Number Ones - Michael Jackson
1 CD(s) - Pop R&B - Label: Sony Music Distribution, Epic - Distributor: Sony Music/Arvato Services - Released: 13/04/2009, 03/08/2009 - 886970465922, ...
25 reviews from the community
Review of "Number Ones - Michael Jackson"
Have I really been away from Ciao for this long?!
Michael Jackson is truly a distinctive artist. Despite the media attempting to ridicule him it is indisputable that he remains, on the basis of his music alone, one of the most memorable artists of our time. He is one of few artists who can actually release an album of their number ones. Before releasing his current album, Jacko had sold over 80 million albums worldwide and ‘Number Ones’ will undoubtedly boost that figure significantly. Whether you have been following Michael since the start of his music career or have only heard a few of his songs, this album is unlikely to disappoint.In theory ‘Number Ones’ aimed to highlight the musical talents of Michael Jackson and I certainly think it pulls it off. The album was released on November 17th 2003 and interestingly it went straight to the top of the UK album chart while failing to enter the top 10 in the US. The timing of the album’s release may have been coincidental but nobody failed to notice the controversy surrounding Michael at the time; the tabloids were dominated with his ever-changing appearance, the baby-dangling incident, the Martin Bashir documentary and, of course, more recently a series of allegations. Not that Jacko’s album releases have ever been particularly subtle. Some may remember his 1995 album ‘HIStory’ launched by his record company sailing a giant statue of the man himself down the River Thames. However, despite the fact that numerous critics would disagree, I personally think that poor Wacko Jacko may just have had a run of misfortunes recently rather than trying to pull off one huge publicity stunt.
The title ‘Number Ones’ is actually slightly misleading. Jackson has had 7 number one singles in the UK and 13 in the US, so just add a little more confusion to the Jackson situation there is a different version of the album for the US. There are several differences between the two, for example the UK version has ‘Human Nature’ on it rather than ‘Man in the Mirror’ and we get ‘Blood on the Dancefloor’ instead of ‘Ben’, his first ever US hit single.The majority of the tracks on ‘Number Ones’ have appeared on one of his other albums with a couple of additions. As we know Jackson has captivated audiences with his music since the early 1980’s and the tracks on ‘Number Ones’ are in chronological order. I like the idea of this as you can see how his music has evolved over the years but then again I can’t help thinking the album would have benefited from a bit of re-organisation of the tracks. The album kicks off with ‘Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough’ not one of my personal favourites lyrics-wise but it has got great instrumentals; the piano features heavily which is what I like most about it. Next is ‘Rock With You’ which is slower, I’m not particularly keen on this one and sometimes I skip it because the next track is one of my favourites. ‘Billie Jean’ is probably one of his best-known songs and not without good reason. There have been so many remixes of this song but there’s no beating the original. Whenever I hear it I just can’t help wanting to jive along!
‘Beat It’ is the fourth track on the album, we’re still in the eighties and I think this sing is pretty typical of a lot of eighties music. It’s good a good rhythm and it’s pretty apparent that it’s about Jacko trying to be macho. Good but not great. ‘Thriller’ is another one that everyone has heard of; it’s probably more famous for the video than anything else. It is basically about a man who meets a young woman and turns into some sort of zombie, a bit scary really, to get the full flavour of this one it’s worth watching the video. The album is also available on DVD and I think this is one which would definitely be best watched as well as heard.‘Human Nature’ and ‘I Just Can't Stop Loving You’ are both slow love songs about meeting girls and falling for them and being in love. Good keyboard instrumentals in both of them. ‘Bad’ another dance track with a great beat there’s also a really good instrumental in this one about half way through the song. I always find myself singing along to this one (at least trying to!) ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ is another typical eighties song with electric keyboard and drums about feelings between a man and a woman. ‘Dirty Diana’ wasn’t one that I was particularly familiar with and to be honest I’m not particularly keen on it, it’s about a woman seducing MJ, it’s fast and not one you can really sing along to. I don’t like the start of the song, you can hear the crowd cheering and there’s a strange metallic sound. This is the only one so far that I dislike though so I can’t really complain.
‘Smooth Criminal’ is the one with a lot of ‘Ow’s’ in it! The vocals are very different sounding from anything before it on the album, I don’t even pretend to understand half of what he’s actually singing but the drums are fantastic and I still enjoy listening to it. ‘Black or White’ is undoubtedly one of my favourites. The album version doesn’t have the bit at the beginning with the ‘I wanna listen to it OK!’ and launches straight into the song. I think this one is fantastic in both the lyrics and the music. He’s basically saying that it doesn’t matter what colour you are, we are all equals and I couldn’t agree more. Despite loving the song whenever I hear it I can’t help remembering the take-off of the Martin Bashir documentary in which Rowan Atkinson plays Bashir and asks Jackson, played by Lenny Henry, whether he wants to be black or white at the start of a game of chess and he replies ‘That is not funny Martin, that is just ignorance’. It was hilarious, I just couldn't resist using it as my title!‘You Are Not Alone’ is one of my favourite slow ones on the album and you can really appreciate the quality of Jackson’s voice on this track with just a soft keyboard in the background. ‘Earth Song’ is very different from most of Michael’s work. His songs are usually about love or dancing but this one is about the destruction of war in the world, there is a lot of passion in this song and this really comes across powerfully. ‘Blood On The Dance Floor’ is one that I feel would have been better placed elsewhere on the album. I’m not keen on this one as you can’t really understand what he is saying on it and the music ain’t that great either.
‘You Rock My World’, ah that’s better. This is another great dance song but slower than the others MJ on top form again. ‘Break of Dawn’ is a ballad; while it is full of emotion I don’t think it’s as good as some of his others. ‘One More Chance’ was written for Michael by R Kelly, a good end to the album but not one of his best.I should probably point out that the album is available in four different covers featuring MJ doing different dance moves so you may not necessarily get the one shown. Price will vary from place to place, mine was £8.99 from cd-wow.com, but it’s probably a little more in high street stores. It may seem that I have being a bit critical of some of the tracks but overall it still stands as a fantastic album. In my eyes Jacko remains the indisputable King of Pop despite having gone off the rails a bit in his private life. Definitely an album that I will be playing for some time and one that I highly recommend. I think there is something on here for every age group and the fact that it went straight to the top of the album chart upon release proves that he is still as popular as ever.
I defy you not to sing along at some point! Happy listening ♫ ♪ ♫Thanks for reading! ☺
Product Information : Number Ones - Michael Jackson
Manufacturer's product description1 CD(s) - Pop R&B - Label: Sony Music Distribution, Epic - Distributor: Sony Music/Arvato Services - Released: 13/04/2009, 03/08/2009 - 886970465922, 5099751380023
EAN: 886970465922, 5099751380023
Listed on Ciao since: 18/07/2011