(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )
One especially tawdry footnote to this former INXS frontman’s 1997 suicide was the insistence of his girlfriend, Paula Yates, that his death by hanging was accidental. “I won’t have my child grow up thinking that her father left her,” she said. So I guess it’s better the child grows up thinking her father died from autoerotic asphyxiation. Yates would serve her man’s memory better by simply playing her daughter this album, which Hutchence completed a week before his death. Once past such tabloid-baiting lyrics as “Don’t save me from myself,” “I just wanna slide away and come alive again,” and “Saw a million pieces of the shape I’m in / Hanging from a chandelier,” one can’t help noticing the obvious care that Hutchence and his first-rate support cast put into the project. Does it sound all that different from INXS? Not really. Is it better than INXS’s Greatest Hits? No. Does it sound like the work of a man with no reason to live? Not by a long shot. Rating: Three-and-a-half suicide blondes out of five.