Newest Review: ... version! The music video seems tame in comparison to Jackson's later feats but is delightfully 1970s. The song also acts as the first U.S. ... more
Pure, unadulterated class. Disco-fury baby!!!!
Off The Wall - Michael Jackson
Member Name: phill@leeds
Off The Wall - Michael Jackson
Date: 20/06/02, updated on 20/06/02 (216 review reads)
Advantages: Oozing with class, Disco pumped beats, Will have you grooving in quicktime!
‘Off the Wall’ was the first effort from a most gifted singer/songwriter/dancer. Arguably MJ’s finest album (most critically acclaimed if not greatest selling), it rewinds us to the 80’s when he was God.
I bought the album after reading a review in Q magazine. I remembered ‘Bad’ but wanted to return to his disco classics. On first hearing I was a tad-disappointed but have since fallen in love. I now find it impossible to start the album without listening to its conclusion. Up-tempo in the main, the album catalogues Michael’s greatest talents – soulful lyrics, groovy beats + production and charming vocals.
The album begins with ‘Don’t stop till you get enough’, a 6 minute downright spectacular track that sweeps us onto the dancefloor. This is best played LOUD. I doubt you can hear Don’t stop.. without moving your hips and grooving like James Brown. Horns, beats and MJ and his backing group (whose balls are most definitely being squeezed!) combine to produce an unstoppable disco force.
‘Rock with you’ begins slowly, with soothing vocals and violins. Gradually Michael picks up the tempo and those grooves kick in. His voice swoons over the track like honey over crumpets but he shows tasteful restraint, not wishing to hurry his listeners.
‘Working day and night’ sounds more typically 80’s disco – it would be perfect for any up-n-coming blaxtoposition movies. Simple melodies are at work; up-tempo beats underlay the track but its MJ who whoops his way to eminence. Very good but not quite great.
‘Get on the floor’ starts with too much echo, like a DJ Otzi ‘song’, but is a great track that might have you shaking that booty again. Horns blare and a samba-like throbbing lead into an MJ warble and epic crescendo. Exciting and enthralling.
‘Off the Wall’ brings us back down to e
arth, laying down a funky soulful rhythm from the start. “’Cus we’re the party people night and day, living crazy that’s the only way” is the choice line. MJ uses different vocal styles to create a part-disco, part-soul groove. A great track to listen to in the dark, but I’m not sure at all why!
‘Girlfriend’ is the spoiler of the album – I do not choose to listen to it. Skip this childish, effortless offering.
‘She’s out of my life’ is a slow ballad, again very 80’s, but timeless in beauty and makes you want to cry. Simple accompanying music leaves Michael to flaunt his flawless falsetto. This is rewarding and deep.
‘I can’t help it’ is a classic track; melodic and jazzy whilst soulful and serene. The centerpiece of the album perhaps and vies with ‘Rock with you’ for best track. Great keyboards to note here too.
‘It’s the falling in love’ is a weaker track that sees Michael in duet. Though up-beat and optimistic, it misses the mark slightly being somewhat repetitive and banal.
‘Burn this disco out’ brings the album to a close. It begins James Brown like, with brash horns and percussion, but transforms into another classic disco-soul tune. Hand clapping and body swaying will ensue – toe tapping is obligatory! A worthy finale.
Michael Jackson – Off the Wall: the most complete album of its genre. Excellent sound quality and vocal clarity are displayed here, along with polished (but not absolute) production and powerful disco rhythms. An instant classic, a must in every way for everybody!