Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Reviewed: Michael Jackson - Thriller

Thriller is the epitome of a legendary album. So much has been said about this album it barely needs an introduction. Its been written about many many times over. Of course, it is the best selling album of all time worldwide, and when any album gets such a credit it leaves you open to considerable backlash. Its been hailed as Michael's masterpiece, containing such pop classics as Thriller, Beat It and Billie Jean. Personally, I love the album with a passion but it still has its very minor faults.

Michael was dismayed with the lack of awards he received for previous album Off The Wall. Once working on the follow up, he took the decision to create an album that would be impossible to avoid. You have to give him credit, and I think its fair to say he achieved that with flying colours, but if I'm honest I don't think even he could  fathom just how successful this album would be. He became even more of a perfectionist in the studio for the creation of this album, there was a finished album created but when he played it through once completed, he cried and decided to start the album from scratch, saying there was no way the album could be released. It has been reported that 300 songs were written for possible inclusion, although whether this includes snippet ideas for songs etc is unclear.

The album itself is different from Off The Wall, although there is one slight link between the two. Wanna Be Starting Something, which opens Thriller was written and recorded originally during the Off The Wall sessions. Personally, I think it fits in far better on Thriller. Thriller by and large is more pop/R+B, although some tracks have elements of rock and soul in them also.

The tracks here are all very strong (bar The Girl Is Mine which is rather cheesy and Thriller for me works far better when with the video) But you could say the album is a tad too diverse in a way. Even if you look at Billie Jean, Beat It and Thriller, which are the three most iconic songs from the album they all sound completely different. The album has by and large aged really well, bar Thriller and PYT, for me they haven't aged just as well as the others. Interestingly enough, having heard some of the unreleased tracks for the album I could see why Michael ordered it to be scrapped. The unreleased tracks whilst good, are even more dated sounding and if I'm honest, I don't think the album would have sold as well if they were still on it

Some of the best songs here though are some of the best Michael ever sang. For some strange reason Lady In My Life wasn't a particularly popular choice from the album, personally it could be my favourite MJ song. His voice on this album sounds impeccable, particularly on Lady In My Life and Human Nature especially.

All in all, this is a great album, but not perfect, then again I'd struggle to name a perfect album if I'm honest. Whilst a lot of the songs here are some of the best he ever did, I think the album could do with being a bit more cohesive.As it stands, its my second favourite MJ album purely because the best songs here are some of my absolute favourites ever. Never the less, this is such a legendary album everyone should hear it at least once!

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