When I first heard "Time Bomb" my blood ran cold. I imagine Madonna fans must have experienced a similar feeling when they were first ear-raped by MDNA. But Kylie's cheap and cheerful electro-anthem is a grower and by the third or fourth listen I was on board. However, I stand by my initial evaluation. If anyone else recorded the song, I would be tearing it apart. "Time Bomb" sounds like a Rachel Stevens B-side from 2003 - only with worse production. What was Dada thinking with those tragic electric guitars? And I'm not even going to comment on the lyrics, which make Dannii's domestic abuse-themed club-banger "Love Fight" song like "War & Peace". Luckily, I'm hardwired to love Kylie and this effort proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could listen to her fart over a death metal instrumental and still enjoy it.
But enough with the criticism. While "Time Bomb" is far from the Queen of pop's best single, it is one of her smartest. The song is already top 10 on iTunes around the world and could turn out to be one of her biggest hits in years if radio plays along. Kylie has finally woken up to the fact that the mainstream doesn't really care about her experimental output or mid-tempo dance anthems (ie. 90% of Aphrodite) and dropped an incredibly commercial lead single. It's generic and sounds like everything else on radio. That's not a criticism but a compliment. She can still do current - unlike Madonna. I also hope they're lining up a bunch of remixes from low-rent DJs that actually get played in clubs instead of the usual too-cool-for-anyone-not-living-in-Hoxton crap they usually serve up.
And then there's the video. If you ignore the first minute, which looks like it was filmed on Dannii's iPhone, it's rather brilliant. I love Kylie's lipstick-lesbian makeover and the scene where she's writhing around on the motorbike is the hottest she has looked since the Fever era. It's dumb fun that appeals to the lowest common denominator. So it might even be played outside of gay bars. I know this post might sound negative but "Time Bomb" has really fired up my enthusiasm for her new album. Jake Shears' fag hag is coming for your faves this time around. Even if she has to sacrifice a little on quality.
Song = 7/10, Video = 8/10