Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

Baby Be Mine

The Girl Is Mine (With Paul McCartney)

listen to "The Girl Is Mine"

Songs of the Day

Wanna Be Startin' Somethin':  Of course this album also starts out with a classic - no surprise there.  This is a classic dance groove, and who isn't down with "ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa?"  But I must say, I have always been thrown off by the lyrics "you're a vegetable, they hate you, you're a vegetable" and the "yee-haw" in the middle...a little strange.  You can tell the same team as Off the Wall put this together, and I love that about it.  Obviously get down with this one.

Baby Be Mine:  I'm less familiar with this track than others, but I know I've heard it on a couple occasions. I love how laid back this track is, while still maintaining that dance groove feel.  The background vocals provide for great harmony in the chorus - they definitely hold it down.  Killer keys.  Horns are on point as always.  I dig the 80s synth feel this one is also starting to get into, while still keeping funk from the 70s.  Great vocals from Michael, but that goes without saying.  Key change towards the end is funky as fuck.  Oh buddy.  Super funky track.

The Girl Is Min (With Paul McCartney):  What a funny lil collaboration this is.  Paul is my favorite Beatle, so I love this track for that reason alone.  Of course this collaboration didn't end well after Michael bought out the Beatles publishing rights (ouch) and subsequently wouldn't give McCartney a raise.  Such a shame.  Anyway, this is a solid "fighting over the same girl" track.  I think some of it is that tiniest, tiniest bit corny (something about the guitar), but nothing to keep me from listening to it.  I also think that the combination of Paul and Michael's voices is a little strange, but I love them each individually, so that also does not factor too much into how I feel towards this song.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Album Factoids

Thriller (aka the best selling album of all time)

Released: November 30th, 1982
Genre: R&B, Disco, Funk
Label: Epic
Producers: Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson

This Weeks Album... (pt 2)

stayin with the King of Pop

Final Grade: A

No getting around this grade, because this album is perfect.  Start to finish, not a single thing I don't like.  First of all, Michael was an absolute genius.  His melodies, phrasing, and just overall singing was great, and he showed it through dance numbers and ballads - he could do it all.  Secondly, Quincy Jones is the fucking man.  The production on this album is superb.  Those horn lines???? OOOOOh lordy!  Out of this world!  Almost can't take it.  I love that the album started and ended with dance numbers, with a couple slower jams in the middle to even things out.  SO happy I finally took the time to really listen to this album, because it's incredible.  One of my favorite reviews.

She's Out of My Life

I Can't Help It

It's the Falling In Love

Burn This Disco Out

Songs of the Day

She's Out of My Life:  Oh, wait a classic ballad.  There are two things I love about this song.  One, how simple the groove is.  This song is all about Michael's voice and the message he is singing - the instrumental comes second.  Two, you can hear the pain in Michael's voice, making what he is singing all the more powerful.  Especially at the end, it really sounds like he's crying (voice crack and all) - he really portrays the pain of losing someone you love.  Beautiful stuff.

I Can't Help It:  I heard this song for the first time last year, and I was so shocked that I was unfamiliar with it being as funkily sweet as it is.  I love that it has a little bit of a latin flare to it - makes you wanna samba or something.  The production on this one is so good - the groove really holds its own with it's unique feel.  It's kinda got a Stevie feel to it - I can dig that.  The melody is very sweet, especially in the chorus, and it works great with everything around it.  Great build to the end.  Really solid track.

It's the Falling In Love:  I'm pretty unfamiliar with this song, but I really like it.  It's got a laid-back feel to it, while still having a back beat, and then building into a funky chorus.  I'm happy we're back to another dance kind of feel, since he is just so good at that.  I like that the dance groove builds throughout the tune, it makes for great anticipation.  So simple lyrically, and I think it makes the song very relatable and easy to listen to.  Oh hey, key change - gotta love a good one of those.  Sweet horns at the end.  Funny that this groove makes me happy, since it's not the happiest of topics.  Short and sweet - great stuff.

Burn This Disco Out:  Very smart to come full circle with the dance grooves on this album - it really rounds out the album.  Seriously dig the weight of the bass on this one - super funky.  It's only 12:15, and I feel the need to be at a disco.  Love the background vocals in the chorus, they get you really into the groove of everything.  B section is hella funky.  Man, the horn lines all around this album are ridiculous!!  Too hot to handle!  Anybody wanna come dance with me?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Get On the Floor

Off the Wall


Songs of the Day

Get On the Floor:  Okay, the bass on this track is too funky.  Seriously though...definition funky.  I'm pretty unfamiliar with this one, but I'm definitely going to be having it on heavy rotation at any and all dance parties.  I like that the bass is the main focus of the track, with great horn and string lines.  Michael, of course sounds great.  Get down with the get down.  Love the conga breakdown back into the groove.  Anybody wanna come over and have a dance party with me?

Off the Wall:  No surprise that the title track of this album is a banger.  Love the smooth opening, especially the eerie, yet sexy (who knew that combo existed) vocals.  Another super funky bass line.  This one's definitely on the disco side, but in the best way possible.  All of the horn lines on this album are so on point, I can't stand it.  Quincy and MJ really mastered the dance groove.  Great, smooth B section - definitely dig it.  "Life ain't so bad at all" - ain't that the truth, Michael.

Girlfriend:  Nice to hear some variety on this album with a slower number.  Love the happy, up beat feel to it.  It's on the verge of corny, but doesn't hit it, which is great.  Still manages to have a funky bass line - I can get down with that.  Love the bits of harmony, such a sweet touch.  You can definitely hear the transition of styles from 70s to 80s in this song, which is interesting to hear, but I like the combination.  Sweet dance break - I was gettin tired!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

Rock With You

Workin' Day and Night

Songs of the Day

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough:  Alright, now if you don't know this song, you must be living under a rock, as this is one of MJ's most popular singles.  Was just dancing to this the other night in the club - it's a classic.  I love this song, and the video is even better, all glittery and shit (70s to the fuckin max).  One thing I find pretty funny about this song is the fact that you can barely understand what he's saying unless you're really paying attention, but I think that's part of it's appeal.  This groove is so disco funky, you can't help but get down.  I think the strings are the best part of the groove, but I don't know if you can actually pinpoint a "best" part of this groove.  Now I just wanna dance.

Rock With You:  This actually might be my favorite MJ song.  I'm fairly certain it is.  I can recognize this song anywhere just off the opening drum fill, and I know the whole song like the back of my hand.  The groove on this one is absolutely insane - you can't help but move.  The harmonies on this one are so sweet and add such a great fullness to the vocals.  Love the horns.  Love the faint snaps.  Gotta love a good key change.  My god, MJ was talented.  This song is absolutely flawless.  If you don't like this song, you don't have a soul...or you just have really terrible taste in music, and therefore should not be reading this blog.

Workin' Day and Night:  This is a MJ song I'm not super familiar with.  Definitely heard it, but I don't know it front to back like I do with the first two tracks.  Love the dance groove on this - he did that so well.  Man, the horns on this are ridiculous!!!  Some crazy hits, especially towards the end - I love that they parallel the vocal melody.  I love how minimal the guitar line is on this - it's all about the keys and the horns.  The slight effect on his voice works really well with the groove.  Quincy Jones is a straight master.  Man, I need to go boogie now - this music's got me all riled up n shit.

Album Factoids

Off the Wall

Released: August 10, 1979
Genre: R&B, Disco, Funk
Label: Epic
Producers: Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson

Black Michael!

Week 66 & 67: Michael Jackson

So, being behind, I will be doing 2 albums this week and next week to make up for my losses.  I figure, why not stick with one artist?  Decided that artist should be the late, great, Michael Jackson.  I've never actively sat down and listened to either Off the Wall or Thriller in full, so that's what I'm gonna do.  I know a majority of the songs, as there are a ton of hits off both, but I'm excited to listen to them more closely.  Gonna get my classic on.

This Weeks Album... (pt 1)