Hidden qualities?

Whatever your views on George Michael might be, he has, to my mind, produced some excellent solo work over the years.

Listen Without Prejudice (Vol 1) (1990) for example, is absolutely cracking. His second post-Wham! album was a commercial flop at the time of release. I don't have Faith, his first solo album, but I gather this was fairly Wham!-like, and people were expecting more of the same thereafter. Listen is GM with his serious hat on, working very hard to demonstrate his songwriting and vocal skills. And doing so very nicely, thank you. All the tracks on the album are highly engaging, with power, depth, and variety.

His third solo album, Older (1998) is similarly serious, leaning more towards the jazz/R&B side of things. This is also very listenable to – sultry and relaxed.

Finally, I also have Songs From the Last Century (1999). This is an album of covers, including classics such as Brother Can You Spare Me A Dime, I Remember You and Miss Sarajevo. All the tracks are excellent, but top of the list is GM's breathy rendition of Roxanne – possibly better than the original (and I'm a big fan of The Police).

There's some real quality here – possibly overlooked because of other things. Unfairly so, if that's the case.

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2 thoughts on “Hidden qualities?

  1. I strongly recommend GM’s most recent album, Older, too. An absolute masterpiece of mature songwriting, brilliantly performed.

    1. Hi Colin, thank you for this. It’s interesting isn’t it – I have been looking for a different, newer, album, Older, than the one I mention in the post. The conclusion I have come to is that the one I have must have been re-released – it looks as if a couple of additional tracks have been added, but most of them are the same. I agree with you that it is an excellent album, as are the other two that I have. Listen without Prejudice is my favourite overall, but maybe that is because it is the one I know the best. It’s all fabulous work, and underrated in general, I think.

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