Sound: X, the follow-up to INXS' largely popular and successful Kick, doesn't show off as many hits as its predecessor but is still a good record. In fact, it's a more consistent album than anything the band has ever released.
The album has a load of "should-be" hits." I think this is a very good sign of a great record, which X is. Even the songs that weren't singles rock. I think the weakest song on the record is a 7/10.
The band sticks to their guns with this, which means a lot of killer riffs, sweet saxophone and outstanding singing. Trademark, good old INXS. But INXS makes a very welcome addition of the harmonica which is the star of a few great songs on X.
Good luck to anyone who wants to find a dud song on this record, in my opinion. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics on X are for the most part, pretty strong. They are not as engaging as the work on their last album with singer Michael Hutchence, Elegantly Wasted but then again, Kick, lyrically isn't up there with the works of Dylan. Don't get me wrong, however.
They deal with world betterment (a recurring theme in at least one song on each of their popular albums), love, women and such. It's much more interesting than how I describe it, but whatever, because the songwriting team of Hutchence and Andrew Farriss make a very interesting and fun record. Probably, the best songs lyrically are "The Stairs" and "By My Side."
And on singing, there is nothing else to say but Michael Hutchence was one of the better singers in popular music. He doesn't disappoint here either. // 9
Overall Impression: 01."Suicide Blonde": a personal best for INXS. Very pulsating and very good. Awesome harmonica sample. A spectacular song heard best when live at Wembley. 10
02."Disappear": a song I used to dislike but was pleasantly surprised by. Very attractive beginning vocals then bam into the chorus. Kickass song 10
03:"The Stairs": possibly the best song on the record lyrically, the song delivers a very dramatic intro and a smooth, you-feel-like-you're-there finish to a remarkable track. 10
04."Faith In Each Other": a decent song, nothing really to fuss over. Good vocals, good song. 8
05."By My Side": another great song. Lyrics are wonderful. Hutchence sings with a hopeful longing that you feel yourself. 10
06."Lately": I don't give a crap, this should have been a single. It boasts an INCREDIBLE saxophone intro. I mean it, this intro is beautiful. The rest of the song is not quite up to par despite a sweet guitar riff though I give it a 9
07."Who Pays The Price": pretty god song with some sweet harmonica. Awesome vocals. 8
08."Know The Difference": pretty good song also. 8
09."Bitter Tears": great, awesome track. Very funky in a played down type of way. Probably the most fun song on X 10
10."On My Way": the least special song on the album. Nothing terrible about it, it's just straightforward INXS rock. That's really about it. 7
11."Hear that Sound": pretty greaat song. All around, it's a very good one. 8
It's hard for me to say whether this is better than Kick. It looks to be judging by the review but that's not all there is to it. As I said before, consistently, this is the best record INXS has probably ever made and that's probably why I'm guessing here. I would say kick is better due to the mega hits they have on that great album.
So X is a great record and isn't a pushover like some would guess after the so-called "failure" of later good albums. Enjoy it, :) // 9