Listen like Thieves

INXS, 1986

Christ, INXS. They've run the gamut for me: from great fun to plain bad to guilty pleasure and back 'round to pretty good. They're so completely of their time, it's almost embarrassing. It doesn't help matters they're so shamelessly a capital-p Pop band. There's no hackneyed social commentary, no attempts at abstraction. They wanted to make hit records and party. Lately, I've found myself more able to appreciate bands, like INXS, who so fully inhabit what they are—artists that, however inscrutable their choices, just fucking go for it. 

In retrospect, they were among a handful of bands keeping a traditional pop song-form alive in a decade filled with Madonna, hair metal, synthpop and nascent indie-rock sub-genres. So there's that.