From the Vault...



© Epic Records

Year of Release: 2005

track listing
  • Devil's Party
  • Pretty Vegas
  • Afterglow
  • Hot Girls
  • Perfect Strangers
  • Remember Who's Your Man
  • Hungry
  • Never Let You Go
  • Like It Or Not
  • Us
  • God's Top Ten

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    INXS related sites:
    INXS Website
    Previous Review: #1399
    Mark Lowry--Mouth In Motion
    Next Review: #1401
    Gwen Stefani--Love, Angel, Music, Baby

    I never got the chance to watch Rock Star when it was on in 2005 and 2006. Man, I wish I did. I was busy watching American Idol at the time, and everyone who watch Rock Star said the show was awesome. Like Idol, the winner of this singing contest would get to record an album. For Rock Star, the winner of Season One would record with the group INXS. Lead singer Michael Hutchence died in 1997 of a suicide. The winner of Season One Rock Star was J.D. Fortune. He and the surviving members of INXS recorded the album Switch, released in 2005. Many of the tracks here are definitely in the INXS/Hutchence form.

    "Devil's Party" leads it off, as it is very INXS/Hutchence. The low sounding vocals is an eerie resemblance to Hutchence, as Fortune's singing like this is heard throughout the album. The low sounding voice on "Devil's Party" sounds like a faster-paced version of "Need You Tonight." "Pretty Vegas" was the first single from this album, and again, it's resemblance to Hutchence is heard here.

    Of the slower paced tracks here, they have more of a resemblance to the band U2, rather than Hutchence and INXS: "Afterglow," and "Remember, Who's Your Man." Of the two, "Afterglow" is the better of the two. ANother track that is compared more to U2, is "Never Let You Go." Back to the INXS/Hutchence style: "Hot Girls" has a more Pop style, where "Perfect Strangers" resembles two well-known past INXS classics -- "Suicide Blonde" and "Need You Tonight." Another quite impressive tune is "Us."

    Now for the least listeners, as both songs are fast-paced, and yes, compared to the old INXS: "Hungry," and "Like It Or Not." The other INXS comparison tracks are far better, but the two songs just mentioned, doesn't ruin the album. It's just hard learning that INXS' greatest years would be with a singer who would later take his own life. Sad. On that note, the last track, "God's Top Ten" is a dedication song to Michael Hutchence, as J.D. Fortune's voice sounds quite different. ("Afterglow" was also another tribute to Hutchence.)

    Again, it's sad to realize that this album was made, due to the death of its original lead singer. Although INXS' years of success were basically over after the death of Michael Hutchence, the band never replaced him after his death. Rock Star's idea to have it's winner record with INXS was a great idea; it's just sad how it came to be. Switch is a good album. Some of the songs are easily defined as if Hutchence never died. The sound on some of the songs could have easily been that of Hutchence & INXS. Towards the end of the album though, the songs just wasn't getting any excitement, yet this album was not a complete failure. Like any other album, there are the standout songs, the least favorites, and a little in between. This is Switch. The album title makes sense, switching to another lead singer. J.D. Fortune does a great job in filling huge shoes. INXS with Fortune went on tour in 2006, including Vancouver B.C., and ending up in Canada in 2007. J.D. Fortune with INXS remained together for six years, from 2005 to 2011. They decided not to continue after their Original Sin tour ended in 2011.

    Critics did not like the idea of replacing Hutchence as INXS' singer. Obviously, they agreed that after his death, the band "died" as well. Some said Fortune's voice was nothing compared to that of Hutchence. (With an open mind, you can tell that there IS a comparison.) The critics felt that INXS should have been left alone, and not try to find a replacement. Maybe J.D. Fortune was never a "replacement"; it was an idea for the TV show. What could have been worse -- J.D. Fortune and the surviving INXS re-recording actual songs that Hutchence recorded with the band, being a cover band. Luckily, this was not the result.

    All in all, Switch is a good album. No, it's not as great as INXS was. No, it was not the beginning of a INXS revival. No, there will never be anyone to replace Michael Hutchence. INXS' best years IS and WAS Michael Hutchence. Although he is no longer with us, his music will be passed to many generations to come, inspiring other singers to be influences.

    J.D. Fortune is currently working on a new project -- Seven In 7. (The name comes from writing seven new original songs from scratch in seven days.

    In reading JD's main website, his views on the music business is not what it used to be:
    Dear Friends, As of now, I will no longer be available on Twitter or Facebook. Social media has become a tool not for connection, but rather an instrument of disconnect. The music should be enough. I'm telling you that we can have that again. I'm trying something new. I want to help build, or rebuild, the romance that has been lost to you in music for quite some time. "It's not you - it's Twitter Baby." I'm planning on releasing new music through this project, Seven in 7. My statement is this: When did the music become not enough to enjoy it? I think it's when companies decide to sell "likes" and "followers" and we buy it in order to have a self imposed popularity contest where the polls are rigged from the start. I'm going back to when music was enough. Hopefully our past can save our future. God bless you all. JD Fortune.

    Yes, I can see this -- very clearly -- Music has not been enjoyable like it used to be, for a long, long while now. And as for the polls being rigged -- Yes, I can agree 100%. Watching shows like American Idol -- the winners are already determined, during the AUDITIONS, and not from the true fans who REALLY want to vote for the best singers. My best fact on this, is that some of the contestants who were MEANT to win, go on and become more popular than that of the actual winners. To name a few, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, Colton Dixon. I gave up on Idol after Phillip Phillips won; he admitted he could not sing. The next season was even worse -- it was all about the judges, rather than the contestants -- Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. From what I heard of the contestants of Season 12, the girls were very good, as Candice Glover was declared the winner. I really wanted to watch the next year, Season 13, with new judge Harry Connick Jr. I had seen him as a guest judge/mentor on a previous season, and he basically told it like it is. Unfortunately, I did not watch Idol last year, as I was just too busy, and could never find the time to watch. Caleb Johnson was declared the winner.

    American Idol seems to be the only show to watch for singing talent. Oh, there's America's Got Talent, but the winner(s) are not always singers. Simon Cowell's US X Factor came and went. Nashville Star was another show, of Country talent, but, that show is gone as well. One season was only for The Next Great American Band. The shows are rigged as they say, so it's not even worthwhile to watch. If it wasn't rigged, we could see online the actual results, percentages, etc. (Gotta love it when Ryan Seacrest says, "The percentage was less than one percent of who is going home tonight.") Let's SEE those results! Nope, never happened, never will. Anyways...

    INXS - Switch completes the Rock Star series on the WSVNRadio website... We have now reviewed three albums: Supernova (the result of the second season), and A Night At The Mayan Theatre (a concert featuring Season One's contestants). Of the two main season resulting albums, I would have to say Supernova is the better of INXS Switch. Maybe it's because Supernova was an "original" band -- (Tommy Lee formed the band with Season Two winner Lukas Rossi).

    Rock Star producer Mark Burnett (who also produced Survivor) wanted to continue with Season 3 for Rock Star, but it never came to be. Rock Star only lasted for two seasons. Was this show rigged? From what everyone said about it, it seemed it was not. We need more shows like this. Let the fans determine the real talent, they are the people who will buy their music, hopefully.

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    Previous Review: #1399
    Mark Lowry--Mouth In Motion
    Next Review: #1401
    Gwen Stefani--Love, Angel, Music, Baby