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X Marks the Pop

Kylie Minogue loves Nick Cave. The pop princesss decision to connect with the brooding crooner for their 1996 dark duet, Where the Wild Roses Grow, may seem like an odd one, but the pairing is actually part of Minogues collaboration ethos. I love to absorb, she says. I get on stage or record a song, and another version of myself comes out. Ive had to work hard to be a multifaceted performer. Youre not going to box me in. Her two decades of music show her various influences, whether shes playing the space-age disco queen on Cant Get You Out of My Head, the wistful teen on her breakout I Should Be So Lucky, or the sensual goddess on Slow. Her latest, X (named to mark her 10th album), doesnt reference her much-publicized battle with cancer or her breakup with Unfaithful actor Olivier Martinez. Instead, she samples Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot on Sensitize, features Daft Punk-like robotic calls on Speakerphone, and does a surprisingly effective rap on Heart Beat Rock. A prodigy, Minogue learned to play the drums and violin when she was 4, but her beauty and youth made her an attractive target. I was successful at an early age and received scathing criticism early on. The gay community really rushed to my defense, she says. I suddenly had an army behind me! And after 20 years and countless music awards, Minogue still has big plans. I want to do a film musical. Im slowly working on it. I love the oldies, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Ann-Margret. Its all-encompassing: acting, a little drama, some slapstick, and tap. Id be in heaven. Listen to the full album at a letter to the editor about this article.
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