As of 2012, when The Best of Kylie Minogue was released, she was still going strong. This new set collects a fair amount of songs, 21 total, from all periods of her career, mixing them together with no regard from time-frame or style. It's an interesting choice that doesn't always work (her iffy cover of Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" makes no sense next to her sultry electro-pop jam "Slow" for example), but at the very least, it shows just how powerful a singer she's been since the beginning, and if you've followed her all along, it's nice to hear 1990's "Better the Devil You Know" next to 2010's "All the Lovers" and realize that Kylie has never been less than a perfect pop star.
The beautifully subtle pop/jazz vocalist has been one of the great old souls of music since launching her recording career after winning the first runner up prize at the 1998 Thelonious Monk Institute Vocal Competition. But she celebrated the significant chronological milestone of passing 30 while making this graceful and exquisite album. Beyond that, Monheit also celebrates her new motherhood to son Jack, and that's what inspired the inclusion of the always welcome "Rainbow Connection"; she sings the charming song – and its lyrics that inspired the name of the recording – to Jack all the time. At home, however, it doesn't have the exquisite Gil Goldstein accordion touch that makes this one of the best renditions ever. Goldstein arranged many of the tracks, but one of the most exciting jazzy turns, Monheit's swinging, swaggering "Get Out of Town," was done by pianist Michael Kanan, who was part of the ensemble that recorded half of these tracks while the singer was still pregnant. In many ways, then, this 13-track collection is a chronicle of the singer pre- and post-motherhood – and all something that Jack will be proud of as he grows older. As always, the key to a great interpreter's project is the choice of material, and Monheit makes interesting picks, ranging from a wistful take on Paul Simon's "I Do It for Your Love" to Fiona Apple's dark and haunting "Slow Like Honey" and Corinne Bailey Rae's "Like a Star".