Saturday, January 17, 2009

You're no damn lover friend of mine

239. Michael Jackson - "Dangerous" (from the Dangerous LP, Epic Records, 1991)

When my friends and I talk about MJ, it's usually Off the Wall/Thriller MJ, so I just want to make sure right quick that we don't forget how great of a record Dangerous is. I'm in sort of an odd position with this album, as I was almost six when it came out and old enough to ask my parents to buy it for me (going over to my aunt's house and listening to her MJ records was one of my favorite things in the world as a youngin, before I moved to Chicago from Poland at age 5), but not old enough to really appreciate all that was going on with Michael Jackson at the time. This was a little less than two years before the charges, but well into the pet chimp, banned music video, plastic surgery stuff, and Mike seems suitably paranoid on many of the tracks, not least of all because of Teddy Riley's hard, new-jack swinging grooves.

The title track here is a long, largely spoken update of "Billie Jean"; Michael's relationship is destroyed by an evil woman and "lust's strange inhumanity", and he seems a lot more pissed off here than on "Billie Jean". Most impressive to me still, though, is the way that Michael whips in and out of choruses and verses both suddenly and effectively enough to break your neck (ex. "my baby walked out the door" at 3 minutes). The man had a gift.

No comments: