Album: Light Years
Kylie Minogue: International Pop Star. It’s not hyperbole. Throughout Europe, Australia and Asia, she is renowned and considered more famous than Madonna. Her concert tours conisenstly sell out and she is followed by the paparazzi relentlessly in the U.K.
Robbie Williams has quite an impressive fanbase in Europe as well. The bad boy of European pop revived his music career after being fired from Take That (“Back For Good”). However, unlike Kylie, he has not been able to break into the U.S. market.
The two singers paired up for the Williams-Guy Chambers penned, “Kids.” In the single, Williams and Minogue play up the irony and flirt with each other.
Kylie’s heaving breathing opens the single. Kylie pokes fun at her bubblegum past with “Me no bubbletious..” and follows it up with her talking about her current provactive image: “me be groovin’ slowly where you are.” Williams gets his digs in at his own career by singing “me smoke heavy tar.” Aggressive and straightforward he tells Kylie “Notify your next of kin/’Cause you’re never coming back.” Kylie brushes him off with “I’ve been dropping beats since Back in Black.”
In the pre-chorus, they both sing that they’ll play their flirtation by ear and their titillation is all for the kids. (“And we’ll paint by numbers/’Til something sticks/Don’t mind doing it for the kids”). In the chorus, music switches from dance pop to rock anthem as Williams encourages everyone to “jump on board/ Take a ride…Cause the kids are alright”). Williams has essentially told listeners to get over the discussion of sexual images because the kids can handle it.
In the second verse, Kylie is now interested in Williams tells him “you’ve got a reputation.” Williams is game and flirts with “well I guess that can be explored.” Kylie points out he’s retro (“you’re dancin’ with the chairman of the board”). However, she replies she will go home with him (“the purpose of a woman is to love her man”).
In the bridge, Kylie and Williams sing they are going to give their all to the one-night stand. (“I’m gonna to give it all my loving/It’s going to take up my love”).
In the third and (my personal favorite) verse, Kylie asks him “come down from the ceiling” To which he responds “I didn’t mean to get so high.” In her best vocal moment of the single when she sings “I couldn’t do what I wanted to do when my lips were dry.” She expresses both a joy in the hedonism of pop and some regret at the same time. Kylie, apparently, has had second thoughts after spending the night with Williams. He responds with “you can’t just up and leave me/I’m a singer in a band.” It’s a playful arrogance, which Williams is able to convey perfectly. Kylie, however, doesn’t care. She prefers the stereotype. (“I like drummers baby, you’re not my bag”).
“Kids” has a sense of humor, which both Minogue and Williams display about their images. It’s endearing and sensual without spelling out the humor for the audience. Either listeners are going to get it or they are not. It’s pop for adults.