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Background and composition
"Aphrodite" was written and produced by British singer-songwriter Nerina Pallot and her husband Andy Chatterley. The song was included in the tracklist of Minogue's eleventh studio album of the same name, which was released on 5 July 2010. Pallot and Chatterley also collaborated with Minogue on the song "Better Than Today", which was released as the third single off the album. Pallot commented about working with Minogue, saying that "I feel very lucky that I've fallen on my feet like this. She's really accommodating and lovely and approachable and normal." "Aphrodite" was also included on Minogue's seventh extended play "A Christmas Gift" alongside the songs "Can't Beat the Feeling" and "Santa Baby". The extended play was released on 1 December 2010.
Musically, "Aphrodite" is a nineties-influenced dance-pop song which features a "foot-stomping" beat and "military drummed" instrumentation, similar to that of a marching band. The song is penned like a dance anthem through which Minogue "brags" about her sexual prowess; she warns that she is not a person meant to be confronted and angered, as heard in the lines "I'm fierce and I'm feeling mighty/Don't you mess with me, you don't wanna fight me".
Critically, the song was acclaimed by music critics. Ian Wade from BBC Music predicted that the song would be the "moment of her (Minogue) live set when she actually explodes". Kitty Empire from The Observer praised the song's production, noting that Minogue's "core levels of piffle are magically transcended by the combined forces of stereo panning and chutzpah". Bradley Stern from MuuMuse felt that it was one of the album's strongest tracks along with "Get Outta My Way", and that Minogue "wears her sass well" on the song. Dustin Drorbaugh labelled "Aphrodite" as the "real showstopper" on the album, and applauded its danceability, saying that if "you're not on your feet dancing to this track within the first 15 seconds then you're clearly beyond help". Ben Norman from About.com found the song a "bit confused, both in subject and execution", but termed it as an "entertaining track" nonetheless. Tim Sendra from AllMusic described the song as a "thumping" track which contributes "some sass" to the album and picked it as a highlight. Priya Elan from NME mentioned the song as a highlight on the album too. Robbie Daw from Idolator felt that the song would have been a better choice to release as a single rather than "Better Than Today".
Despite not being released as a single, "Aphrodite" manage to debut at number 42 on the Ultratop chart in the Dutch-speaking Flanders region of Belgium, on 12 February 2011. On 26 March, it reached its peak and final position on the chart at number six, having spent a total of seven weeks on the chart. On the Belgian Airplay chart, the song debuted and peaked at number 25 on 12 March, and spent a total of two weeks on chart.
"Aphrodite" was included in the setlist of Minogue's 2011 Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour, which was launched to promote the album of the same name. Minogue commenced the concert tour by performing the title track. During the performance, she entered the stage surrounded by a large golden clamshell similar to the depiction of Venus, the Roman counterpart of Aphrodite, in Sandro Botticelli's 1486 painting The Birth of Venus. She wore Classical Greece-inspired costumes designed by Italian designer duo Dolce and Gabbana, and was seen wearing a white corseted dress coupled with golden "gladiator" sandals and a headpiece with feathers attached to the ears, in order to resemble a "winged messenger", during the performance of "Aphrodite". Hannah Spencer from Contactmusic.com reviewed the performance positively and praised Minogue's confident vocals, saying that "the opening track of Kylie's show proves that the 43 year old is well and truly back for more with distinctive yet secure vocals".
|Chart (2011)||Peak position|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||6|
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