Now this is the kind of bar-raising brilliance I expect from the woman I've idolised since childhood! It's no secret - pun intended - that I've been suffering from Kylie fatigue lately. "Time Bomb" was a dreadful single and I struggled to muster much enthusiasm for her orchestral album. The former was beneath her and The Abbey Road Sessions struck me as completely unnecessary. I might have to rethink my opinion of the latter after hearing the finished version of "Flower". Kylie has her groove back, which makes that your lame fave even more irrelevant than usual.
The "Flower" saga actually begins way back in 2008 when Dannii's slightly more prolific sister performed the ballad on her X tour. It pretty much stole the show with its eerie lyrics - interpreted by many to be a deeply persoanl lament about the legend's as yet empty womb - and sweeping production. A studio version was recorded and slated for an X re-release that never happened. Most of us thought it was lost forever but somebody wisely stuck it on the orchestral album and the track made the project interesting again.
What slays me most is how understated the studio version of "Flower" turned out. I was half-expecting something bombastic and overbearing but it's sparse and intricate. Steve Anderson brings Kylie back to the Deconstruction era and I don't think anyone is complaining. The video is similarly subtle. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a Minogue offering as much as this classy black and white affair (to be honest, it was probably "All The Lovers"). It's part "Finer Feelings", part "Where The Wild Roses Grow" - with a splash of "Where Is The Feeling?" for good measure.
Let me translate for non-stans/people born after 1990. "Flower" is a beautifully filmed, plot-less video that showcases the pop icon's timeless beauty with stunning photography and clever direction. It also has an inexplicable trace of danger. Probably because I'm always terrified Nick Cave is lurking around the corner with a rock any time Kylie sets foot in water. This is the kind of sophisticated clip that makes Madonna look like a washed-up circus act. I am now ready for The Abbey Road Sessions. That is all.