79. ‘Wow’ by Kylie Minogue (2008)

‘Get me into the shade’

Upon first hearing this song, I thought it was almost aggressively camp, and so cynically squared at Kylie’s G.A.Y. market as to be unbearable.  Admittedly, this was in a gay bar in Manchester, where they played the song four times in the space of 45 minutes. It wasn’t until I got some distance from it and it popped up unexpectedly on the radio many months later that I realised its towering brilliance. It may be camper than Christmas, but that’s one of the marks of its greatness; it’s unashamedly so. In a decade where pop has grown more sophisticated and, with it, more self-consciously hip, it was refreshing to hear such a cool-eschewing, hook-laden, flat-out pop song. And it’s fitting that it’s Kylie who delivers it, as she’s perhaps the most perfect vessel for such contraptions that there’s ever been (and it was also she who, with Can’t Get You Out of My Head, helped usher pop into the future).

Bonus points: That the simple echo of a word in the chorus (in this case, ‘rush’) should be so thrilling is one of those unshakeable mysteries of pop music.

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