Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Music Retrospective - Michael Jackson: Off the Wall

Well, it's been a long time since I've done this. Here I go again... I hope my sister doesn't get me for this.

Now, it's time finally look at another artist for this retrospective: Michael Jackson. This segment actually exists partly because of Jackson and the Police. I'm a fan of them both and I thought it would be cool to look at the albums they made. My journey with his music began with Thriller. There are a lot of records at our house that used to belong to my uncle. I think it I was in 4th grade when I first heard that album... yes, I'm a late bloomer. It wasn't until much later when I started to look for and get the albums on CD. I acquired today's album on a high school band trip to New Orleans. I got that along with an Earth, Wind, and Fire album.

While I'm a fan of Michael, my sister is an even bigger fan than me. When Jackson died, my sister bought a lot of memorabilia. As for me, I'm set with the one poster I have of him. By the way, I'm only looking at the albums he did in his adult years. While I know he did stuff at Motown in his youth, I want to look at the work he did in his prime and later years.

Michael Jackson's Off The Wall was released in 1979. Jackson even wrote two songs for the album. It was pretty much a hit from the start. The album got all-around positive reviews. Five singles were released from the album. The album also helped Jackson score another Grammy in 1980. Does the album deserve the praise it got? I could answer that now, but I'll wait for later.

Off The Wall

  1. Don't Stop Till You Get Enough - This was the song that got the Grammy in 1980. It's also the song that lets you know how this album is going to work. It's gonna make you dance, dance, and dance! This is one of the two songs Jackson wrote for the album. Overall, it's a good song. It's about... what is this song about? I guess it's about not stopping till you get enough. Oh, and the Force gets mentioned. Who knew Jackson was a Jedi? I will admit to not knowing what he's saying at times during the song because of that high voice of his. I guess that happens when you have James Brown for an influence. Still, it's an awesome song to dance to.
  2. Rock With You - You know you're getting something special right at the beginning of this song. This is one of my favorite songs from any artist. It's about grooving with the one you love, pure and simple. The lyrics are sweet, the music is freaking awesome, and it makes you want to get up and dance... I hope you're catching a theme here. It was even my ringtone for a while.  
  3. Workin' Day and Night - We get knocked upside the head with another fast dance piece. This is the second song Jackson wrote for the album. It's about a guy who's working day and night for his woman. Unfortunately, he's not able to get any lovin' from his woman. The lyrics are pretty cool and the music is kicks some mighty butt. It's full of pure funk towards the end.
  4. Get On The Floor - Guess what? It's another fast dance piece. Now, that's not really snarky on my part. I really like this song. It might be my second favorite song on the album. It's a dance song, pure and simple. I love the music to this especially the awesome breakdown towards the end. I especially love the bass rhythm in the song.
  5. Off the Wall - We got another dance song for ya. It's about... living off the wall (of course) and about having fun. I like this one as well but not as much as the earlier songs. It's just okay. I like the lyrics and the music to it. For some reason, this song kind of reminds of "Thriller" (the song, not the album). Overall, it's good but not as great as the others.
  6. Girlfriend - We finally get to a slower song and it's actually my least favorite song on the album. I rarely listen to it. It's about a guy carrying on a relationship with a girl who's already seeing someone. He wants to tell the guy that he is with her. Yeah... other than the moral questions it brings up, it's just full of  "meh." It's not really that funky either but there is a nice, quick sax solo in it. Overall, I guess it's "meh."
  7. She's Out of My Life - Here is one of the saddest songs I've ever heard. It's about a guy who's broken up with his woman. It's slow and it's full of sorrow. It's a good song, but I don't listen to it much because it's so dang depressing. I give you a warning: you will shed a tear at the end. I know I did at one time when hearing this song.
  8. I Can't Help It - Next up is a more upbeat song. The song's about a guy who can't help being in love with someone. I like the song. It's not one of my favorites, but it is a good one. It's got a nice tempo, nice lyrics, and nice music. Overall, it's a nice one.
  9. It's The Falling In Love - Here's another upbeat song that I sometimes skip over. Unlike "Girlfriend," this song is not as dull. It's about the benefits and the misfortunes of being in love. It's sappy, but most loves are full of sap. It's also a duet. The female is Patti Austin who is someone I've never heard of before. She's pretty good. Overall, it's an okay song with some nice music.
  10. Burn This Disco Out- The album ends as it began: with another dance piece. Luckily, it's a good dance piece. If you think it's about the death of disco, you'd be wrong. Still, whoever wrote this song probably knew what was going to happen to disco at the end of the 70's.  The song is just about dancing. It's an okay song to end the album on.
Favorite Song - It has to be "Rock With You." It's definitely one of the best songs on the album.

Least Favorite Song - "Girlfriend" wins this category easily. It's really the dullest song on the album.

Overall, this album is pretty good. It's not  my favorite album of Jackson's, but it is still good. It's not everyday where you have a funky band supplying Michael Jackson with some funky music. It's really a product of its time since this was still the era of disco. It's an album full of dance songs and love songs and that can get a little tiresome. While some of the songs are able to transcend that era a little bit, others don't get to do that.

The first half of the album is full of straight-up dances pieces while the last half is a little mixed. Unfortunately, some of those songs in the last half aren't that great. Other than that, there really isn't much to say about it. Overall, it's a pretty average album. If you haven't checked it out, you should. Before I go, here is an unreleased song that would have been on Off the Wall. It's called "Sunset Driver" and it's really a song that should have been on here. It could have easily replaced "Girlfriend" or "It's The Falling In Love." Peace and God Bless.


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