Monday, January 05, 2004

20. Dannii Minogue - Neon Nights (2003)

Pop is littered with brothers and sisters, but usually they're involved in the same enterprise: The Kinks, Oasis, Heart, The Beach Boys, Hanson, etc. Very rarely do you see siblings of established artists come out alone and make a go of it. Andy Gibb (younger brother of The Bee Gees) did well with his career, and Janet Jackson hasn't done too poorly for herself, but a more typical story is Solange, Beyonce's sister. What do you mean you haven't heard of her?!

(Of course kids of popular artists are a somewhat different story...witness Nancy Sinatra, Jakob Dylan, Rufus Wainwright, Wilson Phillips, et al.)

So Dannii Minogue is Kylie's little sister, and not only is she aiming for similar pop stardom, she's also decided to occupy her sister's electro-disco sex kitten niche. A curious move, and one that makes comparisons unavoidable. So...

1) Is she as hot?
Judging from the plentiful assortment of bedroom shots included in the CD booklet, she's quite attractive. But in the video that accompanies the disc, it's obvious that she isn't as gifted at dancing.

2) Can she sing as well?
Yes, but her voice is less distinctive than Kylie's, except when she sounds like Kylie.

3) Is she as sex-obsessed?
Oh yeah, even more so than Kylie, which is saying something. The aforementioned video features her frolicking with a stripper pole and being molested by ghostly hands. And here are some lyric samples: "it's like I'm dripping," and "I'm caught in the push of your big red love." We'll come back to this topic momentarily.

The album starts off with three killer tracks, Put The Needle On It, Creep, and I Begin To Wonder. All of them have great melodies and bleeps, beats, and bloops that make you want to bust a move. All are easily worthy of her sis. The next few songs muddy it up though. None are bad, but nor are they especially memorable. They are just exercises in bland seduction.

But things really heat up with Vibe On. It's an ode to, yes, her vibrator: "Jump on top it, sit right on it / plug it in gimmie my vibe on, gotta have vibrations." Later, she declares herself a "vibraholic." It's worth noting that Dannii wrote the lyrics herself, and she should be proud. It's not easy to tackle the topic of self-pleasure, but she's added a formidable entry to the canon (see the Misc. Lists section for others). I ask, no demand, that her record company release this as a single. It would go through the roof!

From there, it takes the last three songs (and an overlong bonus track) just to come down.

Ultimately, a Kylie fan could do much worse when they need a break from listening to Light Years or Impossible Princess. It's an excellent record for driving or doing the robot to, and I'm glad to own it. But if Dannii is hoping to blaze territory her sister hasn't she's in the wrong line of work!

Rating: B-
Fave Song: Creep

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