INXS

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

The seventh album from Australia's INXS basically sticks to the formula set up on Kick, mixing solid remixable dancefloor beats with slightly quirky production tricks, Michael Hutchence's rough-edged, bluesy vocals, and some good solid song hooks. The most immediate numbers are, of course, the two singles, "Suicide Blonde" and "Disappear," but other tracks stand out as potential hit material as well, including the anthemic "The Stairs." The biggest problems with the album are a tendency to play it safe, sticking to the tried and true -- echoing a line in the thumping "Who Pays the Price," when Hutchence sings "it's all been felt before" -- and the fact that there's very little in the way of subtlety on the entire album. All of the songs are designed for immediate radio contact -- they don't really give you a chance to grow into them, they just grab you by the throat and start shaking. "Know the Difference," as an example, threatens to be sneaky but immediately switches to an obvious assault instead. In the finish, the overwhelming lack of subtlety and sense of sameness overcomes the album as a whole. It's not that's it's a bad album. It's just nowhere near as good as it could -- and should -- have been.

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