Thursday, July 9, 2009

Off the Wall

Off the Wall
by Michael Jackson [Compact Disc 781.66 Jac]

I wasn't a "fan" of the Jackson 5 when I was a child and teen but I knew who they were. And I had enjoyed Michael's solo hit "Ben." It wasn't until I heard the songs from Off the Wall (which came out when I was 20), a tightly-produced blend of pop, disco, and r&b, that I embraced his artistry and image -- a handsome young man who could dance both vocally and physically. And I'm not a big fan of falsetto singing, either, which comprises a lot of what MJ did. The best songs, interestingly, are those that either Michael or Rod Temperton wrote or co-wrote. The tunes by such heavy hitters as Carole Bayer Sager, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney seem forgettable in comparison. The album's best tracks, for me, are: the title cut; Rock with You; Don't Stop til You Get Enough; the high-energy Working Day and Night; Get on the Floor; and the angst-laden but simply-arranged She's Out of My Life. Props not only go to Jackson, Temperton, and album producer Quincy Jones, but also studio greats Greg Phillinganes, Paulinho Da Costa, Steve Porcaro, David Foster, and Louis Johnson. Other musicians who would be more famous later on include Larry Carlton and George Duke. -- recommended by Becky W.C. - Walt Branch Library

[ official Michael Jackson web site/memorial site ]

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