INXS

Mystify: A Musical Journey with Michael Hutchence [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Mystify: A Musical Journey with Michael Hutchence is the soundtrack accompanying Mystify: Michael Hutchence, a 2019 documentary chronicling the life and times of the late INXS singer directed by his old friend Richard Lowenstein. The director decided not to follow convention for the soundtrack. Instead of offering up hits or rarities from the INXS catalog, Mystify takes listeners on a voyage -- a musical journey, if you will -- through Hutchence's career, threading recognizable hooks and melodies with interview snippets, outtakes, studio chatter, and slick new beats. The soundtrack doesn't follow a specific chronological sequence, nor does it offer a narrative. It's a collage, creating a smeary, patchwork impression of Hutchence's art and life. While it's not precisely freeform, it lacks a logical structure, which can be as frustrating as it is tantalizing. Why are there covers of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb" and War's "Spill the Wine" among a shiny new megamix of INXS hits? Are these songs that represent meaningful inspirations for Hutchence or are they just rarities? Who knows? Similarly, it's hard to tell if the dialogue is supposed to signify anything other than curiosity, especially when the most compelling sequence is hearing Ray Charles effectively produce his cameo on "Please (You Got That)." The end result is neither compelling nor evocative. Rather, it feels like an arty spin on the kind of promotional LP that would be sent to radio stations during the thick of the 1980s.

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