Review Summary: A very radio-friendly record and the first spotlight appearance from JD Fortune, and the last real album from the band. However, the lyrics lessen the album's greatness and somewhat hinders the music in general.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Deriving from Australia, INXS was a pop-rock band that wrote some truly colossal singles, such as ‘New Sensation’, and the ever-popular ‘Suicide Blonde’, both summaries of what the band was; fun, sparkling guitar and synth driven rock with plenty of ridiculous lyrics. They also released groundbreaking albums, which had an enormous impact on their career for years to come, such as Kick
, and even Listen like Thieves
. But now, fast forward the clocks to year 2006, where the vocalist has been replaced (from Hutchence’s death which occurred a while back, obviously) by a completely new singer called JD Fortune (who surprisingly isn’t a bad vocalist), their sound is no longer synth-tinged but now guitar-driven without many danceable tracks as seen before, and considerably more basic in terms of musicianship. Even though I’m not saying this is a bad thing, fans of INXS would probably feel extremely alarmed when comparing some of their old material to albums like Switch
Of the entire two vocalists, Hutchinson is far better in terms of emotion and overall consistency. Not saying this puts Fortune out in the gutters, but it does incline that Hutchinson made a better impact with the music itself. JD Fortune had the rich, seductive voice (as seen on ‘Pretty Vegas’ and the stellar single ‘Afterglow’) with great deal of accessibility to anyone; Hutchinson’s was far better though, it was more built in terms of talent, he had a great deal of passion that held steady with his voice for well over ten years, and ultimately, Hutchence seemingly knew
something about singing his heart out. Don’t take my opinion for it though; I’m sure anyone could fine certain characteristics within the two vocalists that are pleasing and can fuel the music in the most rewarding way possible.
showcased the first emergence of JD Fortune back in 2006, and honestly, it was a fairly decent effort surprisingly. His voice had a strong waft of joy and flavor, much located on a great deal of the album and definitely the singles in general. But the instrumentation felt slightly uninspired, with basic guitar riffs and power-chords galore that both never really highlighted themselves efficiently. To not pan, though, the guitars and rhythms both had a feel-good act with them, or in other words, charming and delightful to hear. Song wise, however, while none of them were necessarily complex and completely innovative, much of the songs themselves got much radio-play with songs such as ‘Pretty Vegas’, ‘Afterglow’, and the painful cringe-worthy ‘Hot Girls.’ Those packed a punch with their career without question, and shockingly enough, the singles were great and fun to hear.
The album is almost entirely single-based, which is honestly somewhat lazy considering the singles were quite basic; once again, not a flaw in the slightest, though. Despite the straightforward nature of the tracks, much were enjoyable and generally upbeat. ‘Pretty Vegas’, being the first single, showed INXS with a more aggressive style with the pounding guitars and smooth vocal layout from Fortune, layering in a standout track from this record. Tunes like ‘Afterglow’, however, nearly reached the epitome of emotion with this album. Dedicated to Hutchinson, it was a mellow, soulful track with a truly effectual chorus sung in the most beautiful way by the man, alongside the entire track being wrapped with a spiritual-sounding melody played by one of the guitarists; this was possibly the greatest track the band ever did with JD Fortune, in all honesty.
The album isn’t all fun and games though. While some songs are indeed energetic and rambunctious, others are ridiculously corny and make you think if they just randomly wrote something in the studio without any thought or consideration. Those two tracks merit ones like ‘Hot Girls’, and the other single called ‘Devil’s Party.’ Both are lyrically cheesy and are not accolade worthy of anything sophisticated or positive. Admittedly though they both have catchy hooks but sadly the lyrics are ludicrous and lack abundance. What this narrows down to though, is that while blemished in the lyrical department and somewhat weak in the musical angle, this is a pretty good album that got a ridiculous amount of mainstream popularity. Although the album was collectively almost all singles, they were nice choses for ones and definitely opened people’s ears up.
Cheers to a great band as well, they were great while they lasted.
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