Original Sin

I speak not of the Christian doctrine, but of the newly released INXS album “Original Sin“:

I’m not one to normally do this but it felt like something I really needed to do: I’m going to critique an album. An album which probably only three people in the world will even care about.

Thanks to two different people at school, I started listening to INXS when they released the album “Kick” in 1987. I managed to obtain copies of their earlier works “INXS” (1980), “Underneath the Colours” (1981), “Shabooh Shoobah” (1982), “The Swing” (1984), and “Listen Like Thieves” (1985)] and became a huge fan.

When they released the album “X” in 1990, several of us from school went to see INXS in concert. Probably one of the best concert experiences ever. They knew how to work the crowd and sounded great live. (The album “Live Baby Live” released in 1991 is a live album from that tour.)

INXS released three more albums “Welcome to Wherever You Are” (1992), “Full Moon, Dirty Hearts” (1993), and “Elegantly Wasted” (1997)] but none reached the success of “Kick” in the US.

Then in November 1997, lead singer Micheal Hutchence died.

In 2005, the band picked up JD Fortune as the new lead singer via a contest called Rock Star: INXS. They released the album “Switch”, which for the most part is a good album. But I’m not a fan of JD’s ability to sing. But I’ll be nice. For the moment.

INXS decided to release a new album that consisted of a reworking of their earlier songs. The album “Original Sin” consists of 11 covers each featuring a different singer, and one new song.

“Drum Opera” feat. Jon Farriss
The one new song. Kind of one of those songs you’d open a concert with. Or at least use at intermission. No vocals. And I don’t know that “Opera” is a good description of it.

“Mediate” feat. Tricky
Interesting to hear this song “by itself”. Previously when it was heard, it always followed “Need You Tonight”. New lyrics were added to this version. The arrangement is interesting, but I don’t know that I’m a fan.

“Original Sin” feat. Rob Thomas and DJ Yaleidas
I love Rob Thomas. I truly long for the day he’s actually the front man for INXS. And I love the Spanish lyrics of DJ Yaleidas. The Spanish rap is rather interesting. And danceable. I love it.

“Never Tear Us Apart” feat. Ben Harper and Mylène Farmer
I love Mylène’s lyrics in French, and it goes all “The Hunt For Red October” and switches to English midway through. Then Ben Harper starts singing. And I hate the song after that point. His vocals just don’t fit the arrangement.

“Beautiful Girl” feat. Pat Monahan
I’m really undecided on this arrangement. It feels like a bad cover, but it kind of grows on you. Like a cold sore.

“New Sensation” feat. Déborah de Corral
Great version. It’s interesting to hear a song that was so bouncy toned down to almost a spiritual nature. And having a female sing it. Awesome.

“Just Keep Walking” feat. Dan Sultan
I feel like I just stepped into Jamaica. Or maybe that’s because the driver in front of me was smoking pot. I’m not sure. This arrangement feels very much like some bank commercial waiting to happen.

Bonus Track on the Deluxe Edition: “Devil Inside” feat. Ben Harper & Nikka Costa
Ugh, another Ben Harper track. I feel like I’m listening to some weird Sesame Street or Electric Company cover of this song. Give it a listen and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

“Mystify” feat. Loane
I love, love, love this! The song is sung in French. By a femme! It sounds so sexy and delicious. Like it should be played when you’re having one of those slow-motion sex moments that you see in the movies.

“To Look at You” feat. Kav Temperley
I was never a fan of the original version of this song on the album “Shabooh Shoobah”, so I can’t really say anything good or bad about this cover.

“Kick” feat. Nikka Costa
Interesting slow down on this song. Weirdly enough, it changes the feeling of the meaning of the lyrics.

“Don’t Change” feat. Andrew Farriss and Kirk Pengilly
Totally different to hear other members in INXS actually singing the lyrics. Who knew Andrew Farriss actually had a pleasant singing voice?

“The Stairs” feat. JD Fortune
JD Fortune ruined what this song was and turned it into a steaming pile of shit! Seriously. I so loved the original version. It was relaxed and though-provoking. Now, it’s strained and glossed-over. Oh INXS, why did you let JD do this? Then again, I’m still asking about that whole choice of him for the album “Switch”. I hate this version enough that I will actually uncheck it in iTunes so I never have to hear it again.

And there you have it. There’s nothing ground-breaking on the album, but as a whole it’s a nice retrospective to their career.

And it makes one really miss Michael.

This is probably why I don’t get paid to write critiques of things.

Until next time...

12 thoughts on “Original Sin

  1. An InXS collaboration/remake album?? Really?

    Are they that desperate? Just listening to this would make ms want to pull a Hutchence.

  2. Love INXS as well…became a fan with the release of Kick. I will certainly rethink this purchase…thanks for the heads up.

  3. Have been a HUGE fan since seeing The One Thing video on MTV in 1983. Not only were they talented, they were all HOT! Was sad when Michael Hutchence died. Not ashamed to admit that I can belt What You Need like nobody’s business in a karaoke situation.

    1. I LOVE that song. I had to go back and watch it now that you said that. I never noticed that cat and the kitten on the table in the video until now.

      What You Need. Such a great song as well. You should do a karaoke post!

  4. If you watch the “Mediate” video on YouTube, “the special date” is 9-8-45, which is when the US split Korea after the Soviets invaded the north the month prior. I’ll watch for this album, but I haven’t been impressed with anything post Hutchence. I was totally turned on by him in the video for “One Thing”, and immediately became a fan of theirs.

    1. There was a few songs on “Switch” that I liked, “Pretty Vegas”, “Hot Girls”, and “Afterglow”. Sadly I always felt like they were trying to replace Michael’s voice when they picked JD, and not the whole package that seemed to make Michael so charismatic.

  5. I lovvvvvvve “Don’t Change”, this remake could be interesting. I love “Original Sin” as well. Not as big of a fan as “Never Tear Us Apart” or “New Sensation”, but I’d give it a listen.

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