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GayCalgary® Magazine

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Music Review

Discipline and X

Music Review by Rob Diaz-Marino (From GayCalgary® Magazine, May 2008, page 53)
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“Discipline” by Janet Jackson
Right off the bat, perhaps the most annoying thing about this CD are the intermediate tracks that portray a somewhat lame story about Janet confiding her relationship misadventures with a soft-spoken computer voice named Kyoko. It would definitely add to the ambience if you’re playing it in the background of an intense S&M session, but when you want to get at the music it can be a hassle to skip past all 8 of these fillers scattered throughout the album. I have removed them from the track listing to save space – 22 tracks in total on this CD!
That being said, I found the music wasn’t anything terribly special in itself. The most recognizable track is “Feedback” right at the beginning. Perhaps it is the air of R&B, or the savory moods that this collection of songs creates that turned me off. Beyond track 2, little caught my interest aside from the peculiar song “So Much Betta”, and the 7-inch penis size reference at the beginning of “The 1”. “Greatest X” and “Can’t B Good” probably have the nicest melodies but were also very laid back.
The title track “Discipline” gets points for interesting use of the sound of leather peeling away from leather in the near-comatose drum line, however Janet’s whimpering voice dripped with so much pleading feminine sexuality that it made me feel uncomfortable just to listen to it. On the other hand, our lesbian readers might get hot from it!
Discipline is well named for its dark and reserved, even at times tense and unsettling nature. It didn’t hit my musical G-spot but someone with opposing musical taste will have better luck.
Track List:
2. Feedback ?????
3. Luv ?????
5. Rollercoaster ?????
7. Rock with U ?????
8. 2Nite ?????
9. Can’t B Good ?????
11. Never Letchu Go ?????
13. Greatest X ?????
15. So Much Betta ?????
17. The 1 ?????
18. What’s UR Name ?????
20. Discipline ?????
22. Curtains ?????


“X” by Kylie Minogue
One word escapes my lips: Awesome! Prior to this, I only knew Kylie for “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” but this was an eye-opening experience.
Kylie Minogue delivers a knockout punch with this latest elecrto-pop album, and I don’t think I’ve ever rated a CD so highly in any prior music review. Her style is something remarkable – flawless vocals set to classical and electronic instruments and unmistakably danceable beats. Oftentimes her melodies and rhythms go in unexpected but exciting directions, like a refreshing slap to the face through a flirty grin.
Why name this CD “X” you ask? Aside from being a cool title, this is her tenth studio album release to fans who have been waiting since 2003 to hear her latest creations.
“This album is much more of a celebration than anything I’ve done before, with some room for reflection as well,” says Minogue. “I started work on it a year and a half ago when recording was far off in the future, because no one wanted to pressure me. But I had to get back into the studio just to test myself and get some things off my chest, which I did. To finish was a great relief and an inspiration in that I knew, ‘This is what I do and this is what I love doing.’ It has its challenges but I’m ready for more.”
When I rate songs, I look for a good balance between beat and melody, as well as uplifting energy – very few in this collection let me down. “2 Hearts” starts the album off with a bold love song, and I can already see people on the dance floor doing jazz-hands to the joyous “woo” call-outs. “In My Arms” grabs you with its powerful synths, while later on “No More Rain” keeps the good feeling going with a much gentler, instrumental tone. “Speakerphone” has a clever chorus whose melody could probably be reproduced with the right combination of numbers on your telephone. Finally, “Wow” starts out with an intriguing echoed piano solo that explodes into a catchy funk melody.
And if all that wasn’t enough, you can also access the CD-quality bonus track “Rippin’ up the Disco” by signing up on www.kylie.com. It’s worth a listen, but you must have a valid copy of the CD to download it!
Track List:
1. 2 Hearts ?????
2. Like a Drug ?????
3. In My Arms ?????
4. Speakerphone ?????
5. Sensitized ?????
6. Heart Beat Rock ?????
7. The One ?????
8. No More Rain ?????
9. All I See ?????
10. Stars ?????
11. Wow ?????
12. Nu-di-ty ?????
13. Cosmic ?????

(GC)



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