Better Than Today EP
By Eric Chavez
In the past 20 years, no other female pop star, aside from Madonna, has had such an impact on the world of music. From “I Should Be So Lucky” to “Word is Out” to “Spinning Around,” Minogue has had hit after hit worldwide. In the U.S., though, aside from her Fever-era singles such as “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” and “Love at First Sight,” Kylie hasn’t had much commercial success. She has, however, managed to attract quite a following here in the States.
Her most recent LP, Aphrodite, with its disappointing first single, “All the Lovers,” and its second, “Get Outta My Way,” which is quite possibly the best pop-dance track of the past five years, has shown her fans and the world that Kylie is back.
This time around, on her third EP from the bunch, Kylie dabbles with an electro-pop/country-pop fusion. Sounding like Wynonna Judd-meets-Soft Cell, “Better Than Today” shows the singer stretching her talent both lyrically and sonically. It’s not the first time Minogue has experimented with the country sound: both 1997’s “Cowboy Style” and 2007’s “Sensitized” have seen Kylie in this area before. But now, gone is twangy two-step of her previous country-flavored track; in its place is a more standard, modern take on country, watering down her sound just a bit and replacing the sass with sugar.
To mix things up, the EP features a few dance remixes by Bills & Hurr, the Japanese Popstars, and Monarchy, none which would make one too impressed. To be fair, though, Kylie hasn’t had amazing remixes since her Light Years-era. The final track on the EP, a lounge version of “All the Lovers,” shows some improvement from the original, but all the production that was done after, it can’t save this song from the sappy trap it’s in.
“Better Than today” is perhaps not the best choice for a third single; Aphrodite songs such as the euphoric “Everything is Beautiful” or the eery “Closer” would have been much more colorful options for a release. It’s never too late, though, the momentum of Aphrodite still remains strong, both here in the states and across the pond.
Even with its faults, “Better Than Today” remains a stronger, better written, sonically diverse track than anything out there by Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, or Britney Spears have put out in the, well, ever. Proving once again that Kylie is still only second to Madonna when it comes to the perfection of pop.
Kylie Minogue plays The Fox Theatre on May 6.