My pick as the best INXS album
dfle3 | Australia | 04/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
When I rate bands as being amongst the best of all time, I usually include three Australian bands as being in the top half dozen...AC/DC, Midnight Oil and INXS. AC/DC are the premier riff band of all time, in my estimation. INXS would probably be second to them.
INXS has been charting in Australia since their very early days. I think that "One thing", from their album "Shabooh Shoobah" was their first chart success in America, and that had a terrific guitar riff to it. "The swing" was probably the album that cemented their status as a major band in Australia, though I don't think it really did much in the US.
This cd, "Listen like thieves" marked their return to the US charts, I think, with "What you need". Even though "Kick" was probably their most successful album, especially in the US, I don't think it is as good as "Listen like thieves". Sure, I gave "Kick" 5 stars in my review of it here, but that was mostly for having an album chok full of songs that did really well in the US.
When it comes to an album with songs that I really like on it [ignoring how well or otherwise they did in the US], this album comes out tops against the three other albums I used to own [used to have them on cassette-now have Kick, and this album on cd-plan on getting one of their hits compilations too].
Like "Kick" this cd has two songs which I count amongst INXS' best, i.e. "What you need" and "Kiss the dirt". "What you need" has a cool, discordant intro and a great, dirty guitar riff. It's guitar rock at its best-fused with a funky sound.
"Listen like thieves", the title track, is by no means a classic INXS song, but hey, I REALLY like it. I prefer it to the kind of songs that did really big business in the US off their "Kick" album, but which I can't really get into. It has a terrific ringing guitar lick in it.
Like "Kick", this album has a very strong opening line up of songs. One of my favourite INXS songs is "Kiss the dirt". It has a cool, swinging guitar riff, and later, a fantastic guitar bit where the guitarist just goes berko on the axe-a hot, funky, guitar riff to complement the previously cool guitar riff at the beginning of the song.
After the above three songs, comes the very nice "Shine like it does"-a slower tempo song with a cool bass line.
The other song from this album which may get some airplay in Australia is "This time". This song has a good, sing along kind of chorus.
I did make a note of the track "Three sisters" mainly because this is the bands first instrumental, as far as I can tell. It's not as good an instrumental as, say, Midnight Oil's "Weddingcake Island", or AC/DC's "DT", but it features an interesting rainforest noises like sound.
Both this album and "Kick" have two songs on each of them which I consider to be amongst this band's best [i.e. "What you need" and "Kiss the dirt", and "Guns in the sky" and "Never tear us apart"]. I give "Kick" 5 stars with my head, but I give "Listen like thieves" 5 stars with my heart, because it has a few other songs that I am more into than the other tracks on "Kick".
INXS are a band with a very strong focus on guitar riffs and cool beats and cool bass, along with cool sax solos, which is something different, but cool.
This is my pick as the INXS album you MUST own.
P.S. other Australian acts I have reviewed at this site include:
INXS-more albums reviewed here by me
Midnight Oil-multiple albums reviewed
One of the most under-rated rock albums of all time
Adipocere | United States | 09/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Virtually forgotten since the band's two hit albums, Kick and X topped the charts, Listen Like Thieves nevertheless represented the gelling of INXS's sound into the danceable hard rock that would eventually make their career. Most of the songs could have been singles; "What You Need", "Listen Like Thieves", and "This Time" apparently were released as such. A very listenable album and unfortunately, all but forgotten.