Michael Jackson- Bad

Michael Jackson- BadThe downside to a success like Thriller is that it’s nearly impossible to follow, but Michael Jackson approached Bad much the same way he approached Thriller — take the basic formula of the predecessor, expand it slightly, and move it outward. This meant that he moved deeper into hard rock, deeper into schmaltzy adult contemporary, deeper into hard dance — essentially taking each portion of Thriller to an extreme, while increasing the quotient of immaculate studiocraft. He wound up with a sleeker, slicker Thriller, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not a rousing success, either. For one thing, the material just isn’t as good. Look at the singles: only three can stand alongside album tracks from its predecessor (“Bad,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”), another is simply OK (“Smooth Criminal”), with the other two showcasing Jackson at his worst (the saccharine “Man in the Mirror,” the misogynistic “Dirty Diana“). Then, there are the album tracks themselves, something that virtually didn’t exist on Thriller but bog down Bad not just because they’re bad, but because they reveal that Jackson’s state of the art is not hip. And they constitute a near-fatal dead spot on the record — songs three through six, from “Speed Demon” to “Another Part of Me,” a sequence that’s utterly faceless, lacking memorable hooks and melodies, even when Stevie Wonder steps in for “Just Good Friends,” relying on nothing but studiocraft. Part of the joy of Off the Wall and Thriller was that craft was enhanced with tremendous songs, performances, and fresh, vivacious beats. For this dreadful stretch, everything is mechanical, and while the album rebounds with songs that prove mechanical can be tolerable if delivered with hooks and panache, it still makes Bad feel like an artifact of its time instead a piece of music that transcends it. And if that wasn’t evident proof that Jackson was losing touch, consider this — the best song on the album is “Leave Me Alone” (why are all of his best songs paranoid anthems?), a tune tacked on to the end of the CD and never released as a single, apart from a weirdly claustrophobic video that, not coincidentally, was the best video from the album.
Bad Bonus Tracks

  • Streetwalker
  • Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu (I Just Can’t Stop Loving You)
  • Fly Away

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  2. Comment by Marilyn K:

    loved the Bad album…i remember having it on tape and learning all the words in my bedroom. great music :0)

  3. Comment by .......:

    Wow, you really have no clue. Paranoid? In the end the paranoia was a reality. Something us mere mortals will never experience, as such, can not fathom its impact on the psyche and therefore are in no position to judge.

    To call the majority of this album ‘Bad’ shows how hard you are trying to appear all knowing in the ways of producing music professionally. When in fact, all you have done is spew opinionated rubbish.

  4. Comment by music4humans:

    Complain to the guy who wrote the review if you don’t agree:


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