I Wrote the Song, I Know It’s Wrong

July 8, 2010

George Michael




            A purposeful meeting of the sacred and profane, George Michael’s first solo album was unlike most pretty boy pop albums in that he wrote, produced, and performed most instruments on the album.  He pushed plenty of buttons and shocked for the sake of shocking but still managed to put out an album of strong tunes.  Even the first single, “I Want Your Sex,” despite having lost its taboo (remember when the radio wouldn’t even play the song before 9pm?) it’s still fun and naughty.  It was very rare from this point on for Michael to get this playful. 

            While Faith evokes the musical spirits of Elvis, Tom Jones, and Stevie Wonder, George Michael definitely has his own voice and style.  He knows he’s not bad-ass enough to fully pull off the King, too hip for Jones, and too white to be Stevie but he’s a great mixture of all. 

            The album is not all fun and ass-shaking though, there are some great ballads on the album like “One More Try,” and “Kissing a Fool.”  Of course, there’s also the obligatory social commentary on the 80’s—“Hand to Mouth,” and “Monkey,” These tunes most likely led Michael to the next phase of his career.  Faith was the end of the truly fun side of George Michael and the end of the successful white male pop star until Justin Timberlake 15 years later. 

            As for whether it belongs on EW’s top 100 albums of the last 25 years, I’d say it’s an important album as it’s one of the last pop albums of its kind.  I would say that his second album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 is a better album and it stands the test of time more so than Faith. 



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