Thursday, July 2, 2009

The boy who sang

So anyway, Michael Jackson eh? What was he all about?

I was a big fan of the Jackson Five as a little girl. For me they offered a really exciting alternative to the rather anodyne Osmonds. I knew instinctively that Donny Osmond was naff and Michael Jackson has something amazing.

What a voice he had as a boy. He could be as raunchy and soulful as a junior James Brown and then deliver a ballad with a tender assurance that seemed as though it couldn't just be the result of training and, as we know in retrospect, bullying from his father. The voice was deeply affecting, tremulous when needed, strong and emotionally wracked, passionate and even, dare I say it, sensual. So many qualities you just don't expect from a boy's voice.

To me he lost a lot of this when he became a man. He forsook his beautiful voice for affectation and ridiculous vocal posturing when all the time he had this most wonderful gift. Every now and now and then you would hear that voice but as time went on it was subsumed by the weirdness, the posing, the lack of artistic direction that felt really genuine.

I didn't feel that sad when I heard of Michael Jackson's death to be honest - he died years ago for me.

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