Leave to Kylie Minogue to make her fans happy. Among the many cool things done to commemorate the 25th anniversary of her musical career, she has released "The Abbey Road Sessions", a collection of new versions of some of her biggest hits. And while she could have simply had them remixed by DJs that would have probably taken away her sublime pop hooks and replaced them with generic rappers, she went the other way instead; "The Abbey Road" presents what can only be considered as sixteen musical deconstructions, replacing the electronics with rich orchestration or stripped-down arrangements. Best of all, most of these new versions are drastically different from the originals; "Slow" becomes a smouldering lounge track, "Love at first sight" is turned into a midtempo acoustic guitar strummer, "On a night like this" gets a bluesy shuffling beat, "The Loco-Motion" gets a swinging sixties Britpop treatment, "I believe in you" is dressed as a simple acoustic ballad, "Finer feelings" benefits from a dramatic orchestral arrangement and most of her old Stock-Aitken-Waterman chestnuts are literally transformed into piano-and-vocal ballads.
Of course, toying with the classics is usually a love-it-or-hate-it situation. While I truly love the stripped-down versions of "Never too late", "Hand on your heart", "Love at first sight" and "Better the devil you know", there's little doubt that some fans will certainly miss the quirky beats of the originals. Still, whether or not her fans approve every choice made here, one can only applaud Minogue for trying hard to come up with something different. Ultimately, "The Abbey Road Sessions" is more than just a cool way to celebrate her long and fruitful career : it's also a great album to listen to, period.