HMO102912KYLIEIt’s practically an unspoken rule that being gay means you have to adore Kylie Minogue. We take her seriously — but non-queers? They only know who she is when the wedding DJ plays “Locomotion.”

It’s a sad fact that Minogue’s wholesome dance act — admittedly, I’m a fan — hasn’t translated to the American masses outside of a minor hit here and there (her catalog, then, is recycled more than the stuff in your bin). The Abbey Road Sessions isn’t designed to catapult Kylie to Madonna heights, but it serves as a great gateway to another dimension of an underrated artist who has spent her career in the shimmer of a disco ball.

Let’s call this one Kylie’s “serious album:” Refined, sophisticated and intimate. She still sounds magical (though her limitations as a capable-but-unremarkable vocalist are clearer in this stripped-down undertaking) on these 16 revamped tracks, including the new “Flower.” But notably missing are the thuds and synths. In their place are orchestral sweeps, lounge vibes that sound more piano bar than nightclub, and even ventures into good ol’ big band.

“Never Too Late” takes a minimalistic piano approach, sounding nothing like the bubblegum burst of the original, while early ’90s single “Finer Feelings,” with its rising string section, sounds ready to accompany the most dramatic scene in a big-budget romance. If the gays had their way, it would.

— Chris Azzopardi

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 9, 2012.