Six years on from INXS’s first post- Michael Hutchence album Switch, where reality TV contest winner JD Fortune struggled to fill the shoes of his predecessor, the Aussie rockers are back what amounts to an open mic session.
Revisiting old material with a succession of different vocalists, the project sounds like an awkward and directionless tribute record. Part of the trouble is that for all the charisma Hutchence brought to the group’s often generic rock workouts, his absence only further exposes the innate shortcomings of the songs.
The likes of Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas (on the title track) and Ben Harper (Devil Inside) stay faithful to the originals and make little impression.
Tricky manages to put a few fresh dancefloor creases in the blueprint of Mediate, as does French chanteuse Mylene Farmer on a warbling take on Never Tear Us Apart, but the space created by Hutchence’s passing remains all too evidently unfilled.