The Best of INXS
Sleek yet spiky, INXS built their sound around glistening synthesizers, rapier guitar jabs and bursts of angular sax. Most of all, this Australian combo was defined by the late Michael Hutchence’s insinuating, dark-edged vocals. INXS sometimes aimed too wildly in their mid-to-late ‘80s heyday, but this best-of collection shows how good they were when they hit their targets. The band established itself with slick, hard-slamming numbers like “The One Thing” and “Original Sin,” then deepened its gravitas with such brooding, atmospheric tunes as “Listen Like Thieves.” Hutchence began to master his commanding lower range, bringing an ominous gospel-like fervor to “What You Need” and “Never Tear Us Apart.” “Devil Inside” recalls Jim Morrison in his shamanic phase, while “Suicide Blonde” invited comparisons with Roxy Music at their funkiest. After the hits began to dwindle, INXS rode out a mid-‘90s slump, then endured the tragic loss of Hutchence in 1997 before recruiting new frontman J.D. Fortune through a televised audition. Now that the hype and heartache swirling around this star-crossed band has passed, what remains is a visceral, revelatory body of work, the best of which is gathered here.