Kylie Minogue – Tension


Last year, Kylie Minogue set out to make an exciting body of work that will be made up of songs that are without a common theme, and she achieved this in the form of Tension, – her sixteenth studio album released via BMG and Darenote on September 22. However, whether you find yourself in the first track “Padam Padam” or listening to the last one “Story,” the positive lyrics and dance-worthy tunes help put you in a state of joy that you start to feel like whatever tension’s in you has been lifted.

“Padam Padam” was the album’s first single and made fans positively anticipate the album. In fact, it was so successful that her team decided to delay the release of the second single, “Tension,” in order to have “Padam Padam” soar as high as possible without any distractions. And speaking of soaring high, “Padam Padam” topped the chart in several countries at the time of its release, went viral on TikTok, and was a defining tune this summer. It was praised for its electro-pop tune, catchy chorus, and accompanying music video, which saw Minogue rock different shades of bright red.

“Hold On To Now” follows “Padam Padam” in the album’s lineup and its lyrics serve as an extension of the latter. If “Padam Padam” is about meeting someone you immediately connect with at a bar, “Hold On To Now” is the promise that that initial exciting connection won’t fade so easily. “Baby, what are we holdin’ on to? / Baby, where do we wanna run to? / Oh, we’ll figure it out somehow-ow-ow / Keep holdin’ on to now, now / Dreamin’ we’ll be dancin’ forever / Floatin’ on this feeling together,” she sings in the chorus.

Throughout the album, we see the pop icon – the truest one of all if you ask fans – blend different genres of electronic dance music, from contemporary dance-pop to a gentle whiff of house notes. The album literally begs not to be taken seriously with its themes of sex, dancing, love, and having fun, so you’re advised to be “cool as sorbet” as you go from one song to the next. Even though there’s a playfulness in the songs, it still explores real world issues, like how love can make someone crazy and the need to put the past behind for new beginnings.

Speaking via the album’s press release, Minogue says, “I started this album with an open mind and a blank page. Unlike my last two albums, there wasn’t a ‘theme’, it was about finding the heart or the fun or the fantasy of that moment and always trying to service the song. I wanted to celebrate each song’s individuality and to dive into that freedom. I would say it’s a blend of personal reflection, club abandon and melancholic high.”

She continued: “The album is a mix of songs I have written and songs which really spoke to me. Making this album helped me navigate challenging times and celebrate the now. I hope it accompanies listeners on their own journeys and becomes part of their story.”

There’s something so exciting and refreshing about Tension that once you’re done listening to the songs on the record, you know that it has become a part of your story and you’re happy for it.

Rating: 4