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INXS X on numbered silver label limited edition LP
Multi-platinum 1990 record picks up where Kick left off
The adage "if it's not broken, don't fix it" applies to INXS' X. Named to commemorate the band's 10th year together, the 1990 album came on the heels of the mega-platinum and era-defining Kick — and all the pressures that come with such a follow-up. INXS doesn't blink, however, turning in a record as catchy, boundary-defying, and immediate as its predecessor. It stands as the last blockbuster of the band's career, and deservedly so.
X commences with one of the finest 1-2-3 punches in pop history. With a sample of blues legend Charlie Musselwhite's riveting harmonica situated up next to a crunchy R&B riff, "Suicide Blonde" seizes upon the charisma of vocalist Michael Hutchence, whose breathy delivery accentuates the song's edginess, mystery, and desirable allure. In "Disappear," INXS' final Top 10 single, synthesized orchestrations and a loping bass line build up to a memorable chorus, elevated by a spiky guitar and Hutchence's urgency. Arguably the group's dramatic peak, "The Stairs" oozes beauty and longing, the climbing arrangement hinting at triumph and will.
If there's a secret to the album's success, it resides with the scintillating beats. Every tune resonates with a perfect sense of rhythm and drums that combine the textures of arena rock, soul, and dance. Producer Chris Thomas, with whom INXS claimed its greatest successes, ensures the band's music never gets crowded or claustrophobic. Spaciousness reigns, broadening the impact of the grooves and accenting the vulnerability of Hutchence's tones. From all angles, X is pop confection, a fastidious creation of tasteful hooks, teeming melodies, and enticing lyrics.
|Faith in Each Other|
|By My Side|
|Who Pays the Price|
|Know the Difference|
|On My Way|
|Hear That Sound|