Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Neon Nights 10 Year Anniversary
I remember March 17, 2003. As a life-long, demented Dannii fan I had been anticipating Neon Nights for months. This was back in the olden days when albums didn't leak and fans still rushed to record stores on the day of release. Even then there was a feeling that we were in for something extraordinary. After turning unwarranted flopping into artform in the late '90s, things were finally looking up for my childhood idol.
"Who Do You Love Now?" reintroduced the younger Minogue to Australian nightclubs in 2001 and the holiday connoisseur took things to the next level in late 2002 with the then extremely raunchy "Put The Needle On It". That brilliant pop tune was a well-deserved top 20 hit and, more importantly, a rebirth of sorts. Dannii was now the sexy, edgy Minogue and radio ate her new sound up.
It seemed improbable that she could maintain this level of quality over a full album but then "I Begin To Wonder" dropped and I got the sneaking suspicious that Kylie's wig was about to snatched by her own sister.
As it turns out, I was right. Neon Nights was the album everyone wanted Body Language to be. It picked up where Fever left off but took a more colourful path. For all the moody synths and pouty photoshoots, Dannii's fourth opus is a remarkably fun and carefree affair.
I can't think of another album that makes me as inexplicably happy. And while the lyrics never stray far from clubbing and bedroom antics, the production is wildly adventurous - tapping in disco, '80s pop and the emerging French house movement. 10 years on, Holidannii's masterpiece holds up brilliantly.
Idolator recently asked me to write a retrospective to celebrate the birthday of 2003's best album and I hope I did it justice. Dannii and Kylie both tweeted the link, so I'll take that as implicit Minogue approval.