Body Language

Body Language

It would have been easy for Kylie Minogue to take the easy route when it came to Body Language, her follow-up to 2001’s earth-conquering, “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”-housed Fever—stack the album with similarly accessible dance-pop floor-fillers and watch the disco balls light up all over again. But Minogue has never been risk-averse—this is, after all, a superstar who has made reinvention her calling card—and Body Language found her trading in the atomic chart hits of the Fever years for an album drenched in sensuality and atmosphere. Minogue has said that Body Language was inspired by the ’80s, but you won’t find the primary-colored pop of the Stock Aitken Waterman days on her ninth studio record. Rather, “Still Standing” invokes Parade-era Prince with its pogoing bassline and frothy topline—albeit welded together with the metallic crunch of electronics—and there are echoes of Gloria Estefan on the seductive computerized funk of “Sweet Music.” “Secret (Take You Home)” features a sample from Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam’s “I Wonder if I Take You Home”; “Red Blooded Woman” takes the drama of a Police song and elevates it with six-inch heels and a clacking beat; and tucked away on psychedelic slow jam “Someday” is a guest vocal from Scritti Politti frontman Green Gartside. Body Language also appears indebted to the whispered eroticism of Janet Jackson. The bedroom-eyed R&B of “Chocolate” thrums with sexual tension, Minogue’s pixie-ish vocal so aerated it becomes misty, and there’s a mellow, satin sheen to “After Dark.” It’s “Slow,” though, that significantly raises the temperature: “Don’t wanna rush it/Let the rhythm pull you in/It’s here, so touch it,” Minogue sings over the bubble of fizzing synths and a sparse ticking beat, her delivery languid and panting. It might all lack the sugary immediacy found in Fever’s glittery nu-disco, but Body Language is occupied with eliciting a different kind of ecstasy.

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