Aphrodite Les Folies: Live in London [2CD/1DVD]
A visual spectacle loosely based around Greek mythology, staged by the team behind Disneyland Resort World of Color, and with a budget reported to be around $25 million, it's unavoidable that the audio version of Kylie Minogue's 2011 Aphrodite les Folies tour will come a very distant second to its DVD counterpart. Nevertheless, despite the inability to see the production's array of flying angels, golden chariots, and audience-soaking water features, there's still plenty to enjoy on this 28-track live collection, recorded over two nights at London's 02 Arena. Coming off the back of perhaps the most anonymous album of her career, it was always a risk including all but one of its 12 tracks (only "Too Much" is omitted), but although the likes of "Illusion" and "Looking for an Angel" remain just as disposable, the shimmering electro of "Get Outta My Way," the euphoric glittery disco of "All the Lovers," and the robotic electro of "Cupid Boy" all benefit from a live setting. Fans of her PWL material may be disappointed that there are only two such offerings, "Better the Devil You Know" and "What Do I Have to Do," but with only eight out of 25 numbers making it from her last live album (2009's Live in New York), at least she's making an effort to provide her hardcore fan base with a different experience each tour. Indeed, alongside the massive handbag hits like "Spinning Around," "Love at First Sight," and "Wow," there are a couple of curve balls as well, from the bubbling electro-pop cover of Eurythmics' "There Must Be an Angel" to a rare outing of "If You Don't Love Me" (the Prefab Sprout cover that appeared as a B-side to "Confide in Me"), whose torch song arrangement proves that while her voice can often be slightly too nasal, she's a much more impressive live performer than the likes of Madonna. Unfortunately, the recent phenomenon of artists rendering their biggest hits unrecognizable while on tour occasionally rears its head, and while Kylie herself might enjoy turning "Can't Get You Out of My Head" into a raucous rock number and "Slow" into a dreary slice of burlesque jazz, it's clear from the slightly muted audience response that her fans don't. Nevertheless, they're the only slip-ups in a show that, along with a whole lot of style, contains a fair bit of substance too, suggesting it's only a matter of time before Vegas comes a-calling.