Kylie returns on January 5th (oddly missing the Christmas market) with her latest release. ‘Boombox’ collects some of her ‘greatest remixes’ from 2000 to 2008 and while there is no question in the right hands a decent Kylie pop track can be polished into a dancefloor friendly diamond, there are aspects of this collection which trip and fall at the first.
Perhaps going back to 2000 makes some of these mixes a little long in the tooth. Some have unquestionably aged better than others. Her bastard pop friendly ‘Can’t Get Blue Monday Out Of My Head’ caught the public on the backfoot when we first heard it amidst a plethora of mash ups but today it sounds a little tired. The same could be said of 7th District’s filter heavy reworking of ‘Spinning Around’, even The Chemical Brothers have something of an off day with their slightly uninspired reworking of ‘Slow’.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are some gems on offer with Fischerspooner’s ominous and glacial reworking of ‘Come Into My World’, it’s still box fresh and if you haven’t heard it for a while it can still work the hairs on the back of your neck. Mylo and Whitey turn in a similar treatments on their vocal mixes of ‘I Believe In You’ and ‘Red Blooded Woman’ respectively. In remix terms Kylie works best when the producers involved shift her out of her ‘sweet spot vocal’ territory and frame her against somewhat colder backdrops. The clash of styles often makes for something interesting even if they only have a short shelf life.
Once you’ve explored the good and the bad the remaining territory is surprisingly indifferent. Sebastien Leger provides a Lil Louis fuelled recut of ‘In My Arms’ (much better in its dub incarnation), Riton brings a clanky and somewhat dry retooling of ‘Giving You Up’ to the table which frankly you have to be in the right mood for.
Lesser known tracks such as ‘Butterfly’ and ‘The One’ turn up in reimagined forms to please the completists but the only new material is the title track ‘Boombox’ which was swept from the cutting room floor when the last album sessions were closed. Still it does have the benefit of having L.A Riots tinkering with it’s engines, making it surprisingly strident and containing enough of their trip and chop characteristics to please the listener.
As a collection though, if you’re a die hard fan you’ll have most of this material already, for everyone else. Wait till the price tumbles and then give it some consideration…