The thirteenth studio album by Australian pop icon Kylie Minogue, Kylie Christmas represents a fantastic album with a wide variety of songs. Combining some seasonal classics, such as ‘I’m Gonna Be Warm This Winter’, ‘Let It Snow’ and ‘2000 Miles’, with original songs such as ‘100 Degrees’ – a duet with her younger sister, Danii, and ‘Christmas Isn’t Christmas ‘Til You Get Here’, the sheer variety of different tracks on this album makes it extremely likely that you’ll like at least one.
Kylie Christmas opens with ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’, which sets a strong Christmassy feel for the rest of the album, displaying lots of brass instruments and choral vocals. It then moves into the unusual ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’, in which Kylie duets in specific places over an old track of Frank Sinatra’s version, making it sound like she’s collaborated with the now long-dead crooner.
The third track is ‘Winter Wonderland’, a Christmas standard that Kylie’s vocal abilities do justice to. It’s followed by ‘Christmas Wrapping’, featuring American punk artist Iggy Pop. At this point, the album gets injected with some much-needed energy – the upbeat, catchy vocals are infectious, and would bring a smile to the most Scroogey of people.
Fifth in the running order is a notable inclusion; a cover of ‘Only You’ with James Corden, whose vocals are much stronger than expected. This song, which isn’t a Christmas one, was regarded initially as a novelty, but was released as the first single from the album after record company Parlophone took a shining to it. This soulful ballad is placed well to calm the overall feel of the album after the energetic song that came before it. A possible contender for Christmas number one in Kylie’s native Australia, this song shines above all of the rest on the album – something unique amongst Christmas albums. Something brilliant.
This is followed by the uptempo ‘I’m Gonna Be Warm This Winter’. This song, widely associated with the Co-Operative chain of supermarkets, brings the mood of the album up again, and leads smoothly into ‘Every Day is Like Christmas’, one of the longer songs on the album, which keeps up the happy mood of the song. This mood continues into ‘Let it Snow’, and transitions easily into the original song ‘White December’.
‘White December’ is as close to an electronic-dance Christmas song as you’re ever likely to hear. Kylie has stayed true to her fearless, innovative roots, and in doing so has created an addictive Christmas song, and quite possibly the flagship of the album.
This is followed by the much more slow and reflective ‘2000 Miles’, and that by ‘Santa Baby’, a song initially released by Kylie in 2000. These two bring a much calmer mood to the tail end of the album, which in turn is re-energised by the original song ‘Christmas Isn’t Christmas ‘Til You Get Here’, another energetic, dance Christmas song.
This song is another that offers something different in a season traditionally dominated by the same classics. Unfortunately, Kylie commits the Christmas crime of over-using bells. On a single, it would be understandable, but at this stage there isn’t even a rumour that it is going to be, so it would be abundantly obvious that you’re listening to a Christmas song, having just sat through eleven others.
The closing track of the album is ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, in which Kylie displays powerful vocals. It stands out from the rest of the album, and not in a good way. The delivery of this final song seems somewhat uncreative compared to the delivery of every other track. The mood of the album takes a sudden drop, with this song being very slow, and showcasing lots of strings – the instrumental itself is somewhat lackadaisical.
Despite the shortcomings of the final track, this album is a cracker (pun intended). Perhaps not something that you’re likely to go out of your way to turn on, but something that most would easily be able to listen to and sing along with little strain. Kylie’s use of EDM themes brings something different to Christmas, and it’s predominantly this that makes the album work.
Have you listened to the album yet? Well give it a listen and let us know if you’re getting in the Christmas mood by dropping a comment below or tweeting us with the hashtag #KylieChristmas at @UCLanPluto