Tag Archives: 2010

Album Review: Michael Jackson’s “Michael”

Michael reached number 3 on the Billboard album chart

The first release of Michael Jackson’s since his death a year and a half ago, and the first album with all new material in nine years, Michael is an amalgamation of tracks. Many sound similar to different albums of his career with small touches to make them sound more modern by various people though it’s hard to tell what was changed by ear alone.

The most modern sounding of these tracks is “Hold My Hand” and “Monster”, thanks to appearances by Akon and 50 Cent respectfully.  Unfortunately, the weakest song is his duet with Akon which was to be originally released on Akon’s 2008 album, until the unfinished track was leaked. The first track to chart on the Hot 100, it reached the Top 40.  “Monster” on the other hand is much better, with anger and persecution in the vocals you would find in the last three of his studio albums.  Indeed,many of the songs sound as if they came from these albums. “Best of Joy” sounds like a song from Invincible, “Hollywood Tonight”,with its opening reminding one of “Who Is It” and a catch phrase and spoken vocal reminiscent of “In the Closet”,from Dangerous.  Originally recorded for Invincible, “(I Can’t Make It) Another Day” sounds as though it came from Blood on the Dance Floor or HIStory. It was produced and written by Lenny Kravitz with guitar and background vocal by Kravitz.

The three best songs on this album are “Breaking News”, “Behind the Mask”, and “Much Too Soon.”  The latter two were both written or cowritten by Michael during the Thriller era and it’s not hard to tell.  “Behind the Mask” is the best track on the album, with the sounds of a concert crowd  opening the song.  It includes a sample of the Yellow Magic Orchestra song of the same name.  Yellow Magic Orchestra was a pioneering electropop group from Japan, who released their original version in 1979. The only criticism is that the saxophone on the track may be a little cheesy for some.  The album closes with the song “Much Too Soon”, the title  seeming to comment on Michael’s untimely death.  However,the lyrics itself have nothing to do with the death and instead talk about love lost.  The finale harkens back to Michael’s solo songs before Off the Wall, but this time with a twenty-something voice.

Overall, the album has received reviews that were neither strongly negative or positive.  Personally, I would recommend it especially for fans of MJ.

 

Tony

80’s Music Videos: Theme From 2010

I have decided to start an occasional series that spotlights an 80’s video. The videos spotlighted will be rare, unusual,creative or ones that are well-known.   So to start off not only the series but the year is, appropriately enough, the video “Theme From 2010” by The Police member Andy Summers.  The song is an updated version of “Also Sprach Zarathustra”.  The movie which the theme was taken from is the sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001”.  The music video incorporates scenes from “2010” and of Andy Summers in a great way. Enjoy!

Tony

Predictions For the Next 10 Years

I watch and read a lot of news, thinking about issues and where the world is headed and what not.  A new decade is fast approaching.  Hard to believe, but the 2010’s are less then 9 months away.  Anyway these are my thoughts for the next 10 years.

Abortion: Now I’m not necessarily for abortion, but I can’t see abortion becoming illegal in the United States.  Their  may be tougher restrictions in the future, but overall abortion will still be an available choice.

China: China is fast becoming a world power and major player on the world stage.  It will surpass the United States as the economic power. And the United States will no longer be the sole superpower politically. Instead it will be a “multi-polar” world where the U.S. Europe, Russia, China and to a lesser extent, other parts of the world will have an equal footing and say on the world stage. For culture such as movies, TV, popular  culture, and music America will still be the dominating force though not as much and other countries being a greater force worldwide.

Health care: The United States will have some form of universal health care in place by 2019. I just think it’s inevitable with Obama in office and the Democrats in power.

Past Torture Issues: Irrespective of whether the Bush Administration really crossed the line or not in respect to the handling of suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay or those sent to “secret prisons”; Bush, Cheney and others  working for them will not be put on trial.  Obama has already said it will not happen.  Doing so will make Republicans even more against his policies and agenda in my opinion.

Gay Marriage: Gay marriage will become legal across the nation, probably on a deeply divided vote by the Supreme Court.

War on Terrorism: Surprisingly, I believe the war in Afghanistan will have not only ended by 2019, but in less then 5 years.  2  possible scenarios :The Taliban and the U.S. will come to some kind of truce or the Taliban will simply give up much like Al-Qaeda did in Iraq due to our drones bombing them and their leaders. Once the Taliban are gone Al-Qaeda will soon be destroyed – and Osama Bin Laden.

Just want to say that these are just my thoughts and even a few of my predictions I hope will not come true. Feel free to give your own opinions and thoughts.

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