Turn That Noise Down - INXS

So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant and Susan Omand travel back to 1992 to revisit some of the sounds of their youth that made parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, Steve bids you Welcome to Wherever You Are...

There is something special about listening to an INXS record. They probably aren’t the most musically needle moving band of all time and lyrically, whilst they have their moments, it’s pop related easy on the ears. But… my goodness I love an INXS record and miss hearing Hutchence singing sweet nothings in my ear holes. 

Surprisingly Welcome to Wherever You Are is actually the band’s eighth studio album which seems insane to me now but, back in the day, I didn’t question the output I just consumed it like a fan should. I loved the band, I found something delightful on every record, I enjoyed being at Wembley Stadium and feeling like a small cog in the 90,000 people wheel that energised the band to continue.

I remember some reviews of Welcome back in 1992 welcomed a bold new direction for the band and. whilst there are some audible orchestral moments and very obvious Sitars, especially to open the album (Questions is the “track” but plays more like a long opening to Heaven Sent,) there is most definitely a classic INXS sound throughout the whole album. Taste It, with the haunting mouth organ and heavy percussive lead, fits on any INXS record. Not Enough Time feels a bit early 90’s dance, but then you get All Around with its obvious rock throwback feel followed by the double header of Baby Don’t Cry and Beautiful Girl, the most INXS sounding of INXS songs. Wishing Well and Back on Line are again strong album tracks from a tight band that know their sound and what their fans like, and Strange Desire is a very solid, if now dated, 90’s fitting track. The album finishes with Men and Women and I think is possibly one of the strongest songs on the record, albeit it starts like a modern day version of Jim Morrison and The Doors so could be considered a tribute tune more than maybe an album track, it’s still fantastic.

If we’d known back then what was going to happen with Hutchence maybe Welcome to Wherever You Are would have been as commercially successful as previous output like X or Kick but this album is still very demanding of its place in an incredible discography.

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