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BPM... dancebeat

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I know it's been more than fifteen years since Kylie Minogue did the "Locomotion," but I'm still having a hard time reconciling that bubble gum princess with the steamy sex kitten we have before us. Maybe it's because Minogue was less than

visible in the intervening years, forsaking stateside

success for Euro-pop diva icon

status. When she returned to our shores in 2002, with a Fever-ed vengeance, she looked to be unstoppable. Body Language (Capitol) more than fulfills that promise, smartly adding electroclash flourishes that indicate that Minogue and company have been paying more attention to trends than some other faded dance-pop divas we can think of, but don't care to name (you know who you are). Effervescent and percolating, you can hear the influence of Felix Da Housecat purring throughout. With a couple of songs co-written by the underrated Emiliana Torrini (the medium-paced album opener "Slow" and the slinky "Someday"), as well as collaborations with Cathy Dennis and (Kurtis) Mantronix, Body Language speaks in tongues that are easily translated. "Still Standing" is an upright jam, "Secret (Take You Home)" is a gust of underground air, and the honey-dipped "Sweet Music" more than lives up to its name. "I Feel For You," not to be confused with the Prince-penned Chaka Khan hit of the same name, is every bit as distinctive and catchy.

This Is Star 69, Vol. 2 (Star 69), the sequel to 2001's This Is Star Sixty Nine is, like its predecessor,

"compiled & sequenced" by Grammy nominated remixer Peter Rauhofer. As with its forebear, this compilation proudly wears the

distinctive Star 69 style of dance music on its couture sleeve. Only one of the baker's dozen performers from the first compilation, Lula, makes a return appearance here with the track, "My Empire," which was co-written and mixed by Rauhofer. The "I am ready to rock" sentiment of the Sieg & Mouzakis Blue Steel Mix of Andrea Doria's "Bucci Bag" is reiterated on the DJ Vibe Remix of "I Am Ready" by Sizequeen. In fact, the "rock" theme is echoed on "Rock To The Beat" by Panic Attackers featuring Alan T, as well as on Rauhofer's "Roxy" Mix of "This Is My House." I also admired the stomp of Friburn & Urik's "Elefants" and the multitude of beats on the Airmale Remix of "If U Want Me" by Dark Clark.

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