I have been a huge fan of INXS--and "Kick", in particular--for a long time now. Often, I have felt the need to defend my passion for this album to music purists who are turned-off by the band's huge commercial success.
A decade-and-a-half after it's original release, I believe "Kick" has stood the test of time. The song-writing and performances are entirely spot-on throughout. While I concede that the production sounds somewhat dated, it should be remembered that any album is a product of it's time. With its sly references to excess ("Devil Inside"), global tension ("Guns in the Sky") and apartheid ("Mediate"), "Kick" manages to sum up much of western civilization as it exited the 80's.
Since I already owned this album on CD, I was curious as to how the sonic experts of Rhino could improve upon a recording that was recorded in the digital age. Turns out "Kick" is even more powerful in this new transfer. The mix is more spacious; it sounds like the instruments are actually spaced further apart. If you only want to hear "Kick" sound better than ever before, you should definitely buy this reissue.
But if you were looking for the album's B-sides, you won't find them here. The only bonus tracks are a handful of demos whose inclusion here is baffling. Perhaps the producer wanted these awful tracks included as evidence of miracles he performed behind-the-scenes.
Surely there had to be better demos for this album that what is included here. "Jesus Was a Man" is most motley of the bunch. On it, Hutchence howls in obvious drunken stupor. Given the descent into chemical abuse that led to his untimely death, the inclusion of this track is inappropriate and an insult to his memory.
In conclusion, the new mix sounds fantastic, but the bonus demos are bad enough to make me question their inclusion here.