It would seem cold-hearted and simply bad-spirited to be critical of Kylie's new cd after her year of cancer, chemo, and surgery. But there's really nothing to complain about on Kylie's live cd. Kylie's performances are theatrical extravaganzas, and she's always projected well on video. So, understandably, her live performances have been previously documented on dvd. This is her first live cd, a double, documenting the second of a two night stand in Sydney, having come back, "fashionably late," as she puts it, after postponing her Showgirl tour eighteen months before, in 2005. Kylie has a slightly nasal, reedy quality to her upper middle register, but she actually sounds better live than she does on her studio recordings.
If you are a fan of Kylie's well-known tunes, you will know most of these songs pretty well. But this is not a paint-by-numbers collage of greatest hits. Many of the familiar tunes are re-worked with new arrangements. Bono joins Kylie for "Kids," doing the Robbie Williams part, and he puts in a great performance. Kylie was to repay the favor and join Bono at a U2 gig the following night, but she was simply too fatigued after her own shows to perform with them. Her first hit, "The Locomotion," a bit of a novelty when it was released 20 years ago, has been rearranged as a campy, swinging big band tune. She has a go with a rendition of "Over The Rainbow," and does a fine job with it. There's a medley of Shocked, What Do I Have To Do?, and Spinning Around that's a nonstop disco delight (even if you absolutely hate disco, this is irresistibly uplifting).
The culturally significant hot pants that Kylie wore in this video were on exhibit at the V&A Museum this year:
Kylie doesn't register as much of a player in the US music scene, but to the rest of the world she is a mega superstar. When she was diagnosed, she never "cancelled" her tour, she insisted it was only "postponed," and she was true to her word. Besides being an irresistible, glittery pop star and stylish fashion icon, she is an inspiration, being a survivor of cancer, doomed relationships, and bouts of depression.
Over the decades of her non-stop career, she's earned the adulation of millions of fans, and she deserves it. She has just been named the first woman to ever win Britain's Music Industry Trust award. Kylie will attend a ceremony this October to accept it. David Munn, Chairman of the Awards Committee, said "Kylie deserves this award for her success over 20 years, staying at the top in one of the toughest professions and inspiring millions with her grace, dignity and humanity."