Gary Coleman was recently and secretly married in Nevada to a woman 18 years his junior and 12 inches his senior. Good for Gary. Not only has he proven that little old people can marry hot tall young’ns, but he has convinced us we were on his every move — not that his love life just slipped through our fingers. Hell, “Diff’rent Strokes” was cancelled in 1986, nearly a year before Kylie Minogue landed a record deal after performing a wild new rendition of “The Loco-Motion.” If it wasn’t for VH1’s “I Love the 80s,” few of us would know either of these fun facts. Only the oddball with the ALF lunchbox would wear a “Whatchu Talkin’ Bout, Willis?” T-shirt, and only those forced to take tumbling classes at Gymboree would hear Kylie Minogue recycle Little Eva.
Somehow, between 1987 and 2008, Kylie Minogue released 10 albums. It’s funny to think that remixes of “I Can’t Get You Out of My Head” can constitute 10 albums. “X,” her soft-core 10th release, comes after an extended battle with breast cancer, a topic not discussed on the album, because it would interfere with 13 tracks of uninspired sex talk. It’s reminiscent of a time in AP European History, when the class clown announces that the day’s reading discusses Catherine the Great’s propensity for “fucking horses and shit,” but to your dismay the passage is rather dry. Kylie may be saying “I want to do everything to you” in “Like a Drug,” but with only a little emotion in her voice, it appears you’ll be doing all the work.
Minogue’s failed attempt at electronic lounge music — the single “2 Hearts” — sounds as if a bored tween spliced Otis Blackwell’s “Fever” with some masturbatory efforts in GarageBand and LogicPro. Aside from the relaxed strings and smooth vibrato on “Cosmic,” the album follows a fairly standard dance-song formula: one part tinny electronic drum beat (preferably with some slaps or snaps), one part high-pitched circuit bent toys, two parts Moog synthesizer imitation, one part dirty artificial bass and three parts monotone vocals. It really doesn’t make a difference what Kylie is saying. Once you hear that thumping synth bass, any passer-by will know there’s a sweet dance party happening in somebody’s common room … maybe there will even be a strobe light.
“X” will make your head nod until the energy boost from your Jamba Juice smoothie has worn out, or until you find some other way to move to the music. Fragmented melodies and spoken-word vocals don’t entitle Kylie to order you to “Drop your socks and grab your mini boom box,” or “Do the pop lock body rock.” Maybe this should have been a secret record release.