Fans of Kylie Minogue who’ve seen the pop diva in concert know that she has a tendency to reinvent some of her classic songs in a style that strips out the dance elements and reconfigures them in an more organic setting. The Abbey Road Sessions is essentially a studio-recorded version of these tour sections. The album takes 15 of Kylie’s hits, along with the previously-unreleased song “Flower,” and reinvents each song in styles from orchestral pieces to jazzed-up torch songs.
It’s all part of a year-long celebration of Kylie’s 25thanniversary as a recording artist. The appropriately-named K25 campaign has already included a number of new musical projects. First up was a unique tour for Kylie – The Anti Tour, which featured long-forgotten singles, album tracks and b-sides as the setlist. She also released a new greatest hits album, as well as a separate, standalone single called “Timebomb.”The Abbey Road Sessions wraps up the musical portion of the celebration with the culmination of a long-gestating pet project for Kylie.
The collection focuses largely on Kylie’s more well-known hits. Well-known Kylie hits from “The Locomotion” and “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” to “All the Lovers” get stripped of their dance-pop roots with their new arrangements. Kylie also acknowledges a few of her less-known singles, such as “Finer Feelings” and “Where the Wild Roses Grow,” the latter of which finds her original duet partner, Nick Cave, making an appearance.
But is the project good? Yes. The rearrangements are fresh and varied. Some songs, such as “Slow,” are completely upended by their new arrangements, while others like “Confide In Me” hew more closely to their original forms. Every song, though, feels new and different. As a fan of pop divas, I’d like to see more artists with lengthy careers try an out-of-the-box idea like this. Seriously. More specifically: Madonna should take a cue here and produce an album of rock-infused remakes of her hits, like she’s been doing for the last decade in concert.