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Kylie Minogue - Padam Padam

18th May 2023

For the last decade or so, Kylie has been a mistress of reinvention. She’s invariably and briefly had periods as the Christmas Queen, the Country Queen and the Disco Queen. And she’s worn each hat successfully and responsibly - diversifying her genre pools has stretched her musical legs and subsequently contributed a handful of Kylie classics to the canon. 

But she’s gone back to basics with ‘Padam Padam’, the first single from her new album Tension, due in September. There’s no theme or gimmick this time around. For this era, we’ve got the Kylie from 2002 back - she’s doing dance music again. The track is a thumping, pulsing, electro-trance banger, designed for the sweatiness of an underground gay club at two in the morning. It’s entrancing and tantalising, the throbbing production bleeding into Kylie’s hypnotising vocal for a chorus that is immediately one of the best of her career. It’s a mouthwateringly brilliant track, a seductive siren-song for the dancefloor. Her last few albums, as genuinely good as they are, had a Radio 2 audience in mind. But not this one. This one’s for the gays.

Its one shortcoming - literally - is it’s length. At just 2 minutes and 46 seconds long, it could genuinely be three times as long - hopefully there’s a 6 minute mix in the pipeline. Just as it gets going, it reaches its premature conclusion. But we can’t and we won’t blame Kylie entirely for this defect. It’s a symptom of a cancer that’s taken hold of the entire music industry. In the era of Tiktok, short songs are the way forward. It’s clear that labels are scared of songs over 3 minutes, and why wouldn’t they be when PinkPantheress can go to #1 with tracks that are barely scratching the surface of 2 minutes? It’s a problem that needs resolving, but it’s not Kylie’s problem to solve. 

Either way, ‘Padam Padam’ packs an absolute stuffing of brilliance into its short length, so we can just about forgive its brevity. And perhaps that’s how all songs should make it’s listener feel - intoxicated and hungry for more. 

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