Friday, January 20, 2012

20 Essential Albums: Shabooh Shoobah

Shabooh Shoobah - INXS

Named after the sound of the drum beat prevelant on the album, INXS’s Shabooh Shoobah contains a couple of the staples of 80s retro. Both “The One Thing” and “Don’t Change” remain great songs, no matter how they get overplayed today (and appreciated today by people who never would have listened to INXS in the 80s). They showcase the Michael Hutchence swagger, but the album’s deeper cuts reveal the band’s creativity.

The second track of an album is often the most representative of the character of the record. Here it is the case with “To Look at You.” The strong rhythm guitars steps aside to leave space for us to get inside, the drums stagger and shuffle, and Hutchence holds back on his strong voice until the chorus. And it is like this throughout the album. It forms a unique sound that I’ve never heard anyone imitate successfully.

The drums are a lot what makes this album great, but it is the voice of Michael Hutchence (and his swagger) that made INXS one of my favorites. My long hair in the 80s had a lot to do with Mick’s hair during the 1985 Listen Like Thieves era.

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