"Kick" was released in 1987, which proved to be the perfect time for its reception. Pop music was focusing on dance music. INXS was a combination of dance beats, along with rock guitar riffs, some well-placed saxophone courtesy of guitarist Kirk Pengilly, and of course Hutchence's sultry presence on vocals. The band's founders were here in the Fariss brothers, guitarist Tim, percussionist Jon and keyboardist/guitarist Andrew. The band's was rounded out by bassist Garry Gary Beers, making for a large band, but one that was very versatile. The saxophone was their secret weapon, as few bands at the time used any brass, and INXS made great use of it to compliment Hutchence's vocals.
The album produced four top ten hits, including the number one "Need You Tonight". This sing was bolstered by its pairing with "Mediate", a unique song that featured Hutchence singing songs that ended in "-ate" over a beat with saxophone in the background while the rat of the band quietly added in their instrumental bits. Conceptually, this may not sound great, but it's an intriguing song. The video ran with "Need You Tonight", and featured the band flipping through cue cards of the words in an imitation of a Bob Dylan video.
The hits speak for themselves here. The band has seemingly limitless energy on this album. Even a song like "Never Tear Us Apart", which comes on like a ballad, builds in energy on the strength of Hutchence and a strong drum arrangement. "Devil Inside" had a strong guitar riff throughout that carries the song into a top ten single. "New Sensation" follows this formula with a repeated riff that the rest of the band builds around.
A favorite from the album is "Mystify", which charted in the top forty. This song builds from a piano riff, again highlighted by Hutchence's stellar vocals. His voice becomes it's own instrument, and the rest of the group, all master musicians, seem to simply support his hypnotic performances.
A hidden gem of sorts here is "The Loved One", the only song not written by Hutchence and/or Fariss as it was a cover of a sing by the Australian 60's band "The Loved Ones". It did right into the feel of the album, as INXS injects their signature sound right into it, making it their own.
This was a tough album to miss in the 80's, as it went on to be certified 6x platinum. Take a listen and you will find that it holds up better than most albums from that time. It definitely had its own sound, and the band put their absolute best into its crafting. The result is one of the truly great albums of all time, a must listen for fans of pop, rock or dance music.