Another INXS record, another crazy title. This is INXS’s fifth long player, and it’s better than anything that came before. Certainly better than Shabooh Shoobah which has more filler than this. Listen Like Thieves is about as close as INXS got to releasing an LP that was filler-free. Yes, even the old classic Kick has padding.

Some of the weird keyboard doodlings of yore are still present on this album, but it takes a back seat to the drum-heavy blues/funk/new-wave crossover that this band became renowned for. While The Swing began heading in this direction, it still possessed a lot of the band’s pub rock sensibilities. They’re all but gone now and INXS have progressed into the big league.

Contrary to how it usually went in the 80s, it’s Side Two that has all the great music. From the opening roar of Biting Bullets to the thundering quasi-metal of Red, Red Sun, Side Two just soars along. Same Direction is the album highlight and rates amongst the top 5 of anything they ever did. This Time is there too, as is the Australian bush-in-summer instrumental of Three Sisters.

Side One has the filler, alas. Take away What You Need and Kiss The Dirt, and you can happily write it off. Truthfully, the record is worth buying just for Side Two. As I said, this is as good as INXS got with making an LP full of killer songs. Enjoy it.

listen like thieves