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“Need You Tonight” — INXS


So slide over here

And give me a moment

Your moves are so raw

I’ve got to let you know…

You’re one of my kind

Here’s the thing: I feel like the best, most magical aspect of music is its innate ability to communicate an emotion, a feeling, a mood. Need a pick-me-up? Well, you can always call on Phish‘s “Bouncing Around the Room” to gift you a lift. Need to chillax? Okay – spend some time with Erykah Badu or Jill Scott. Mad at the world and feel like indulging that emotion? I find Fiona Apple‘s music to be an excellent choice on just that sort of occasion.

But this song? Well, this is a *letsseehowfastwecangetouttatheseclothes* song. And that’s always fun.

Seriously, I can’t understand how anyone could listen to this without getting turned on. And of course, this isn’t the only song for provocative underwear dancing–not that I’m into that type of thing…but, you know what I mean (zip those lips HI-FI Andrew!). I would guess a lot of other folks (myself included), respond in a similar way to songs like “Come Undone” by Duran Duran and “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak. Even still, “Need You Tonight” is really where the money is – I kind of think of it as the definitive naughty thoughts song.

Come on – that guitar riff? Damn. It just sounds like sex. How the heck did they do that? Add in those suggestive lyrics and Michael Hutchence‘s delicious vocals, you’ve got the song that has been touted as “the three steamiest minutes of the eighties.”

Uh, hell-to-the-yes they were – and I think all the more so because the lyrics are not explicit at all. Suggestive, yes – but it’s what *isn’t* said in this song that makes it so intoxicating.

It’s also what makes current pop songs that *try* to be sexy fail so miserably at it. You don’t need to say it all to awaken sexual feelings in a listener – in fact, being too crude or explicit can have a very opposite effect. Case in point: when I hear Nicki Minaj sing (and I’m using that term loosely) “when he gimme that look then the panties comin’ off”, it just makes me want to puke. It most certainly does not turn me on, because there’s something so base about it that it literally makes me cringe.

Now these lyrics, on the other hand, are a completely different story:

I need you tonight

Cause I’m not sleeping

There’s something about you girl

That makes me sweat

Um…WHOA. Are you freaking kidding me?

How do you feel?

I’m lonely

What do you think?

Can’t think at all

Yeah, me neither. I certainly can’t concentrate on writing anything else.

So if you all will excuse me, I think I’m gonna go take a cold shower…

Find more artists like INXS at Myspace Music.



A couple of years ago, as I made the short drive home with the divine future Mrs. Kiefer at my side, we were treated to the intense rhythmic chanting of a rising pop superstar courtesy of our local top-40 pop station.

At that moment, we were not aware it was someone new. The music was dance-able. The lyrics were a scathingly sarcastic treatment of what we believed to be the typical evening of the loosely-moraled club-going crowd. We bantered back and forth about who it was, pointing out inflections and styles we thought to be signature of Gaga or Perry. Who could pull off this brilliantly satirical, self-parodying song?

At the close of the song, we were crushed when the station DJ neglected to speak the name or the title of the song. Left in the dark, we quickly forgot about it and started singing along with the next song.

A short time later, while cleaning the house, we were tuned into the pop cable music station, and again comes the song! This time — thanks to the on-screen information provided by Comcast — we saw, we learned, we smiled.

Ke$ha, it was.

Okay… who? To the internet!

As that repository of all things possibly true revealed, it was not for no reason that we could not agree who Ke$ha sounded like. She sounds like every pop singer, having demonstrated her backup vocal talent for such household names as Paris Hilton and Flo Rida. However, armed with a notebook bursting with her own creations, the time came for this budding star to take her place among the giants of entertainment.

Her debut single, entitled Tik-Tok, first startled the sleepy pop nation into awareness in late summer 2009. Half-sung, half-rapped, Tik-Tok deconstructs the deplorable, self-destructive lifestyle of a broke, shameless twenty-something woman whose lifestyle revolves around the practice known as “clubbing.” While clearly an outsider observing this walking wasteland of humanity, Ke$ha nonetheless manages to step into the shoes of this depraved club-goer and presents us with a beautifully tragic portrait of a woman trapped in a cycle from which it is implied that the only possible escape may be death or imprisonment.

The remainder of Ke$ha’s extensive musical library contains similar glimpses into the drug, drink, and debauchery-filled life of this young woman. While one may dance to the beat and thoughtlessly ape the lyrics, I implore you to take a moment to be still and absorb the words of Ke$ha. As Waylon Jennings once admonished the country fans of the world concerning cowboys: Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be club-goers.

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Find more artists like Ke$ha at Myspace Music.