Monday, December 20, 2010


Finally got around to listening Michael Jackson's latest album 'Michael'. It is a tragedy that instead of waiting in line the night before to get his CD, one orders it in Amazon 2 weeks after release and listens to the CD a week after it arrives. Dangerous will always be his most definitive album in my eyes. An album where he was at his creative best. Much kann-drishti is the reason why his decline started 2 years after Dangerous. 'Michael' is a collection of his private un-released recordings that his estate fine-tuned/produced and released last month. A recurring comment in all the reviews that this album got has been "would Michael have wanted us to listen to these songs and would he have presented it this way ". One thing is sure - he would have lost the 'first single to be released' battle like he usually does. And would not have changed the fact that the worst song of the album (in this case 'Hold My Hand') would be the first single the producers released. It is his curse that this is happening to him for the second consecutive time.

I neither liked Michael's ballads nor his soft slow songs. For example 'Heal the World' is not on my top 5 songs within Dangerous. And this album is littered with slow songs. There is no rhythmic Smooth Criminal, 3-D, They don't care about Us, Ghosts, Jam, Beat-it equivalent in this album. and that is what I'd pick as an aspect that I missed the most as far as this album not having the MJ's touch goes. The variety in the album could have been better.

Now to the songs - my top 2 songs of the album are 'Hollywood' and ' Another Day'. Hollywood is a pacy song that has a fantastic chorus piece. It is a song about a woman lusting after a Hollywood career and how she'd sell herself to get there. The traditional notebook accompanying the CD case has MJ's handwriting that tells us that 'This is based on a true story'. Another Day - is a combined effort with Lenny Kravitz. And this song surprised me. As the prophetic opening lines "My Life has taken me beyond the planets and the stars" plays out - I had no idea it would turn into a beautiful chorus "I walked away but I was wrong..". This should have been the first single of the album. Another impressive song was "The way you Love Me". Which has a splendid opening and a cool tune. My fourth Favorite song was 'Monster' - which is Michael's go at the paparazzi (One of the two media bashing songs in the album - and that aspect alone makes it worth a buy). There were a few moments in that song that made me nostalgic.

Outside of the four mentioned above there aren't many 'chart buster' type of songs that can be classified as good ol' pop music. People who like his slow songs may like this album more. It does feature the several different voices of MJ which is a usual feature in most of his albums. And one of the most endearing aspects of his albums. The last page of the notebook has this in his own handwriting "We only live once. Since we are given the gift of life it should be our persistent endeavour to immortalize ourselves. No matter what field of endeavour we choose. M.J"


Victor Guerra said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, especially MJ's quote about immortalizing oneself.
Good review friend.

Maddy said...

His Funk/Disco will be always in my iPod.
Ain't no sunshine when you are gone...

Arun Sundar said...

Did you know MJ had a chimpanzee called Bubbles? There was a series in Discovery about the chimp. More interesting than MJ's story actually!