The Vine album review: INXS – ‘Original Sin’, December 2010

An album review for The Vine. Excerpt below.

INXS – Original Sin

A simple question: what the hell was wrong with 1994’s The Greatest Hits? Its 20 tracks represented everything that was great about INXS, one of the most popular Australian acts of all time: pomp, excess, bombast, and above all, both musical and songwriting ability. Sure, there was 2002’s The Best Of INXS; was essentially the same product with a reordered tracklist and an tacked on remix. Both of these compilations ticked all the boxes: fans got to hear their favourite songs, band get paid royalties forevermore. Everyone’s happy. Even if the band does see fit to reform down the track, and star in a reality TV show to find a replacement for their long-dead lead singer, at least they’ll never fuck with the classics, right? We could rest easy in the knowledge that although INXS might tour their back catalogue until they die, they’ll never re-record their best work in attempt to capture a young audience. Right?

Wrong. So fucking wrong.

Everything about this album is abhorrent. Even if the songs came close to doing justice to the originals – and to be crystal-clear, they don’t – there’s just no sugarcoating this bald-faced cash-grab. The band have described it as a tributealbum. This is a lie. It is the musical equivalent of pissing on one’s own (or Michael Hutchence’s) grave. A revolving door of guest vocalists results in an assembly-line mentality, thus no performer here is given the chance to connect with the listener. The decision to enlist the smoky vocals of trip-hop star Tricky for ‘Meditate’ is one of few inspired decisions; if only he was given a darker environment in which to work his magic, instead of the shimmering, neon-glow that surrounds his urgent rhymes. When the band pause the song for a few bars to introduce their high-voltage instruments, you can just envisage the cheesy, sunglass-clad grins that were passed around the recording studio.

For the full review, visit The Vine. Please avoid listening to this album at all costs. It was probably the worst thing I voluntarily listened to all year.

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