Slow (song)

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For the song of the same title by Rumer, see Slow (Rumer song).
"Slow"
Single by Kylie Minogue
from the album Body Language
B-side
  • "Soul on Fire"
Released 3 November 2003 (2003-11-03)
Format
Recorded 2003; London, England
Genre Synthpop
Length 3:15
Label Parlophone
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Dan Carey
  • Emilíana Torrini
  • Sunnyroads
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
"Come into My World"
(2002)
"Slow"
(2003)
"Red Blooded Woman"
(2004)

"Slow" is a song recorded by Australian singer Kylie Minogue for her ninth studio album Body Language (2003). It was released as the lead single from the album by Parlophone on 3 November 2003. The song was written by Minogue, Dan Carey, Emilíana Torrini, and produced by Carey, Torrini, and Sunnyroads. "Slow" is a synthpop song in which Minogue invites a man to "slow down" and dance with her.

Upon its release, "Slow" was acclaimed by music critics, many of whom praised Minogue's sensual and seductive vocals. At the 47th Grammy Awards ceremony, the song received a nomination in the category of "Best Dance Recording". Commercially, the song was a success and peaked at number one on the charts of countries like Australia, Denmark, Spain and the United Kingdom. The song also reached number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs in the United States. In Australia, the song was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for sales of 70,000 units.

An accompanying music video for the song was shot in Barcelona, Spain, and features Minogue singing the song while sunbathing next to the Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc swimming pool. For additional promotion, Minogue performed the song on a number of television shows. Since its release, the song has been performed by Minogue on all of her concert tours till date, with the exception of the Anti Tour. In 2012, Minogue named "Slow" as her favourite song from her music career.

Background and composition[edit]

A 20 second sample of "Slow", containing part of the chorus. Minogue delivers breathy and seductive vocals on the song.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Slow" was written by Kylie Minogue, Dan Carey, and Emilíana Torrini, and produced by Carey, Torrini, and Sunnyroads.[1] In 2009, Torrini explained how she was approached for writing the song, saying "It was like I had just accidentally walked into the line of fire with, "Hey! You There! It was all quite surreal. I still think Kylie's people were trying to call Jamelia, and they just got the wrong number. It'd be much more funny if that is how it actually happened".[2] Musically, the song is an eighties-inspired synthpop track.[3] It utilises a very simple and "minimalist" style of production and was described as an "electro-pop/disco fusion with percolating crackle-and-pop beats and sugary vocal overdubs" by Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine.[3] Additionally, it contains elements of electroclash and club music.[4] Through the lyrics of the song, Minogue urges a man, whom she meets at a club, to "slow down" and dance with her.[5] According to Minogue, the lyrics of the song are about " how time and space have a different meaning when you meet someone".[6] She further said that she "loved the way the song had this push-pull effect; the musical and lyrical combination gives you a sense of that".[6]

In late 2012, "Slow" was re-recorded by Minogue for inclusion in her orchestral compilation album The Abbey Road Sessions.[7] On the album, Minogue reworked 16 of her past songs with an orchestra, which, according to Nick Levine from BBC Music, "re-imagine them without the disco glitz and vocal effects".[8] "Slow" is approached with a more jazz and trip hop influenced take, with Minogue again delivering sultry and seductive vocals.[7][8]

Release and artwork[edit]

"Slow" was released as the lead single from Minogue's ninth studio album Body Language, by Parlophone, on 3 November 2003.[9][10] The cover art of the single, as well as other promotion shoots related to the album, show Minogue striking a pose with a "pale-lipped pout" while sporting a black and white striped crop top, which reveals her midriff, and low-cut pants.[11] Her appearance is similar to that of French actress and singer Brigitte Bardot, who was regarded as the "first foreign-language star ever to attain a level of international success comparable to America's most popular homegrown talents" and one of the best known sex symbols of the 1950s and '60s, frequently cited as the "archetypal sex kitten" and "sex goddess".[12][13] Minogue described the promotion shoots as "the perfect mix of coquette, kitten and rock 'n' roll", and revealed that "We shot it on location in the South of France, so it was [easy to] channel the spirit of [Brigitte] Bardot. She's a great iconic reference, particularly that period where she was working with Serge Gainsbourg".[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Minogue performing on the Money Can't Buy concert to promote Body Language.[14]

"Slow" was critically acclaimed by music critics. Ethan Brown from New York praised the production of the song and commented "Everything at the top of the pops should sound as good as Kylie Minogue's "Slow"". He further felt that most of the songs on Body Language "mimic its sound, [though] none of the other songs on Body Language come close to the achievement of "Slow" and concluded that ""Slow" should be a template for pop singers who fancy themselves aesthetes".[15] Adrien Begrand from PopMatters commented that the song was "one of the strongest singles" of Minogue’s career, praising her minimalistic approach on the song and its simple arrangement.[16] The Spin magazine review of the song complimented Minogue's vocals, saying that they will "bring all the boys to the yard".[17] Jason Shawhan from About.com praised the song's ability to be "kinda retro" and yet be "squarely in the moment of 2003".[18] Eric Seguy from Stylus Magazine favoured Minogue's demanding vocals, saying that the listener "is open to Kylie’s demands, and willing to resort to any means necessary to impress her".[19] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine felt that the song is one the "few of the tracks on Body Language approach(ing) the club-thumping zeal of Fever".[3] Chris True from Allmusic picked the song as an album highlight of Body Language.[4]

The Abbey Road Sessions' version of the song also generated a favourable response. Tim Sendra from Allmusic enjoyed the "sultry trip-hop take" on the song and picked it as a highlight on the album.[7] Nick Levine from BBC Music felt that "Slow" received the "most startling makeover" on the album, and described it as a "slinky jazz shuffle, complete with vampish vocal performance".[8] Annie Zaleski from The A.V. Club appreciated the song's graceful nature, calling it a "slinky come-on".[20] Philip Matusavage from MusicOMH appreciated the song's jazz influences, noting that it "suggests that Kylie and jazz could make for great things".[21] Jeff Katz from Idolator singled out the song as the "Most Surprising Reworking" on the album.[22] Jude Rogers from The Quietus, however, felt that the song does not "respond well to this (orchestral) treatment".[23]

Accolades and recognition[edit]

Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine included "Slow" on his list of "Top 10 Singles & Videos of 2004" at number five, calling it "one of the hottest tracks of the year."[24] At the 2004 Ivor Novello Awards ceremony, "Slow" received a nomination in the categories "Best Contemporary Song" and "International Hit Of The Year", but lost the awards to Amy Winehouse's song "Stronger Than Me" and Dido's song "White Flag", respectively.[25][26] At the 47th Grammy Awards ceremony held in the year 2005, "Slow" was nominated for "Best Dance Recording", but lost to Britney Spears's song "Toxic".[27] In order to celebrate Valentine's Day on 14 February 2012, UK copyright collection society and performance rights organisation PRS for Music compiled a list of the top ten "sexy songs" and placed "Slow" on the top of the list.[28] In 2012, Minogue picked "Slow" as her all-time favourite song from her 25 years in music.[29]

Commercial performance[edit]

In Minogue's native country Australia, "Slow" entered and peaked at number one on the Australian Singles Chart, spending a total of 11 weeks on the chart.[1] In this territory, the song was later certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association for sales of 70,000 units.[30] In Austria, the song entered the Austrian Singles Chart at number 24 and peaked at number 20, spending a total of 13 weeks on the chart.[31] In the Dutch-speaking Flanders region of Belgium, the song entered the Ultratop chart at number 15 and peaked at number nine, spending a total of 10 weeks on the chart.[31] In Canada, the song peaked at number six on the Canadian Singles Chart.[32] In Denmark, the song entered and peaked at number one on the Danish Singles Chart, spending a total of nine weeks on the chart.[33] In France, the song entered and peaked at number 45 on the French Singles Chart, spending a total of 18 weeks on the chart.[34] In Germany, the song peaked at number eight on the German Singles Chart.[35] In Italy, the song entered the Italian Singles Chart at number nine and peaked at number six, spending a total of eight weeks on the chart.[36] In New Zealand, the song entered the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 10 and peaked at number nine, spending a total of six weeks on the chart.[37] "Slow" also debuted at number one in Spain.[38]

In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart,[39][40] achieving first-week sales of 128,000 copies.[41] It spent a total of 10 weeks in the top 40 of the chart. "Slow" became Minogue's seventh number one single in the region and made her a record-holding female artist for spending the longest duration as a UK chart topper.[42] As of today, it is her last single to reach number one in the country.[41]

In the United States, "Slow" peaked at numbers 91 and one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart[43] and Hot Dance Club Songs chart, respectively.[32][44] It is Minogue's last entry on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, to date.[43]

Music video[edit]

A still from the video showing Minogue captured through a bird's eye view camera angle. Minogue wore a dark blue bodyhugging Balenciaga dress in the video.[45][46]

The accompanying music video for "Slow" was directed by Baillie Walsh and choreographed by Michael Rooney.[47] The video was shot in Barcelona, Spain,[48] and begins with a scene of a man diving into the Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc swimming pool[49] and coming out of its edge, where a number of very lightly beachwear-clad people are sunbathing. Minogue stands out in a series of different zoom central shots lying on a sky-blue towel wearing a dark blue bodyhugging Balenciaga dress.[45][46] The next scenes of the video capture her singing the song through different camera angles, particularly during the chorus when the camera angle shifts to a "bird's eye" view and show Minogue amid beach models performing synchronised choreography to the dance beats.[45][48] Used for promoting the song, the video premiered earlier than the song's release date, on 21 October 2003.[47] Minogue talked about the video, saying:

"The video is set in Barcelona at the Olympic Diving site. I lie down for the whole video, which I thought was a very cunning plan. But then I ended up having to sing directly into the camera when the sun was right next it, so tears were streaming down my face! Videos always have a painful moment. It's either too hot or it's too cold or there's always something. That's part of the fun, I guess"[6]

Thomas Frodsham from Classic Ambition reviewed the video positively and praised it for matching the song's vibe.[45] A reviewer from District MTV commented that the video showed that "synchronised sun bathing is more fun than it sounds".[48] Ben Taylor from Swide Magazine included the video in his list of Minogue’s "Best Music Video Moments".[50] The video won the award for "Best Pop Video" at the 2004 Music Week Creative and Design Awards ceremony.[51] At the 2004 TMF Awards ceremony, the video won the award for "Best International Video".[51]

Live performances[edit]

Minogue performing "Slow" on the Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour.

Minogue performed "Slow" on 6 November 2003, at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards.[52][53] On 19 November 2003, she performed the song at the ninth Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.[54][55] On 6 December 2003, she performed the song on long-running German-language entertainment television show Wetten, dass..?.[56]

Following its release, "Slow" has been featured on all of Minogue's concert tour setlists, with the exception of the Anti Tour. In 2003, she performed the song on the one-night only concert Money Can't Buy, which was used to promote Body Language and was held at major entertainment venue Hammersmith Apollo in London.[14][57] In 2005, she performed the song on her Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour. The show was split in seven acts and "Slow" was featured on the fourth act entitled "What Kylie Wants, Kylie Gets".[58] Minogue was unable to complete the tour as she was diagnosed with early breast cancer and had to cancel the Australian leg of the tour.[59] After undergoing treatment and recovery, she resumed the concert tour in the form of Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour in 2007.[60] The show was again split in seven acts and "Slow" was featured on the fourth act entitled "Athletica".[61] In 2008, she performed the song on the KylieX2008 tour, which was launched to promote her tenth studio album X. The show was split in five acts and "Slow" was featured on the fourth act entitled "Xposed".[62] In 2009, she performed the song on the For You, For Me tour, which was her first concert tour in North America.[63] In 2011, she performed a jazz-oriented version of the song on the Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour, which was launched to promote her eleventh studio album Aphrodite.[64] In 2012, Minogue promoted The Abbey Road Sessions by performing on the BBC Proms in the Park at Hyde Park, London.[65] During the event, she also sang the orchestral version of "Slow".[66]

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Slow".

  1. "Slow" - 3:15
  2. "Soul on Fire" - 3:32
  • Maxi single[1]
  1. "Slow" - 3:15
  2. "Soul on Fire" - 3:32
  3. "Slow" (Radio Slave Mix) - 10:27
  4. "Slow" (Synth City Remix) - 5:50
  • 12-inch maxi single[1]
  1. "Slow" (Extended Mix) - 6:25
  2. "Slow" (Radio Slave Remix) - 6:34
  3. "Slow" (Medicine 8 Remix) - 6:57

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]