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George Michael – Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1 (1990)

May 24, 2012

[Album 54/1001]

“Maybe he meant the other George Michael, the singer/songwriter”
– Michael Cera, Arrested Development

Considering he started the decade as part of the impossibly poppy Wham! (exclamation mark part of the duo’s name), his reinvention as a serious solo artist was certainly ambitious.

Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1 shows he could write pop with a bit of substance, catchiness with a bit more credibility.  His gentle tenor soars on several of the choruses and the music is never dull.

Alas for George Michael (the singer/songwriter), serious doesn’t always sell.  Me enjoying the record in 2012 didn’t help him shift more albums in 1990 and compared to his previous solo and Wham! records, this was a commercial disappointment.

As an interesting juxtaposition, it’s worth listening to this one alongside Wham!’s Make It Big.  Whereas most artists start serious and drift to the mainstream, his attempted transformation going the other way is impressive.  Musically, if not quite according to his plans commercially, I’d call it a success.

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From → 1990s

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