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Kick was a great album, but very much a Faith, or Born In The USA, a runaway train of an album. After experiencing some diminishing returns with the more-of-the-same follow-up X (1990), they wisely decided that a new approach was needed for the next album. With a new producer, Mark Opitz, on board and the sound of Achtung Baby ringing in their ears, INXS were about to produce their most adventurous, and creatively successful album of their career. Like U2 with Achtung Baby (an easy, but appropriate comparison), Welcome To Wherever You Are was an attempt to deconstruct the band’s sound, and rebuild what INXS had to offer, as something fresh, new, and exciting. Bored of stadium rock, the new album would contain pulsing beats from the dancefloor, clever use of percussion, horns and orchestration and even some eastern influences thrown in for good measure. The willingness to change the sound and production of their music was always going to make for interesting listening, but the real success of Welcome To Wherever You Are lies with the quality of the songs. The album really doesn’t contain a weak track and is sequenced brilliantly from the curveball opener that is the sitar and tabla-backed Questions, to the chilly finale of Men and Women. Taste It, Communication, Not Enough Time, Baby Don’t Cry… so many incredible songs, but each with their own identity and sound, from the classic, breezy pop of Beautiful Girl to the only real ‘rock’ moment, Heaven Sent. Everything is performed with such conviction and nothing is predictable or pedestrian. There are delights and surprises all over the record and it is no exaggeration to claim this is one of the very best rock/pop albums of the 1990s, it really is that good. One wishes this album had been a cheeky follow-up to Kick, because INXS had the world at their feet at that point. Instead, five years down the line, and a moderately successful follow-up in between, their audience had shrunk somewhat, and, particularly in the US, they simply failed to ‘get’ Welcome To Wherever You Are. Grunge ruled, and the album was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time with its adventurous sonic textures and ‘anything goes’ attitude. The band also chose not to tour the album, feeling as if they needed a break after some punishing schedules from the previous two records. Probably costly, in terms of US promotion and exposure. In Europe, and particularly the UK, things were quite different. Not only did Welcome To Wherever You Are top the UK album chart, but such was the popularity of the record that five singles were released from it.