MODERATION INXS THE AUSSIES' LATEST IS HOOK-LADEN, BUT WHERE'S THE KICK?
If ever a major band needed renewal, it’s INXS, whose pop-chartglitter has gradually dimmed since its 1987 breakthrough hit, Kick.So one piece of good news about the Australian group’s 10th album,FULL MOON, DIRTY HEARTS (Atlantic), is that it’s full of killerhooks. There’s something in nearly every song that jumps out atyou-propulsive drum attacks, jabbing bass lines, and, above all,flashes of lightning-sharp melody. It’s hard to believe that therecord won’t be a major commercial success.How much it’s worth beyond the pop charts is another story. Theproduction is exuberantly precise, it’s true, and in the lyricsyou’ll find repeated explorations of the battle between ideals andreality suggested by the album’s title. But hardly any of thisregisters in the voice of front man Michael Hutchence, who neversounds emotionally involved-not even in a duet with so impassioned acrooner as Ray Charles.What brightens the record, in the end, is another duet, this time,between Hutchence and the Pretenders’ drop-dead-brilliant ChrissieHynde. On ”Kill the Pain” she digs deep, even if Hutchence clings tothe surface. Which raises the most urgent question this albumprovokes: INXS may well be back, but where has Chrissie been allthese years? B