Michael Hutchence – Mystify (2019)


Mystify is a biographical soundtrack album of Michael Hutchence, released on July 5, 2019 after almost a decade in the making. It was a tribute to the man himself, directed by Richard Loweinstein who also produced most of his band’s videos. The CD included glimpses of his life through the 4-part anthology. It consisted of Side A, Side B , Side C, and Side D. All of which revolved around the genres of alternative rock, new wave, and almost jazzy pop. It is based on no pattern and is all over the place, making the experience unconventional and an effective journey indeed into the artist’s life world.

It was a collection of interview scenes, of songs that once grew fame, of studio rehearsals with the collaboration of a few other singers.

The album followed no storyline. Each section presented random tracks and transitioned into a form of conversation later on. From retro tones to mood-lifting and danceable beats, to the playful turn of orchestra, and towards phrases of blues, this documented what sort of musician Michael was. To name a few, it contained the 1987 hit Need You Tonight, the second single Baby Don’t Cry, and the collaborative Please (You Got That).

The album was like meeting the man himself. This was how he would sound. This was how he spoke and sang and smiled in person. The work was intimate. It painted his groove twenty times and stressed his musical accents in vivid exchanges. Evidently, it was a labour of love from his colleagues. Mystify is a night-out into the 1980’s. You will be illuminated by the mirrorballs and the warm, boldfaced colours they throw into your eyes. This is the techno pub where you raise your glass and toast with the crowd. This is the world of Michael Hutchence, masterfully collected piece by piece throughout the length of the album.

Each segment is an unchronological VIP tour into the kaleidoscopic life of his time. I find it impressive how they managed to replicate the presence of Hutchence simply by soundtracks. How they formed and stitched his memoirs in such a personal nature. I think the idea after all was not only to preserve the man but to meet him again and again. And this continuous setting, this disorderly music would produce the effect of meeting a new side to the artist at every turn. Hence, in spite of his death, Hutchence has remained immortal to some degree.


Review by Estefan Malgret.

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