Single Review: Taio Cruz ft. Kylie Minogue – ‘Higher’

Like most good things, they appear, at first, to be bad things. Good things like to shroud themselves behind a pretty naff bit of luck or run in to which the recipient could easily pull out the ol’ “Every cloud has a silver lining” motto and be done with it, waiting a few weeks or so before said silver lining decides to present itself. Others, well, they simply skip the idea of “bad news is good news” and force that silver lining to become apparent without hesitation.

Take the new offering from Taio Cruz, with the kind assistance of one Kylie Minogue for the UK version, and Travie McCoy for the US version. So, in this situation, we can attribute the “pretty naff bit of luck” to the fact Radio 1 are basically being Radio 1 again. By that I mean, not doing their job particularly well when it comes to VIP (Very Important Pop) business such as, oh, let’s say, the new single from Taio Cruz and Kylie Minogue, for instance. Such illustrates the previous point: they’ve only been oh-so-clever and playlisted the US version featuring the definitelynotbrilliant Travie McCoy, meaning the possibility of the UK version doing as well as it could have is now pretty low. The silver lining however presents itself in the form of an iTunes glitch which meant the UK version was released a week earlier than scheduled, meaning it’s already popped up at #8 on the UK Singles Chart even though it is “officially” (some lovely OCC snobbery for you right there) this week.

Anyhow, on the song front, it’s very catchy. Probably one of Taio’s catchiest productions to date actually, and with a couple of “Woo”s and some breathy magic from the not-so-robotic Kylie Minogue, it’s a win-win for everyone. That is, unless your me (-sad face), who now has to admit Taio has produced and released an Actually Not Too Bad song: one that would mean I’d have to clutch at some mighty scarce straws if I really wanted to unleash my inner pedant and pointlessly criticise something like the lyrics, at least.

As for Kylie’s part, well, it’s not the catchiest thing she’s put her name and voice to, that’s for sure, and there’s definitely something about her nose-powered voice makes the chorus feel a bit one-legged (I.e. – not entirely fulfilling) when she does it and something about Taio’s strained falsetto which makes his part a little odd, too.

Here is the video: It does make you laugh when they wrangle in a “live” band to do some “live” playing with “live” instruments over a “live” backing, especially when the production is electronic. PUT DOWN THAT GUITAR. YOU’RE NOT GETTING PAID FOR MIMING.

It would help with the authenticity if they weren’t in an underground warehouse/car-park storage thingy which basically means this magic jobby that takes both of them on this upward excursion could work above the height of 15ft odd. There’s a roof in the way, see..?

‘Higher’ is harmless, predictable electropop with nothing new to lay on the table, but it is super catchy and it’s bound to get people in the mood for dancing with it’s stomping production and racing synths. So, when weighing it all up, the silver lining just about neutralises the dark cloud in this case. 

Rating: 3.0 STARS

Download: February 6, 2011 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: ‘Rokstarr’

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