Today I decided to go back and talk about one of my favourite 80’s albums, Kick. While many people might recognize it or a song or two from it, it was never as renowned here as it was in it’s homeland of Australia. If the album or band seem familiar to you, here’s the main reason why:
But Kick is an album made up of almost entirely single-level songs. INXS while not necessarily a band that managed to maintain this level of songwriting after, or truly reach this magnitude before Kick, did make one hell of an album in 1987. The album is just catchy, and each song has you hooked in seconds.
“Guns In The Sky” while the most simplistic song on the album (besides the solo it’s just AB AB) comes with some heavy commentary about desensitizing and despite it’s simplicity is seemingly more catchy because of this easy hook. “New Sensation” goes from a rhythmically funky verse to a passion-charged chorus and bursts to life when its saxophone solo (one of several on the album) kicks in.
The album’s clear single as shown at the top was “Need You Tonight” that riff echoes today, it’s just too catchy. The song’s blunt lyrics and funky groove make it not only a great karaoke song but a great song in general. “Mediate” while more ambient and slow-jam based than most of the album is a cool song on its sheer amount of rhyme. It also has one of the best music video concepts of the 80s, creating concepts for the lyric video and Daft Body videos to come.
If you want to hear 80’s synth in a nutshell, look no further than “Never Tear Us Apart” one of the sweetest love songs ever written, and it’s guitar riff is like sweet chocolate. But the song’s sweetest candy comes in the tear-inducingly powerful sax solo that leads to the final heart-melting chorus. But what is possibly my favourite song on the album is the title track “Kick.” From all the sax fills to Michael Hutchence’s amazing vocals it’s killer. But the song cinched it for me with one of the best bass grooves of all time, get some good headphones on and listen to how smooth that thing. Throw in the inspirational lyrics about fighting through life and this song should be the anthem for revolution.
What actually got me into the album was one of the strangest side-projects I know of. Beck has a side-project called record club where he gets a handful of artists and covers an album. Mixing Annie Clark and Daniel Hart of St Vincent, an amazing Brazilian guitarist (Sergio Dias), Brian Lebarton and Angus from the band Liars, they covered all of Kick. It sounds so wonderfully different, from not only some of the strange instrumentation used to cover the material but the way they played some of them. Their cover of “New Sensation” is like a high and “Never Tear Us Apart” is even more beautiful, with a violin solo that maybe even outdoes the original but also makes Annie visibly go DAYUM (seriously check out the awesome reactions at 31:00). I never thought it would be possible to love an album twice but it happened.