Every Kylie Minogue album definitively ranked – from gloriously perfect to clunky mess
Kylie Minogue is the gift that just keeps on giving.
Over the course of her 30 year career, she has given us more anthems than we could even begin to count.
She is also the queen of reinvention – Kylie Minogue is best known for her disco and dance influenced tracks, but she’s also dabbled in R&B, house, rock and many other genres.
That’s why we’ve decided to take a look at Kylie’s back catalogue and give you our definitive ranking. Yes, we know – it seems ridiculous to rank Kylie’s albums. Each one has moments of greatness, and we love each of her records like they’re our own children, but let’s face it: some are better than others.
With that in mind, let’s dive into our ranking of Kylie’s 14 studio albums (we’re not including Kylie Christmas here).
14. Enjoy Yourself (1989)
Enjoy Yourself, Kylie’s second album, was released in her early days when she was still the face of Stock, Aitken and Waterman, the songwriting trio known for creating some of the 1980s’ biggest pop tracks.
When confronted with the task of building her second album, Stock, Aitken and Waterman decided to take the easy way out – they pretty much just copied her debut. The sound is almost identical, but the songs just aren’t as good. There’s also the fact that the whole thing sounds cheaply produced to contend with.
With Enjoy Yourself, Kylie hadn’t quite found her niche yet – it’s an album that sounds like it was made by necessity more than by desire.
Still, it’s not all bad – “Hand on Your Heart” still stands up today, and “Never Too Late” is a bop.
13. Kylie (1988)
It hurts our hearts to put Kylie, her self-titled debut album, in at number 13 – there are so many great moments on there, and it was the record that launched Kylie into the stratosphere.
Kylie marked the start of the singer’s journey with Stock, Aitken and Waterman – and you can hear their sometimes clunky approach embedded throughout the album. “Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi” is a stand out – it’s one of Kylie’s best ballads – and tracks like “Turn It into Love” and “Love at First Sight” keep us coming back for more.
Sadly, much of the album is hampered by cheap-sounding synths – a hallmark of Stock, Aitken and Waterman’s ’80s output.
12. Let’s Get to It (1991)
Let’s Get to It, Kylie’s last album with Stock, Aitken and Waterman, is an album of exploration and transition – and there are some great moments on it, too.
Kylie is credited as a songwriter here – on a whopping six songs too – and you can hear her influence. There are new sounds and genres on Let’s Get to It, and her vocals are better than ever.
The downside is that there’s a clear lack of big hits, and it’s still one of Kylie’s least successful albums – it peaked at number 15 on the UK charts when it was released. On the flip side, it’s hard to imagine the Kylie Minogue we all know and love today without Let’s Get to It – it laid the groundwork for everything that was to come.
11. Kiss Me Once (2014)
Kiss Me Once is an album of intense highs and lows. It kicks off with “Into the Blue”, one of Kylie’s all time best tracks and possibly her finest ballad, and the first four tracks are pure pop perfection.
And then we have “Sexercize”, a song that’s probably best described as a bit of a misstep – it sucks the energy out of the album.
There’s a lot of good on Kiss Me Once – the title track and “Fine” are a lot of fun – but then there’s the autotune on “Beautiful” to contend with. Ultimately, Kiss Me Once feels like an album that just ended up sprawling in too many directions at once. You get the sense it could have been a better record if it was a bit more refined.
10. Body Language (2003)
Body Language was released in 2003 at the tail end of the biggest era of Kylie’s career – it was always going to be a tough act to follow the success of 2001’s Fever, but Kylie gave it her all here.
Instead of trying to replicate the success of that album, Kylie went in another direction – the R&B infused Body Language era was kicked off with “Slow”, a true Kyle classic. “Red Blooded Woman” deserves respect largely because of how radical a departure it was for her, even if it’s not exactly one of her best songs.
Body Language has a lot of merit, but it probably doesn’t have quite the same staying power as some of Kylie’s other albums, and some of the songs do sound a little dated almost two decades on.
9. X (2007)
There was a lot of pressure on X right from the get go. It was Kylie’s first album in four years after she took a much-deserved break from the industry to undergo treatment for breast cancer.
The album delivered on much of the hype with a string of absolutely mammoth singles. “2 Hearts”, “In My Arms”, “Wow” and “The One” show Kylie at her absolute best.
There’s plenty more to love on X – “Heart Beat Rock” and “Sensitized” are fun, punchy pop songs – but there’s also “Speakerphone”, a song you won’t be surprised to learn has not aged that well. “Nu-di-ty” will get you up on your feet if you’ve had a few drinks, but it’s hardly a Kylie classic.
8. Rhythm of Love (1990)
Rhythm of Love was Kylie’s third album with Stock, Aitken and Waterman – and it’s also the best of those early records, showing the moment that she took control over her career.
The album opens with “Better the Devil You Know”, one of Kylie’s all-time best singles and an absolute anthem to this day. “Step Back in Time”, “What Do I Have to Do?”, “Shocked” and “Rhythm of Love” all show a young artist determined to move into the ’90s by incorporating new sounds.
There’s also the fact that a lot of this album sounds like it was recorded specifically for the girls and the gays – with Rhythm of Love, Kylie really started to embrace her audience.
7. Golden (2018)
It seems lazy to call Golden a comeback, but at the same time, it’s hard to think of it as anything else.
In 2018, Kylie’s career seemed to have stalled. Yes, she had given us Kylie Christmas (which we adore, by the way), but she hadn’t released a new album of original non-festive material since Kiss Me Once in 2014.
Golden turned out to be just what Kylie fans needed. It marked the first time in 20 years that she had a songwriting credit on every track on an album, and the personal nature of the songs was lost on nobody. Sure, the country leanings sometimes feel a little tacked on, but we still adore the sound. Ultimately, it was the album that reset Kylie’s career – and she’s only gone from strength to strength since.
6. Kylie Minogue (1994)
Kylie’s time with Stock, Aitken and Waterman finally came to an end with Let’s Get to It. She went on to sign with Deconstruction, an indie label, and the first album that emerged was the self-titled Kylie Minogue.
This album was a significant turning point for Kylie. It saw her seizing control of her music in a way she hadn’t been able to do before – and the result is something special. The best song on Kylie Minogue is, without doubt, “Confide in Me” – it sounds lush, dramatic and, most of all, expensive – something that was sorely needed after the poor production on most of her early albums.
On her fifth album, Kylie took a deep dive into contemporary dance music like never before. She sounds confident, like an artist who has truly come into her own. It also has some of the best vocals of her entire career – she really went there with the high belt on “Dangerous Game”.
Oh, and we have to mention the album artwork too – it’s possibly Kylie’s best, and has a noticeably queer, androgynous aesthetic.
5. Disco (2020)
Kylie released Disco in 2020, the year that clubs were closed due to the pandemic, and it ended up being the tonic we desperately needed.
When Kylie announced the album, revealing that she was going to take a deep-dive into disco, some were confused. You would be forgiven for thinking the idea of Kylie doing disco is a little redundant, given she’s made some of the best disco tracks of the last two decades.
Still, Disco is a delight to listen to. Like Golden, Kylie is a co-writer on every song here. “Say Something” is a gorgeous, crushing song, and its lyrics really cut to the core when it was released in 2020. “Magic” is a certified bop (it deserved to be a hit, but sadly the general public can’t be trusted). The standout for us is “Dancefloor Darling” – it’s everything a Kylie song should be. Slightly sad, slightly euphoric, it gives us all the feels every time.
4. Aphrodite (2010)
Was there ever a move as powerful as when Kylie unleashed “All the Lovers” on the world? This track is one of the stand-outs of Kylie’s entire career – it’s a queer anthem that proved Kylie would continue to dominate the charts and our minds.
This album is truly something to behold – in many ways, it’s Kylie at her peak. “Get Outta My Way” was a serve, “Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)” will make you want to rush to the nearest dance floor, and “Too Much” will have you screaming along until you can’t even speak anymore.
More than a decade on, Aphrodite still sounds as fresh as it always did.
3. Impossible Princess (1997)
Impossible Princess landed in 1997 to a public that seemed tired of Kylie’s journey through musical experimentation. Looking back, the reception to this album was perplexing – it was classed as a commercial flop, but it was also largely trounced by critics.
In the years since, Impossible Princess has rightly gotten the attention and recognition it deserves. It saw Kylie go in an entirely new direction, experimenting with rock and indie sounds. It also remains her most personal record – Kylie stans will have noticed that most of her songs aren’t really about her life, but Impossible Princess was full of biographical details.
Impossible Princess is full of some of Kylie’s finest, most expertly crafted songs. “Too Far” is tense, discomfiting, and powerful. “Breathe” was the closest thing the album had to a hit, and we still think it deserved so much better than it got.
2. Fever (2001)
There aren’t many albums that you could say are perfect from start to finish, but Fever comes close.
This record was released at the peak of Kylie’s most popular era. It gave us “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”, which welcomed us all into a new millennium with its futuristic, slightly unsettling melody.
Most tracks on Fever represent pure pop perfection – “More More More” is utterly addictive, “Love at First Sight” is truly glorious, “In Your Eyes” remains one of Kylie’s best songs. Sure, it might not have some of the more experimental leanings of Kylie’s earlier work – but there’s nothing wrong with that either.
Fever is the culmination of Kylie’s journey through different genres, and the wealth of experience she gained along the way.
1. Light Years (2000)
It was the album that relaunched Kylie’s career following a critical and commercial slump. It has been more than 20 years since Light Years was released, and its songs still resonate in powerful ways today.
There was a lot hingeing on Light Years for Kylie. She was dropped by Deconstruction after Impossible Princess tanked, which led to her signing with Parolophone. The mission was clear – it was time to bring Kylie back to her roots and to give the gays everything they wanted.
It was a tall order, but Light Years succeeded spectacularly. It remains Kylie’s most cohesive album – right through from the album artwork to the carefully curated songs, it’s an expertly crafted piece of work that’s absolutely bursting with pop hooks.
When it was released, some critics tried to downplay its significance by characterising it as a run-of-the-mill pop record. All these years later, it’s fascinating to see just how wrong they got it. When taken in from a distance, Light Years feels like an album with a capital A.
Light Years is Kylie at her absolute best – and none of it would have been possible if it wasn’t for ’90s era exploration phase.
So what are you waiting for? Slap Light Years on and brace yourself for pure pop perfection.
More: Kylie Minogue