Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

New NuINXS Songs: What You Need?

Songs from the new nuINXS album, Switch, out next week in North America and the UK. These are shared today in the spirit of a U.S. President announcing pardons timed to coincide with a holiday, when he knows far fewer people pay attention to the news. The songs are guaranteed 100% Michael Hutchence-free, so if you've been avoiding INXS all these years because of his presence, now's your chance to give them a try! I listened to most of the album. "Pretty Vegas" you likely know already, and know whether or not you like it. That aside, a couple of the songs are decent-for-what-they-are... too poppish for my tastes, but pretty good... "Like It Or Not" is one of them." It's not lyrically brilliant, but you may start to think of it that way after listening to a song like "Perfect Strangers" or (not shared today, but if anyone wants it... when I return home, I'll post it) "Hot Girls". As INXS wrote the songs before selecting a new singer, I have this mental image of new singer J.D. "Canadian" Fortune being handed each song and poked with a stick when it was time for him to sing. "Sing, boy, sing!" "Good, boy!" *Treat given*

He deserves a major treat for being compliant enough to sing songs like "Hot Girls" and "Perfect Strangers" that make him come off as a creepy, drooling horndog always looking for a "perfect stranger" to have a one-night stand with... say, groupies are perfect strangers, aren't they? Is the idea that the other men in the group could scoop up Fortune's groupie leftovers? Isn't there something distinctly unseemly about anyone in their 40s writing a song called "Hot Girls"?

It was a gutsy move to name a song "Remember, Who's Your Man" when many are likely to think "Michael Hutchence". "God's Top Ten" is apparently a tribute song for Hutchence. I'll listen to it again when I'm back home and see if I catch that. I had a quick listen and thought it sounded overblown and pretentious but it's a good thing if it's a meaningful song. "Afterglow" is a bit drippy, but relatively-good-for-what-it-is. However, its definition of afterglow (something like the glow a particular woman leaves when she walks away) may confuse impressionable youngsters when they later hear the word used correctly.

So... below one each of the songs I think is bad and good from the nuINXS and some songs from when I think they were better. I don't think their new singer is the problem with Switch. I question the decision to resurrect the group and how they went about it. That aside, I think their musical direction is way off course and confused, with some of the songs ill-fitting for a group mainly comprised of middle-aged men. Mainly, they need all-around stronger songs. The lyrics are the weakest point. Some of the music bothers me more than it might others, because I don't especially like very "poppish" music.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Among the many things I'm thankful for this year is the opportunity to write here everyday. I love writing and sharing music here, in no small part because the readers here are so cool, and often seem to get (or at least tolerate) my sense of humour. Thanks for all the comments, e-mails, MP3s, music recommendations, etc. Much appreciated. And lurkers rock too. On their own terms. Yeah! Perpetual thanks to elbo.ws and to everyone I owe an email to for forgiving my lateness. (Do people have to be forgiving on Thanksgiving or is that some other holiday?)

Peace, out!

INXS - Perfect Strangers (from Switch)

INXS - Like It Or Not (from Switch)

INXS - What You Need (from Listen Like Thieves)

INXS - Not Enough Time (from Welcome To Wherever You Are)

INXS - Need You Tonight (live) (from Live Baby Live)

INXS - Never Tear Us Apart (live) (from Live Baby Live)


Blogger Wes Mantooth said...

I agree...they seem somewhat confused, trying to relive old times and move forward at the same time. J.D. is a punk ass. I feel like I'm watching a male stripper when he sings...not something I really want to see. I have met INXS many times back in the day and the group are a bunch of really nice guys. I don't blame them for wanting to play their songs again, but it's kinda sad all the way around. Perhaps Marty would have been a better choice, or better yet go back to their orginal name of "The Farris Brothers" and turn into a jazz/pop group or something.

2:16 PM  
Blogger muruch said...

Thanks for sharing. I was surprised to like Pretty Vegas as much as I do, mostly because I like J.D.'s voice. But I can't imagine the band becoming much of a hit in the long run if they're just revisiting old material. Probably a bad move for their first album as a "new" band.

3:08 PM  
Blogger trill42 said...

I watched bits of a few episodes of "Rock Star: INXS" and felt like J.D. was the obvious choice. He seemed like a better entertainer than the others I saw and he does have a good voice. I tuned in to the end of the last episode but had to turn it off when the "new INXS" started to perform. It just felt wrong. But there isn't that same weirdness just listening to their music, so I wasn't instantly turned off to Switch (so to speak). "Hot Girls" sounds not just immature but like a bad 70s song. Perhaps in attempting to sound more youthful (there is a generation gap between the singer and the others), the band has instead highlighted how out of the loop they are when it comes to what sounds "hip" and "now". Then again, this album was so rushed; maybe their goal was just to get a couple singles out of it... enough to tour with, and think more about "quality" next time.

I agree that going a new direction may have been a better idea but (obviously) I have a hard time with this business of replacing lead singers and keeping the original name of the group to begin with, particularly when it's a longtime singer, and one whose voice was so much a part of the group's sound. Whether or not nuINXS succeeds, I think J.D. will do fine.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

something tells me that, given Hutchence's alleged means of demise and my passing knowledge of Biblical mutterings, he is NOT in God's Top Ten.

Just a thought.

7:08 AM  
Blogger trill42 said...

Not a thought I think much of, but yes, I suppose it was a thought.

1:29 AM  

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