Saturday, September 20, 2014

Michael Jackson- Thriller (1983)

Why did I review the album?  Needed something that I knew I would like
Did I like it? Well…Yes
Will I listen again? It’s one of my favorites of all time.
 Thriller is a compact album at nine songs, but it packs as much punch as albums twice its length. Because it’s so short each song carries much more significance. It has something for everyone, There are danceable tracks (Wanna Be Startin Something, P.Y.T.,) creative tracks (Wanna Be Startin Somethin, Thriller) and some really solid pop (Baby Be Mine, P.T.Y.
My Favs
3. The Lady in My Life
2.  Thriller
1. Human Nature
Overall Rating: 5/5 Spins

Wanna Be Startin’ Sometin’- It’s interesting because angst-filled songs usually annoy me, but this is the exception.
I can’t help but smile whenever I hear this. It might sound weird, but the same reason I like this track is the same reason I love Senorita by Justin Timberlake. It takes a lot of chances that all work. First, I can tell that they had fun while creating this track and it carries over into the actual product..
Baby Be Mine- THIS is the type of music I love. It’s smooth, chill, and multipurpose. Every time I hear this I want to roll the windows down and let the rest of the world bask in the relaxing atmosphere this song creates. I’m thoroughly intoxicated by the sound of this track. Lyrically, it falls a bit flat because it’s the same classic love story we’ve all heard one million times, with no twist to separate it from the rest. However the beat is perfect, so I barely even listen to the lyrics. 4.5/5
The Girl is Mine- I have mixed feelings about this one, but ultimately the good outweighs the bad.
Let’s start with the bad. The beat was too relaxed. Some would call it slow and boring Also, it doesn’t match the content of the song. They are fighting (regardless of what they say) over a woman. But nowhere in the song do I hear any angst or suspense.
On a positive note, the chivalrous banter between the two is delightful. I’ve never witnessed this in a song before. Instead of physically fighting or insulting each other, the two decide to win her heart by playing mind games with the other competitor.  4.5/5
Thriller- This should be my favorite song on the album because it’s creative and takes the most chances. It’s not, but it takes second place with ease.
One of the reasons that I love this song is that the premise seems so stupid that if someone asked me if an artist could make a song about monster haunting it’s pray; I’d have the following responses:
1. Are you 5?
2.How can you get an adult audiences excited about monsters
3. A lot of other snarky remarks, but you get the point
Needless to say I was wrong, it’s probably the most recognizable song in the world.
The sound is perfect. The wolves are brought in a just the right moments and the beat carries a mix of excitement and suspense that keeps you at the edge of your seat as he tells the story through the lyrics. The lyrics reinforce the atmosphere created by the beat. So both lyrics and beat are working with each other on this track. Jackson delivery is also critical. He changes it to evoke the emotion he wants to draw out.  5/5
Beat It-If there was not a video for this song, I don’t think I’d like this song quite as much. The video really helped me visualize the threat that he was facing and gave the lyrics credibility for me. This site is supposed to critique the song only, but in this case I can’t think of Beat It without harkening back to the video.
This is probably due to the prominent role the electric guitar plays in this song, but this track had more of a rock vibe than anything else
Billie Jean-  I have to be honest, at its core Billie Jean is just another song about a woman’s attempts to  coerce a star into a relationship (either personally or financially). What intrigues me about this song is the backstory behind it. There are two theories about this song. Jackson claimed that Billie Jean is a representation of all the groupies he’s experienced. Others believe it is a song about a particular groupie. As I listened to the lyrics I tried to figure out which side I believe more. I still haven’t decided.
Also there is a lot to talk about musically here. It has pieces of R&B, disco, and funk. That’s a lot to handle in one song, but it manages it very well. I believe it works because it’s not all three at the same time. Each takes its turn then fades and reappears when necessary. If all three had come together at once throughout the whole song, it would have been a bit too hectic for me. 5/5
Human Nature- I’m going to show my age by revealing that I heard this song for the first time at his memorial. John Mayer performed an instrumental version of this song that I loved so much I immediately researched the song afterward.
This is my favorite MJ song. It’s a bit of a random choice, but a worthy one nonetheless.
There is a dreamy nature to this song that I really like.  
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)- I like this one. I’m not sure what classified as a radio hit in the 80’s, but of all the songs on this album I’d choose this one. Everything about it is light and easygoing.  It’s fast paced and enjoyable; a track that everyone can rally around. 4.5/5
The Lady in My Life- I’m not sure if this has been argued before, but I can easily see someone complaining that this song is out of place. There are other R&B type songs on the album (Baby Be Mine & The Girl is mine) but those follow early 80’s style with smooth sound brought together by a love story. This however, follows the late 80’s and 90’s model that I am familiar with. It is a typical “slow jam”

For me, it never felt out of place. Because the song was different from all the other tracks it made this one stand out and allowed me to appreciate it more. 5/5


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