Thursday, March 27, 2014

Album Review: Not Falling In Love With Kylie's 'Kiss Me Once'

For over 25 years Kylie Minogue has been a staple of pop/dance music. With her 12th studio album Kiss Me Once, her first album since 2010's Aphrodite, Minogue shows no sign of wanting to stop making the world dance, but at 45 she appears to be slowing down on this latest set, yet more focused on sex at the same time.

Since Aphrodite, Minogue has teased us with high energy tracks like "Timebomb" and "Skirt," and then doing an intimate, orchestra cover album called The Abbey Road Sessions. These were all delightful releases but now we have this, a compilation of slower dance tracks and a step backward for the Australian Queen of Pop.

"Into the Blue," the lead track and first single, starts the mood for the album immediately: a nice listen, but not kinetic. not as great as other album openers, but good nonetheless. The pockets of  momentary dance segments  proceed with songs "Million Miles" and the '80s-sounding "I Was Gonna Cancel," and some forgettable "sex" tracks. Her cover of Tom Aspaul's "Indiana," renamed to "Feel So Good," is a bubbly electronic ditty that is just as good as the original, a definite highlight of the album.

The songs chug along until the album's conclusion where we are left to feeling "Fine," which is a good bookend to "Into The Blue" and wants you to dance once more.

Not a great set, Kiss Me Once isn't too impressive the first go around - probably barbecue it's been four years since an album of original content and I was anxious - but there are some enjoyable nuggets to listen to second time around. However, this isn't a really danceable album that we expect from her. Is 26 years in the music industry taking a toll on her? She seems so slowed down on this set. Even Madonna is still performing all crazy at her age, so Minogue needs to be just as lively as she was on "Timebomb" and the albums before this.

Rating: C

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Movie Review: 'Enemy' Is Its Own Worst Enemy

Jake goes head-to-head against himself in the doppleganger thriller 'Enemy'

The second collaboration in a matter of months between Jake Gyllenhaal and Canadian director Denis Villenevue after "Prisoners," "Enemy" is so unforgivably bad, it makes their first effort together look like a masterpiece. There's nothing worse than having a good plot that doesn't build up to anything and seems stale from the get-go.

"Enemy" opens with a really weird sexual party a la "Eyes Wide Shut" where pregnant girls nakedly frock around and kill spiders with their stiletttos. Yes, I'm serious. The spiders come back periodically as larger than life symbols trouncing through Toronto for no reason. When that unnecessary sequence ends, we meet Gyllenhaal's first character, the melancholy professor Adam Bell, who discovers an actor named Andrew St. Claire (also played by Gyllenhaal) who looks just like him.

Obsessed to discover who this look-a-like is, Adam manipulates his way into Andrew's life, eventually meeting with him in private. They are, indeed, some kind of twin, sharing the same voice, facial/body structure and even body scars. A slow build up to that point in the movie, it develops split personality afterward and turns into a sexual "Parent Trap" for the last 30 minutes.

I'll leave you with that.