Long before Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and La Roux made electro-infused dance-pop all the rage among young divas, Kylie Minogue was kicking it. So it's only fitting that, at 42, the Aussie goddess would show all those twentysomethings how it's done on Aphrodite. Always more of a singles artist, Minogue delivers what may be the best start-to-finish album of her career. Aside from "Everything Is Beautiful," a gorgeous midtempo cowritten by Keane's Tim Rice-Oxley, this is a nonstop party with Madonna's Confessions on a Dance Floor producer Stuart Price at the helm. Consider it Kylie's Confessions.
How I Got Over |
The Roots have gotten over the hump: Having long earned critical acclaim-including a 1999 Grammy-the hip-hop outfit finally won mainstream exposure last year as the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. "Dear diary, the fans still swear by me/ Even though I'm late-night now, like here's Johnny/ Swimming with them great whites now, that's where to find me," raps the ever-cerebral Black Thought on "Doin' It Again." But they hardly sound like sellouts here: This is the best Roots disc since 2002's Phrenology. While sampling John Legend on "Doin' It Again," they also reimagine Monsters of Folk ("Dear God 2.0") and Joanna Newsom ("Right On"). Most inspired, though, is the gospel-charged title tune, which borrows its name from the old spiritual. Mahalia would be proud.
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