Forget about Britney, Christina, Jay-Z, Beyonce, American Idol, Newlyweds, the new wave of new wave, J-pop, the World Cup, the Olympics, terrorism, nationalism, anti-Americanism, imperialism, anti-globalization new-lefty protest culture, and the international space program. Kylie Minogue is the single unifying pop-culture phenomenon on the face of the Earth today. Get the numbaz on 2001's Fever album and "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" single: the album went at least platinum in 18 countries and gold in a further 17; the single was No. 1 in 21 countries -- not to mention the most-played single in any one week since records began in both the U.K. and Germany.
Popularity doesn't mean you're any good, but when you've got something the Limeys and Krauts agree on (besides jaggin' the Frogs), you're doing something halfway right. And in this case, the popular-equals-crap logical equation failed, and Body Language proves it wasn't a fluke: The Australian ex-soap star, former Nick Cave muse, and all-'round mega-supa-ultra-star seems to have accidentally made the best pop album since -- well, her last one.
"Can't Get You ..." turned the indie snobs onto the pop-is-the-new-underground and dancing-is-the-new-not-dancing trends years ago, and Kylie hasn't forgotten them: "Slow" sounds like a sexier (and better) Ladytron; "Secret" could almost be Adult; and several tracks have the distorted-beat glitch that Timbaland edges ever toward. "Red Blooded Woman" is Euro-pop for Missy Elliott fans, and "Promises" is there for fans of Belgian dancehall fodder. (There must be some, right?)
Kylie Minogue might not be able to save the world like, say, Jessica Simpson, but she's far more useful than Donald Rumsfeld or American Idol. And Body Language is just the kind of world-recognized slab of pop perfection that we need in the '04. Burn candles to it, or burn it out of spite -- either way, you'll be joining thousands of comrades worldwide.