass hook repeated throughout (the kind you find yourself humming after about 30 seconds). Imagine a cross between Britney's Slave and one of the Michael Jackson rip-off tracks from Justified. I can guarentee this'll be a US single. A highlight in the career of the Neptunes that's for sure... and the perfect way to end this album!
Overall: This album is a mixed bag. Not in terms of quality - there are no half-baked, cringe-inducing fillers here (Dancefloor's or Fragile's aren't anywhere to be seen). But the style sounds like it's trying to cater for an American urban market - but without sounding out-and-out R&B. As a result we're left with an album with intriguing results.
The only track which is full out R&B is Beat U - which by the way, is one of my personal favourites. I just know some fans will loathe this track because of that. Although I can assure you she pulls R&B off with a hell of a lot more class, soul and sophistication than Xtina, JLo and Mariah put together. Some tracks, like the awesome You Make Me Feel, Heavy Handed and E-Z St are undisputedly R&B-tinged but could also easily appeal to her pop/dance fans as well. On the other end of the spectrum, tracks like Attention Seeker, In The Dark and the divine Fly sound like they could've been written in 1997.
Everything from the way the songs are structured to the lyrics and production suggests that she's edging towards a darker, more uncommercial sound. All in all, being brutally honest - fans of Light Years will be devastated, fans of Fever will be educated, and fans of Impossible Princess will be relieved.