Friday, October 24, 2008

Kylie & Dannii - The Winner Takes It All

I've been itching to write about the Kylie and Dannii duet for the past couple of weeks but I really wanted to hear it within the context of tonight's episode of "Beautiful People" before commenting. I thought there must have been a specific reason for choosing such a recognisable song, that perhaps it might have played a greater role in moving the narrative forward. As it turns out, "The Winner Takes It All" was simply the background for a soccer montage (watch it here). So much for my over-analysing! I guess it was just a case of choosing the campest possible track for the most fabulous musical coupling in recent history. And the Minogues definitely pull it off, throwing themselves into the ABBA classic for all they're worth. I really love their version. In fact, it's probably one of my favourite tracks of the year - but shouldn't the ridiculously long awaited pairing of my two favourite divas (sorry, La Toya) be THE song of the year? As much as it pains me to admit it, I can't help but feel slightly underwhelmed.

Maybe it's just a case of having unrealistic expectations. I've been waiting for the Minogues to reunite ever since they rocked "Young Talent Time" with their legendary rendition of "Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves" way back in 1987 (below). That's 21 years of eager anticipation! I might have been expecting too much but I still question the song selection and the arrangement. It's always dangerous to interpret a classic but even more so when the song in question is truly iconic and has already been covered hundreds of times before. It was always going to be a struggle to breathe new life into something that has already been done to death and I'm not sure turning "The Winner Takes It All" into a cheerful pop anthem was the answer. ABBA's original is genuinely heartbreaking and bittersweet. Kylie and Dannii, on the other hand, sound like they're having far too much fun. The dodgy 90s-tastic beats don't really help their cause either but I'll put that down to "period" production, after all "Beautiful People" is set in 1997.

Now that I've got that off my chest, what's right about the duet? Despite my bitching, quite a lot. There's the inherent camp appeal of the Minogues singing ABBA and their beautiful harmonizing in the chorus. Not to mention the interesting juxtaposition of Dannii hamming it up in her verses, while Kylie goes for a far more subtle approach. I particularly love the wistful tone in her voice when she almost whispers "but tell me does she kiss, like the way I kissed you". However, despite Kylie's emotional vocal delivery, I think it's fair to say that Dannii steals the show with her powerful pipes. Surely this ends the debate about who has the better voice once and for all! $ucce$$!

Now this is more like it!


Paul said...

it's not as amazing as i'd hoped but still pretty fagtastic. Sophie Ellis Bextor Jones is on the album with a tragically brillo cover of Jolene which is magnif. Loving the boyz article!!!

tommie said...

Speaking of Kylie, did you see this:,22049,24544189-5001026,00.html?from=public_rss

Peibols said...

I think, obviously, that Cheryl could have done it much better.

Anyway, if Kylie is any clever under that blonde hair, she must release it as single and made a proper video with Dannii.
Dannii is on top with XFactor right now, and is the famous one now.
So Kylie must use this fame. As she always did.

Or, they could release a complete album with their favourite ABBA songs.
It'll be the BEST ALBUM EVER!

Anonymous said...

It is a little disappointing - the production is a bit low rent, but the vocals are great! I can't really tell when Kylie is singing or when it's Danni though!

James x

D'luv said...

Great a$$e$$ment of this bland, anticlimactic duet, doll.

I was beginning to think I was the only one nonplussed by this limp meeting of the hookerz.

I heard it once and that's more than enough.

Whey should have done an original song called "Ass To Ass," and re-enacted that scene from Requiem For A Dream in the know, where the two girls are with all the Asian businessmen and they...well, never mind.

Jay said...

I am going to pretend this pile of utter shite does not exist.

The Kylie & Dannii duet will always be their fabulous rendition of Kids (Live) at Homecoming.

Aaron said...

I LOVE This!

Now please - Somebody - Release it here!

Adem With An E said...

Thank God you've mentioned it. It's fine, it's camp, it's trashy, but we've been waiting this long for... that? I don't have a problem with the cover at all but I feel a bit used and cheated.

I bet it was Kylie's idea too, poor Dannii.