In 2005, in the middle of an expansive greatest hits tour, Kylie Minogue shared that she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer. Just over a year later, following treatment back in her home city of Melbourne, Minogue hit the road again and announced she was back in the studio, working on what would be her 10th album. She had, she said at the time, written about her experience, albeit it in a manner that made sense to her. “In my way, I’ve said what I wanted to say,” she explained to Sky TV. “All to a disco beat.” Despite this advance notice, the response was mixed when X was released. Some praised Minogue for embracing the glitterball once more, others felt the album lacked depth. But the record’s message was clear: After undergoing a life-changing experience (and ending a long-term relationship), X was a bold declaration of getting back to business. Thankfully, Minogue knows her business well. In fact, there’s a palpable sense of catharsis to the album’s embrace of strutting electro-pop and rollicking floor-fillers. The modish “2 Hearts” is a fizzy glam-rock extravaganza, filled with stomping pianos and Minogue’s signature purr. “Wow” is all arms-in-the-air jubilation, the chorus alight with joie de vivre, while “In My Arms” takes off like a rocket, the melody soaring through the chorus. And below all that ebullience, X also has an experimental thread: “Sensitized” sees Minogue revisiting psychedelic trip-hop after 1997’s Impossible Princess, the glitching “Nu-Di-Ty” is practically proto-hyperpop, and the robotic New Wave “Like a Drug” marches with the iciness of Visage’s “Fade to Grey.” Look closely and you’ll find little hints of introspection, too (“No More Rain” and “Cosmic” are particularly poignant). Ultimately, though, X sees Minogue grab life’s highs and lows and drag them to the dance floor. “I’m the one,” she sings on the majestic “The One,” a disco song that treads the line between wistful and euphoric. “Love me, love me, love me, love me.” Whether directed at her fans or the cosmos, it’s a request that stuck: After nearly five decades in the music industry, the love has never run out for the Princess of Pop.

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