Pop Princess Kylie Minogue has always been her most relevant when she’s making her least relevant music. The Aussie songstress has a catalog so stacked with international mega hits by this point that she’s just recently been officially grouped in with the “legends;” she’s most often compared and contrasted to Madonna, which says something. Looking back, every major reinvention for Kylie has created some sort of noticeable impact, and every time she’s thrown caution to the wind with her music, the public has taken notice. There’s no better example than “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head,” her biggest hit to date. The electro pop juggernaut was unlike anything on the radio at the time, and everyone in the entire would was chanting “la la la” for a year and a half; oddly enough, it still sounds enticingly fresh today. Kylie’s last major album project, Aphrodite was met with a lukewarm public reaction by her standards, yet still managed to produce one of her biggest hits to date (“All The Lovers”) and go to #1 in the UK and top-5 in most other territories. Still, her relevance came into question more than ever.
Kylie spent the entirety of 2012 celebrating “K25” a yearlong walk down memory lane with her fans in honor of her 25 years in the music industry; the public had very little idea it was even taking place. It set her up brilliantly to make some changes in 2013, including signing a major management deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and landing a judging spot on the UK’s version of The Voice, not to mention beginning work on her upcoming 12th studio album. She gave herself that very necessary break from the public eye, but ingeniously kept her fans in the loop the whole time. Things feel a little more tactful for Ms. Minogue this time around, and now we’re just waiting for her to yell “checkmate.” By this point, it’s no surprise to anyone that a new project is on the verge of being unleashed to the world, but the details are rather fuzzy at the moment. What we do know is that she’s releasing a new single entitled “Into The Blue,” and that it was scheduled to be unveiled on January 27th. In this current day and age, thanks to internet leaks, we all know that release dates are arbitrary “goals” at best. We saw Lady Gaga and Katy Perry fall victim to it last year, but it seems even the Princess of Pop isn’t immune. The long story short is that “Into The Blue” is now a reality.
Irregardless of whether the leaked version is the final mix (although all things right now are pointing to it being so,) the song is something worth talking about. It makes no difference whether or not Kylie Minogue is “past her prime” or if BBC Radio 1 refuses to play her music anymore; if anything, the last few years exemplified just how important she is to pop music, and the kind of impact she’s made. At this stage in the game, it seems as though Kylie is fully embracing her legendary status in addition to her vast catalog of supreme pop hits and hidden gems, but she’s far from throwing in the towel. “Into The Blue,” if nothing else, feels reinvigorating. There’s an undeniable modernness coating the meat of the song, and a sincere effort to be as catchy and euphoric as possible; she wins on both accounts. However, the song is 100% “Kylie” through to the core, immediately halting any “selling out” missiles everyone was ready to fire. “Into The Blue” is her own brand of pure, unadulterated dance pop, and she has nothing to apologize for. Lyrically, the track is rather empowering, but not in a cliché way a la “Roar,” or in a left field way a la “Applause.” It’s a welcomed change of pace from the “depths of hell” lyrics we’re used to hearing in pop music, but the track refuses to sacrifice any melodic intuition because of it.
Whether or not “Into The Blue” will go on to be another megahit for Kylie has yet to be seen. There’s still an intriguing air of mystery around things at this point, so it’s best to just sit tight and wait. However, the track is undeniably a fine addition to her catalog. There’s nothing not to like about it if you’re a Kylie fan already, or even just a fan of dance pop. If this kind of music isn’t your “thing,” this isn’t going to be the song to bring you over to the other side, but that’s really okay. Kylie Minogue has an incredible range in her catalog, but one thing that we can all agree upon, though, is that her catalog is, quite simply, “pop.” “Into The Blue” doesn’t step out of that box, but it adds a new dimension to it, and that holds quite a bit of weight. Maybe the “ee-yo-oh-oh-oh” hook isn’t as lush as “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’s” iconic “La la la,” and the chorus isn’t as concert-ready as “Love At First Sight,” but the track is a soaring success that’s destined to remain one of the finest pop moments of the year. Kylie is on a completely different level from pretty much everyone else out there, and this track is really just another nail in that coffin. Whether or not everyone else gets that is hardly relevant, and that’s is why dance pop is such a moving art form.