2 Hearts (J Eliot/M Stilwell) 2007 and Wow (K Poole/K Minogue/G Kurstin) and In My Arms (K Minogue/P Harris/J Peake/ R Stannard/ C Harris) and The One (K Minogue/ R Stannard/ J Wiltshire/ R Small/ J Anderrson/ J Emmoth/ E Holmgren) – Kylie Minogue 2008.
Kylie’s tenth studio album, X, was her first since convalescing from cancer treatment, and the first time she had made an album available as an exclusive iTunes digital download, a week before the hard copy release to the market. This was truly an international creative effort, recorded in London, Stockholm, and Ibiza, involving more than a dozen producers, including such former Kylie collaborators as “Biff’ Stannard, Cathy Dennis and Guy Chambers and other more exotically-named writers and producers – Cutfather, Babydaddy, Eg White, Bloodshy and Avant, etc.
The original title for the album, Magnetic Electric, was ultimately declined by Kylie who did not want to make her ‘comeback” album too personal or showy, she wanted it to be about disco music and her future musical ambitions, not her past achievements, hence the ultra-minimalist X.
2 Hearts was released prior to the album and has been described by Kylie as glam rock meets Cabaret, it wears its British glam pop origins on its sleeve, echoes of Goldfrapp’s Ooh La La, T. Rex and Sweet abound. The song had been written and previously recorded by the electronic duo Kish Mauve (Jim Eliot and Mima Stilwell), and featured such retro sounds as a theremin (remember the Beach Boys Good Vibrations) and moog synthesizer (very 1980’s), laid-back drumming from co-composer Eliot and high-pitched backing vocals by Mima, augmented by strings, guitar, and percussive handclaps. It was a #1 hit in Australia and #4 in the UK, making it the 14th consecutive top ten UK hit for Kylie since Spinning Around in 2000.
Wow was the second single lifted off X, and Kylie was back in full swing performing in her own ITV special titled The Kylie Show, being interviewed by David “Dr. Who” Tennant on BBC Radio, and appearing on a Dr. Who Christmas Special. Below – Kylie and David Tennant in Dr. Who.
Wow is one of Kylie’s most luminous disco records, reflective of the best grooves of Daft Punk, in an homage to a mysterious unnamed male, as eerily intriguing piano gives way to a booming dance floor beat, Kylie described the track as “club-tastic” The song has an unforgettable hook, which is simply the title repeated three times with Minogue’s vocals doused in electronic effects, that lodge in your mind.
The title of the song had been inspired by Kylie’s utterance, when she first saw the beautiful cathedral-like volcanic rock Es Vedra on the island of Ibiza, at sunset, and exclaimed “Oh, wow!”, it charted #5 in the UK and #11 in her home market, at this time Kylie had accumulated over 27 top ten hits in the UK and 28 top ten hits in Australia, in a glittering career to date. Co-composer of Wow, Greg Kurstin, would go on to co-write Hello for Adele in the future. The Wow video required further edits before release as the use of strobe lighting in the original take was deemed to be potentially harmful for those susceptible to flicker vertigo.
In My Arms was a collaboration between Kylie, electropop producer Paul Harris and the Biffco Team, and ticked all the boxes as a meaty, synth-driven, pop party-starter, the video pitted Kylie against a giant wind machine, wearing various outfits including a bizarre, cowl-necked, checkerboard -themed Gareth Pugh dress, it was edgy and engaging, and charted #10 in the UK and #35 in Aust., no doubt Lady Gaga was inspired by this one, her single Let’s Dance appeared a year later.
The One was originally recorded by slinky Swedish dance outfit Laid as I’m The One (2006), featuring vocals by Emma Holgren. New verses were added to Kylie’s cover version, including namechecking the gay Renaissance artist/sculptor Michelangelo, and it was ultimately remixed by the Brighton-based The Freemasons for Kylie. When the single was issued the charts were transitioning from physical to digital sales, and The One got lost in the maelstrom of the format wars and was largely overlooked by radio, but deserved a better fate, it was a majestic synth-laden pop banger, and the video was a mesmerising Busby Berkeley-inspired affair shot on green screen, which used an art deco design motif, and Kylie channeled the Hollywood stars of the 1940’s – Carole Lombard, Veronica Lake, Rita Hayworth, and Ava Gardener, it charted #36 in the UK but nowhere in Aust.
After the shenanigans and public brawling when Kylie moved on from male model James Gooding, her five years with French actor Olivier Martinez (2003-07) were relatively happy and he provided great support for Kylie during her convalescence after breast cancer treatment, but it seems both parties were commitment-averse. Below Kylie and Olivier.
Kylie was a highly controlled and controlling person, obsessed with work and her career, and requiring complete loyalty and support from her partner. Martinez was uncertain about marriage, and accused of infidelity several times during their relationship and it seems that his dalliance with actress Sarai Givaty (below) was the final straw, and the pair announced their mutual decision to decouple in 2007.