[32] Kylie Minogue, ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’

Can't Get You Out Of My Head

Seems lazy to give props to this track with a mere blog post, when Paul Morley managed to devote an entire BOOK to it, but obviously everything about it sitting in a room with Alvin Lucier while – in its techno dreams – it sweeps down an autobahn with Kraftwerk has, erm, already been said. For some reason.

In its real-life context, ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ was the sleek, pulsating sonic seduction that made it actually matter that Kylie had come back. The slight ‘Spinning Around’ made us say, “Isn’t it nice to have Kylie back in pop?”, but this one prompted a “Thank God.”

Junior says: Nothing, but a broad grin spreads across her face. “Do you know who this is?” I ask. “Kylie!” She’s come through her pop education.

Best bit: Where it breaks down and the synths go a bit ‘Love Action’.

[7] Kylie Minogue, ‘I Believe In You’

Kylie Minogue

All things considered, at the end of the day, when all’s said and done, in the final analysis, weighing up the pros and cons, when it all comes down to it, if I’m pushed, I’d say ‘I Believe In You’ is my favourite Kylie single. Not ‘Shocked’, not ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, not ‘I Should be So Lucky’, not ‘Love At First Sight’ – no, I believe in ‘I Believe In You’.

So does Junior. And, if pushed, if asked if she likes Kylie’s singing, she says, “Yes.” And what else does she like? I meant what else does she like about the song, but… “Mermaids. And Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.”

From top to toe, this record’s gorgeous. Lush and dreamy. I like to think it’s the Kylester’s answer to John Lennon’s ‘God’, but it is, of course, the work of 2004’s main chart sales flava – Scissor Sisters. Who’d have thought Scissor Sisters had it in them?

But I-i-i believe in… me, Yoko and me:

[6] Kylie Minogue, ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’

Yes – shock and awe – the Greatest Pop Single of the Century is only the 2001 No.6. It’s a fine record, but it’s as if the critiscenti were simply waiting for a Kylie track to hang the accolade on. The pumped beats, hopping synths, “la la la”s, the non-singing, the ‘Love Action’ “wowowowow”s, they all add up to an addictive confection – it’s just I’d have liked a proper hook and a whiff of soul before propping it up as a paragon of the art. Even Paul Morley, in the Kylie shrine that is his essay Words And Music, is essentially hung up on the video, not the song.

So there you are. I’m a semi-believer.

But we don’t care what I think. Junior was entranced – although, like Morley, she wasn’t fussing about the song, more about the airbrushed loveliness of Kylie on the single sleeve. She wanted to hold it, and spent most of the playback opening the case and saying, “Where’s Kylie gone?” If X is anything to go by, she’s gone on to diminishing pop returns.

[16] Kylie Minogue, ‘2 Hearts’

Kylie Minogue, ‘2 Hearts’

Kylie has been at the very frontier of pop ever since the triumphant ‘Spinning Around’ comeback in 2000 – nor was she doing too badly a decade earlier – but has she actually been making many good records? I’ll help you here: no, she hasn’t. ‘Spinning Around’ itself was serviceable but horribly dated, and we’re legally obliged to praise ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’. Add to these the sparkling filter disco of ‘Love At First Sight’ and the dreamy Scissor Sisters collaboration of ‘I Believe In You’, and that’s about it. So expectations were oddly high for the comeback – perhaps it was just nice that there was a comeback at all.
 
It’s an unusual comeback, at least. While sister Dannii may consider shockingly tired Hi-NRG bilge the very apogee of cutting-edge pop, Kylie knows there is another way. ‘2 Hearts’ harks back to glam rock, with some knowing disco dust, and enslaves the world with its “wooo!”s. Not a particularly remarkable song, and a bit empty on first listen, it grows with repeated plays and becomes quite charming. Go on, the Kylester.
 
It goes down well with Junior on this, her second, maybe third listen. She plays her imaginary piano on the TV unit and wheels around, dancing with bubble wrap. We’ve just moved house; we don’t keep a ready supply of bubble wrap in the living room.

[9] Madonna, ‘Hung Up’

Her mum has played this many times, so Junior knows what to expect and she’s not precious about her ABBA samples. It has that gimmick where they fade out the treble and bring it back again, as if you’re leaving the party and coming back, and I can’t remember what the effect’s called. Daft Punk like it, and Kylie did it too because Daft Punk like it. It also has a ticking clock, like Gwen Stefani’s “tick tock”s and Kylie’s tick-tocking to ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’. Madonna is a magpie. No revelation there. 

Still, it’s a satisfying melting pot. 

Father and daughter exchange grimaces as we recall the contortionist leotard poses thrown in the video. Yes, yes, she looks good for 47 but, well, no. Considering her advanced years, though, the music’s more vital than much of the limp fare put out by pop stars half, maybe a third of her age. Mentioning no names. At this rate, they’ll get an advert at the head of the page. 

So, ‘Hung Up’. It’s an object lesson in turn-of-the-millennium disco pop house chicanery, that’ll do for Junior until Daft Punk is playing at her house.