This classic from 80’s superstars INXS remains their best selling album to date. This is one of those must have albums from the 80’s. You owned this record whether you loved every song or only wanted to hear one of the singles. It still manages to hold up to this day without sounding tired or dated. It has some of their best known songs, plus other tunes that have become classics.
This is a pretty upbeat album that keeps the dance and party mood going from start to finish. Even though there are a few slow songs on the record, most of the songs are something you want to dance to. This is basically catchy pop at its finest. “New Sensation” has the sound INXS are know for: it has jangly, playful guitar riffs, an intense rhythm section, and Michael Hucthence’s soulful vocals. The party continues with “Wild Life.” It has a heavy bass that provides the funk groove and has an upbeat feeling overall. It’s a great, catchy track that makes you dance around like no one’s watching.
One of the most popular tracks from the album, and my personal favorite, is “Need You Tonight.” It’s the sexiest song here and has the most recognizable sleek guitar riff. Add Micheal’s sensual vocals on top of it and you have an irresistible song. Another great thing about the song is how seamlessly it flows into the next track “Mediate.” This is a sleek and clever song with minimal music that has a calming effect. The way the lyrics keep going and how they all perfectly rhyme really makes this song standout. Plus, the sax solo at the end gives it a jazz vibe. Both are amazing songs to this day.
Though most of the songs are on the faster side of things, there are quite a few that slow the pace down. One is the haunting “Devil Inside.” This has one of the band’s most memorable guitar riffs. You hear it and instantly know what song it is. The song is also known for the hushed, sneaky vocals provided by Hutchence. The song overall has a pretty dark, suspicious vibe to it, very different to the rest of the songs found here. Another slow song is the sweet “Never Tear Us Apart.” It’s mainly driven by string instruments, which gives the song a heartbreaking tone until the guitar smoothly comes in. There’s also a sax solo that almost doesn’t fit in, but actually adds some soul once you get used to it. It’s a lovely song that finds Hutchence singing about not being apart from his sweetheart.
For this album, the band wanted to make a record where every song would be a possible single. Well, they succeeded with this record. Every song on here is a hit. Whether it’s the sexy “Need You Tonight” or the intense “Guns in the Sky” none of the songs disappoint. The songs are catchy, full of memorable music, and awesome vocals. What’s great about the songs is that they mostly seem to focus on the positive aspects of life. INXS wants you to party, as they make clear in “Calling All Nations,” and they want you to keep a positive outlook. This is the perfect album to put on whether you’re feeling down or just want something to dance to.
Another thing that’s great about the songs is that the band plays with their sound in each track. Rather than sticking with their classic sound or sticking with one genre, they have songs that cross over and borrow elements from different styles of music. “Mystify” takes you back to the days of seedy jazz clubs of the 20’s with it’s piano melody, while “The Loved One” harkens back to the 50’s with it’s rockabilly tone. There’s also a hint of the blues with its powerful, aching vocals. To be fair, the song is a cover of a 60’s song by The Loved Ones, so the sound makes sense. Having different sounds for each of the songs keeps the album from getting stale and repetitive.
Overall, the album gets 8.5/10. It’s full of great songs that never disappoint and keep the album going from start to finish. This is an upbeat record that’ll get you moving and with it’s focus on the positive, you can’t help but feel better about life. This album shows why INXS were one of the most notable bands of the 80’s. Though it may be catchy pop at its finest, they made sure they made music that would last and this album proves it.