HiRez Poll INXS - KICK [Blu-Ray Audio]


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Rate the BDA of INXS - KICK

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Oct 31, 2008
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Please post your thoughts and comments on this 2017 reissue of the classic 1987 album "Kick" from Australian band INXS.
This 30th anniversary edition contains a Blu-ray Disc that includes a new Dolby Atmos surround sound mix of the album, making it the first popular music album to be released in Dolby Atmos!
(scans provided by QQ member sperezmore)

The Dolby Atmos mix is also available to stream on Apple Music:
(n) :) (y)


Dynamic Range: 13 :smokin

foobar2000 1.3.16 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1

log date: 2017-11-14 12:29:40

Analyzed: INXS / KICK (7.1)

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
DR13 -2.64 dB -22.56 dB 2:21 01-Guns In The Sky
DR13 -5.62 dB -24.73 dB 3:39 02-New Sensation
DR13 -5.51 dB -24.17 dB 5:15 03-Devil Inside
DR15 -6.08 dB -23.02 dB 3:02 04-Need You Tonight
DR12 -9.85 dB -24.28 dB 2:36 05-Mediate
DR12 -8.76 dB -25.36 dB 3:36 06-The Loved One
DR13 -9.57 dB -25.48 dB 3:10 07-Wild Life
DR15 -5.69 dB -25.24 dB 3:05 08-Never Tear Us Apart
DR13 -5.70 dB -25.11 dB 3:18 09-Mystify
DR12 -7.10 dB -23.73 dB 3:12 10-Kick
DR13 -9.89 dB -26.91 dB 3:04 11-Calling All Nations
DR12 -7.97 dB -24.09 dB 3:33 12-Tiny Daggers

Number of tracks: 12
Official DR value: DR13

Samplerate: 48000 Hz
Channels: 8
Bits per sample: 24
Bitrate: 4302 kbps
Codec: FLAC
First, let me say that I will not cast a proper vote on this release or "Automatic for the People" until I actually have an Atmos system, that way I can listen to both mixes and judge them on what they are really supposed to sound like that.
With that said, let me also say that I definitely have a musical bias towards "Automatic for the People". Not only is it my favorite R.E.M. album, but I would probably put it in a 'Top 10 albums of all time' list.

So with those two statements out the way, if there's one word that comes to mind while listening to the Atmos mix of "Kick" (downmixed to Dolby TrueHD 5.1) it's this word: "restrained"
Now I don't mean that the surround mix is restrained. It's definitely a discrete mix, but I feel like the sound is restrained.

This is a big, dumb pop record, and I just find that the original stereo mix sounds bigger and more invigorating compared to this new Atmos mix.

Now the plus side of the Atmos mix is that it is very sympathetically mastered, meaning it's not squashed to all eternity like many modern CDs and digital downloads. The stereo mix is definitely a lot louder than the Atmos mix, so for those of you who really love dynamic surround sound mixes, this is definitely one of those mixes.

I would say that if you like this kind of music, get this release. It's not over-blown, and the price is usually somewhere between $30-40, which is great for a package that contains 3 CDs and 1 Blu-Ray. It's a bargain compared to the new "Hotel California" set!

If I did have to put a numerical vote on this release, I would go with an '8', while I would give "Automatic for the People" a '9'

Thanks for the Post but I find a correction is in order. You stated that you weren’t set up to listen in Dolby Atmos. Then, in the next paragraph, you talk about listening to the Atmos track when, in fact, you are hearing the Dolby TrueHD. I have been guilty myself in other Posts for stating I am listening to stereo or 5.1 tracks upmixed to Dolby Atmos when it really is just a Dolby Surround Upmixer. There is a difference for both. :)
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I got this the other day and will get a review in by Monday on both systems, my front room 7.2 and my back family room 5.1.2 atmos. I got an XBOX One X that I'm swapping out with the last One S and rearranging my cables, so the delay.
I'm giving this Blu-Ray an easy 9. I'll readily admit that this is one of my favorite albums from that era and my first big show. I really enjoyed the surround mix (probably would be even better in Atmos, but I'm not set up for that) but i would have like a bit more bass (specifically, bass drum)...I know I can simply turn up my sub, but I'd rather not have to change my settings for each recording. Anyway, for the price of the set (below $30 pre-tax), this is a no brainer, Get It :)
As I type this, I’m listening to “Automatic For The People” thinking what a missed opportunity “Kick” could have been. Overall, this Atmos mix sounds too close to a regular 5.1 Dolby or DTS mix. If I was going to rate it on that alone, it would be an 8. There isn’t too much going on in the rear speakers on some of the tracks except for mostly ambiance. Though, it’s not a total loss. At times, there is some instruments or sound effects that seem to float in space. Michael Hutchinson’s vocals are a mixed bag. They either sound like they are coming directly out of the center channel, have a big wide sound using center, left and right, or floating. The tracks that sound like his voice is floating in space are “Devil Inside”, “Need You Tonight” and “Mediate”. The tracks where his voice sounds big and wide are “Kick”, “Never Tear Us Apart” and “Wildlife”. On a 1 to 10 scale, I give this Dolby Atmos mix a 6. Music wise, I give it a 7 even though it sounds dated. I have not seen the videos. So, I cannot comment on them. I’d be hard pressed to give this a 7 and decided to vote a 6 because of it not having enough Kick to the sound and the Atmos mix could have been a lot better.
I've never owned this album before it was released in surround... the radio has been saturated with these songs for 30 years, so why buy it?! Well, I'm glad I finally did! I only have a 5.1 system, so I ripped the 7.1 mix and used Audacity to merge the side and rear channels for each song. I find the fidelity to be punchy and well rounded. The surround mix is discrete and very active throughout (at least to my ears)... it's my favorite of Giles Martin's surround mixes (comparing to Love and Sgt. Pepper). In terms of content, well, I'm actually loving these songs that I was sick to death of previously. I'm giving this a 10. Love it!
I have a 7.1.4 ATMOS system which I have only recently got set up and running. As this is my first ATMOS disc, be it movie or music, you can say at this point I'm a little short on content and comparisons. I'm also quite certain that further speaker positioning and tweaking will be forthcoming, so my current set-up may not yet be optimal for my room.

Ok that said, I'm a little underwhelmed by the surround mix. There are moments, such as in the song Mediate where you get some cool effects from the overheads. But overall, it's just slightly more discrete in it's use of the ATMOS overheads then when using the Dolby Surround or DTS Neural X on standard 5.1 mixes. In fact I would argue, that because the mix is not really aggressive or imaginative, that I prefer many other upmixed 5.1 albums. For instance, after playing Kick, I put in the Mark Knopflers Sailing to Philadelphia, upmixed to ATMOS using Dolby Surround. I found that to be a much more enjoyable surround listen and I believe in large part, because it has a better surround mix to start with.

There is also a issue with the fidelity in general. Listened to at a higher volume, the album did leave me somewhat fatigued. Now generally, I'm loathe to use that term, but lacking a better description, that is how I felt after listening. Is it the original recording, that 80's (bright) production, something with this release or what?

Overall, I'm glad to have it, the price isn't terrible and it's still an enjoyable listen. My initial reactions could also be clouded by my high expectations related to my first ATMOS disc. Final conclusion: 'Could of been better', but then again that probably can be said about most of us, myself being the greatest example :)
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Will somebody who actually HAS Atmos please review this disc!

Listened on the front system 1st (7.2)and thought it was pretty decent sounding. Like all setups its about the power per channel and the speakers in my experience and placement.
The back atmos system (just 5.1.2 at the moment) has better speakers and sounded much more discrete with the atmos heights, also not many to compare with but I'd rate the atmos 2 points better in sound quality.
80's music was more what my sons listened to and I always thought Inxs was good with Michael Hutchence as the frontman, reminded me a lot of Jim Morrison very mysterious and charismatic.(my wife thinks Jim was strange and creepy ?) I'll give it a few more listens before my poll number is voted on.
Many folks will listen to this processed from Atmos to 5.1 or 7.1 likely diminishing the benefit of Atmos, so this review is based on how my system handles that processing. As such, your mileage could vary. To sum it up, I found the bass a little muddy compared to some of the greats, examples of which to me would be many of the Steely Dan and Fagen titles I own. For the most part those are probably the best bass I have heard in a surround set up. Further, it seemed to me that the higher end of the sound spectrum was used to enhance the ability of our ears to place sounds in 3-d, hence the "floating effect" on some voices. But this also enhanced the "crunchiness" of the higher end, which is either because this was recorded digitally originally, or EQ'd as such. Also in the surround version Hutchens's voice is a little low in the mix. Compare that to the stereo (which is included in PCM) where his voice is strong and clear. For the surround, I can't decide if this is a 7 or an 8, so because I am grateful for someone giving Giles another album to practice on before he moves on to the Beatles' White Album, I will give this an 8 as practice will make perfect. Whatever I give the surround, the stereo gets a point above. It really consistently sounds better to me. I am tempted to use faux surround on the stereo to see how that works out!
I gave it a 9. Sounds good on my system in 5.1. If I wasn't using the mult channel inputs for the surround master I would try it in 7.1. Having the option of multi-channel audio on the videos is a bonus - something my current favourite multi-channel disc (Black Sea) does not have
I've always been a big fan of their earlier albums. Didn't much care for their last few records. Kick was a pretty solid pop album and I saw them twice on that tour. My favorite album by them will always be The Swing.

Anyway, I was very excited to see that this was coming out (and that price!). The bonus CD's contain excellent tracks that, prior to this release and the previous collection (25), were difficult to come by if you weren't a big vinyl collector. Even with my extensive collection of 12" & 7" singles, there were still a few tracks on these that I didn't have yet.

On to the blu-ray:

I listened to it downmixed to TrueHD 5.1, but I don't imagine it's a whole lot better on an Atmos system. Overall, it's a bit of a letdown. The mix is interesting with regards to how they filled the space, but as some previously stated, it's very restrained. Vocals are low in the mix (unless they are panned out to L/R). Snare hits are dull. Toms (which INXS always used efficiently) are nearly non-existent. Here's a track by track breakdown:

1). Guns in the Sky - This actually sounds like a wholly different song. There's no punch to the signature kick sound of this opener; just a ton of reverb. It sounds good, don't get me wrong...it just sounds extremely different than what you're used to hearing.
2). New Sensation - This track is an improvement over the first. Though, the center-channel vocals during the chorus are buried. I'm also distracted by the fact that this isn't 'Nick's 12" Mix' - which is a far better version of the song...so I was even more underwhelmed.
3). Devil Inside - This track translates very well into surround. It fills the room well and sounds pretty great with one exception: The snare is buried. And again here, I was distracted by the fact that it wasn't the 12" mix. I literally never listen to the LP versions of these songs. Ever.
4). Need You Tonight - Definitely the gem of this blu-ray. The snare is prominent, the vocals aren't buried, and the mix is playful in interesting ways (like the delay on the guitar riff floating around the right side after the riff plays in the left). Totally enjoyable.
5). Mediate - I honestly expected them to move his voice around in the mix on this one, just to be fun. But what's notable about this mix are the ambient sounds and the sax.
6). The Loved One - One of my favorite tracks on this LP and it is lackluster in surround. Again here, the vocals are buried in the center, and the snare is weak. Some synth-keys are prevalent in the rears, which is pretty cool. But otherwise...meh.
7). Wild Life - Dull. No edge to the chorus. Ugh.
8). Never Tear Us Apart - Another of my favorite tracks. Luckily, they pan the vocals out to L/R instead of burying them in the center channel - so that's better. The synth-strings sound pretty great in the rears. And that sax solo is pretty great in the mix. This is probably my 2nd favorite track of the entire surround mix.
9). Mystify - This has always been a favorite of mine from this band, but again here...lackluster mix. The toms during the chorus are literally not there. Try A/B'ing from the surround mix to the stereo mix during this track and hear the difference. Dull.

The last three songs on this album are simply unremarkable to begin with, but I went ahead and listened to them and they suffer from pretty much the same issues as the rest.

All in all, it's possible I'll never listen to this again - and I love the album. I give it a 9 for material and a 5 on the mix, so I voted a 7. *shrug*
Finally i decided to vote on this......is a 7 for the new mix.....i listened in an atmos configuration 3 times in different dates....however because is one of my favourite albums of all.time im gonna give an 8
I am really disappointed by Giles...this was a great opportunity thrown to waste......i really prefer the dvd with their hits in DTS 4.0 (more immersive in my opinion) and i would seriously think that Giles Martin needs to reach other mixers like Steven Wilson or Elliot Scheiner to learn from them.....i really just dont know how this album was released in this condition......mixes without punch.....lack of bass.....different versions from the original.....different reverb and delay......somehow sound is like imprisioned.....i am really waiting for a communication offering a replace for the disc because it has faults from manufacture........
I listened to this through my Denon AVR-X7200WA, Oppo BDP-103 and a variety of B&W speakers in a 7.2.4 configuration. This is the first Atmos encoded music disk I've listened to. At first listen I ended up listening to it in Dolby True-HD through the 7 channel analog inputs between the Oppo and Denon. It sounded OK, just not what I'd expected. One has to check the encoding on my setup to make sure the configuration is correct. All my multichannel disks (DVD-A, BluRay and SACD) default to going through the 7 channel analog setup. When I put in an Atmos encoded Blu-Ray movie, the setup automatically switches to HDMI in order to pass the Atmos signal. On first play, that did not happen. I had to manually go into the setup on the Denon, after fumbling through the setup on the Oppo, to select the HDMI input in order to get Atmos working on this disk.

Once I had Atmos enabled, the sound changed dramatically. It was as if all the instruments grew, vertically. The main vocals are centered up front in the songs, with the usual strings and percussion placed around the room in various songs. If you like the music, you'll really enjoy it on this Atmos disk. I give it a 7 in 7.2, and a 10 in 7.2.4. I'd like to get their other albums in Atmos as well. I hope they make them.
Wow.....Amazon UK has this set on for under 13 GBP today......get it while you can
I did, I have never been the biggest INXS fan though back in the day I did see them live supporting Queen amongst others, at the price it was too good to not take a nibble.
The music is well known from the radio hits, its smothered in 80's production never a favourite of mine but hey as a nostalgia kick this was a nice pleasant surprise, I did enjoy the album in surround though as Jeddia has said that first song is smothered in reverb, If I had not been listening to Holst and Strauss before hand I might have thought there was something wrong with my player.

Must get round to listening to the CDs in the set I suppose