There are some voices that are indefinable anomalies of perfection that resonate to anybody with a beating pulse. George Michael was one of those special few. If vocals, style, charisma, talent and good looks were judged like Olympic gymnastics concerning lead singer all time, Michael is Nadia Comaneci, Bo Derek and Billy Bob’s teacher Ms. Davis rolled into one. He’s a fucking 10. That combined with flawlessly catchy lyrics, created memorable, unique choruses, melodies and phrasing that defined pop-music as what it should be during decades that were riddled with pretenders…and other shitty bands of the era. I defy you not to shake your ass when any of the records listed below are on when you’re at Target. Happened to me last week.
I’m as straight as the day is long but I know a good-looking man when I see one. George Michael makes Bradley Cooper look hit in comparison. Straight up. The shades, perfect facial hair, impeccable style all still iconic to present day, radiating throughout the MTV evolution of bad perms and Member’s Only jackets, he was a diamond shining bright among the rough of pop-music throughout the late 80’s/ early 90’s. What separated him from the prototypical pop star of any generation was his ability to be brutally honest in his songwriting, every lyric simplistic in nature but totally original in the way they were arranged and sung.
“So why don’t we make a little room in my BMW, babe… Searchin’ for some peace of mind.”
This is an excruciatingly pretentious line on paper, yet he somehow flips it into musical poetry. That’s the true genius of George Michael. It also helps when your vocal cords resemble something like Freddie Mercury crossed with Jesus. Or Aretha Franklin…. same thing. You can see it in every single one of his live performances, authentic emotions expressed without fear of anything, or anybody is reflective in his subtle and not so subtle nuances which gave him a stage presence rivaled by none. Nothing exemplifies this more than the video accompanying his first single released as a solo artist, Faith. His second opus Too Funky embodied it’s title in every good way, shape and form. George Michael used his music videos as his own personal canvas to the world, landscaping his works visually and musically on screens all over the globe.
The records he created were more than just a couple catchy tunes, they were well crafted tales of optimism and truth seen through the eyes of an artist who understood that being yourself and a label of “different” is a good thing when it’s built on real foundations. The rest is all a cliché’, an act, other talented people writing songs because the artist never experienced anything personally, and they probably can’t sing for shit themselves. Thus, leading to a glaring lack of depth/disconnect in the performance as we watch them fumble, fake and try to imagine what that person may have felt like when they wrote it. It’s sometimes painfully obvious, especially live. And the primary reason I’ll never see any band that needs a studio to sound halfway decent…Hoobastank…I’m looking in your direction…
Perhaps the greatest homage to his legacy as an artist was epitomized by the gang of Always Sunny In Philadelphia with a rendition of his illustrious classic Freedom!90’ at their high school reunion. This beautiful example of how people perceive themselves while absolutely lost in George Michael’s music is accurate. Horribly, horribly accurate. No matter what the actual reality of the situation may be, if he’s in your headphone’s chances are you won’t fucking care if anyone’s watching. He is still, and always will be the standard for being cool as far as I’m concerned.
Records That Make You Shake Your Ass at Target
-Killer/Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone
-Everything She Wants