Friday, August 08, 2008

FDF Volume 2 Issue 103: Michael Hutchence

Album - Michael Hutchence
Artist - Michael Hutchence
Key Players - Michael Hutchence - vocals. Various other artists like Joe Stummer and Kenny Arnoff etc.
Produced By - Andy Gill, Michael Hutchence and Danny Saber

Release Date - February 22, 2000

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I am convinced that I have never listened to this cd all the way through. It was a given to me when I worked at the radio station and we were playing a track from it. It has been listened to for 6+ years at least. A true candidate.

Overview - Work for this solo record began in 1995 but the final collection would not be released until after Michael Hutchence passing. This would be the only solo effort Hutchence would release and while he will be best know and the front man from INXS this was a diversion from what that band created for so many years. The record was finally released in 1999 and was a flop, mostly due to the lack of promotion for the album. Even guest appearances from Bono couldn't get fans to buy the record.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
The album opens with sort of a heavy almost grunge sounding "Let Me Show You". Joe Strummer offers up some backing vocals on the track and its unlike anything that INXS had ever done. Off to a good start perhaps since a solo effort should break you from the mold. Rumor has it Michael recorded the next track "Possibilities" as close to three days before his death. The track is a mellow affair with a lot of strings and almost has a sort of "lounge" feel to to. "Get on the Inside" is the polar opposite as it has a more techno feel while "Fear" has a lot of punch on the guitar and drum tracks. As odd as it sounds Fear seems to bring the vocals more to the front that the prior tracks. Having a "world music drum feel" "All I'm Saying" opens with a strong bass line to compliment it. The chorus is a lot more gruff than other tracks. A slapping drum intro brings up "A Straight Line". This track has a strong soul feel to it with a lot of horns and soulful backing singers. Keeping with sort of a funky feel "Baby It's Alright" is next. The guitar gets pushed up with some wah wah riffs but seems to fall back quickly to the techno feeling drum beat. Having more of an INXS "feel" the track "Don't Save Me from Myself" follows. The track has a heavier electronic drum feel to it once more. The vocals are distorted on "She Flirts for England" and flows right in to another dark track "Flesh and Blood". F+Blood has more keyboards and the vocals are hushed more of a tight drum track. We get a little more uptempo with "Put the Pieces Back Together". The vocals are given at a quicker pace and the chorus gets really urgent as well. The fuzzy guitar gets a work out on "Breathe". The album closes with "Slide Away" that features Bono from U2. The track was actually incomplete and Bono and the producers worked together to get it completed for the record. It was released as a single from the record but created little buzz. The sound is familiar to what U2 was doing at the time of Pop so it has a techno feel with hushed vocals but the harmonies added by Bono add a nice touch and as noted he takes over whole verses at a time.

Where are they now? - Michael Hutchence died on November 22, 1997 at age 37 of an apparent suicide.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I never saw Michael as a solo performer but I was able to see INXS a few times. We will save those memories for an INXS entry in Forgotten Disc Friday

FDF Overall Take
- Unless you are a die hard there is not a lot here. I am not bashing the "effort" but there is nothing that really hooks you in for long periods. It was a dark and deeply personal record by all accounts and that can prove a tough listen.


A memorial site

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

***mp3 has been removed***

Slide Away

The track was taken from the solo record you can buy here

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 11:27 AM, Blogger JamieSmitten said...

I really wish he had stayed around and made more music. I'll save my INXS concert memories for the INXS review. : )


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