INXS caught Nile Rodgers' ear with their dance-club favorite "The One Thing" and then turned a lot of heads with their Rodgers-produced single, "The Original Sin." On their fifth album, Listen Like Thieves, they're going for the jugular or is that the groin?
This Australian sextet is to be commended for its brashness. On Listen Like Thieves, working with the Pretenders' producer Chris Thomas, they forge an unlikely union between the sonic extremism of Led Zeppelin-style crunch rock and the step-lively beat of disco.... Read More
"What You Need" gets the ball rolling with some foundation-rattling guitar chords and a flurry of drums. Crosstalking rhythm guitars and a sinewy, synthesized bass line chug and rumble around Michael Hutchence's sassy vocal. "Listen Like Thieves" continues the pattern: the band sets up a constant throb, with choppy, XTC-type guitar dropped in like blows from a sledgehammer. When the axes start to fall on "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)" in much the same manner, it starts to seem like too much of a good thing, but pop sense saves the day. Hutchence's delicate reading of the lyrics and the breathy, soft-focus contours of what sounds like a Fairlight CMI gently nudge the song along. Toward the end, the band picks up the pace, musically outlining the snowballing loss of control that is the subject of the song.
"This Time," on the flip-side, is another grabby pop song with folkish high harmonies on the chorus. But most of Listen Like Thieves is lean and direct. INXS doesn't take the high road or the low road; they drill right through the middle. There are few solos, and no one hogs space. Check out the taut playing on the soul strut "One x One" (with its martial, "Jean Genie"-type intro) or the furious overdrive of "Biting Bullets" and the apocalyptic "Red Red Sun." This, friends, is a band, and Listen Like Thieves derives much of its power from the forward thrust of six guys pushing in the same direction. Now, it sags in a few spots at the end of the first side (bombast sans smarts) and the middle of the second (which verges on filler). But in the main, INXS rocks with passion and seals the deal with a backbeat that'll blackmail your feet. (RS 462)
CD Track List
Track List 1 Track List 2
Listen Like Thieves
1. What You Need
2. Listen Like Thieves
3. Kiss The Dirt (falling Down The Mountain)
4. Shine Like It Does
5. Good + Bad Times
6. Biting Bullets
7. This Time
8. Three Sisters
9. Same Direction
10. One X One
11. Red Red Sun
Track lists are from a 3rd party source.
Items below can and will differ.