Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Singles #3: Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal (1988)

This is the seventh single released off Michael Jackson's hugely successful Bad album. By this time, the first five singles have hit number one and the sixth single, Another Part Of Me, peaked at number 11. However, Smooth Criminal managed to chart in the Top Ten once again, peaking at number 7 in the Billboard Hot 100.

The song is written and composed by MJ himself once again, and it is one of his best and most distinctive songs. The unique beat and the bassline is simply unforgettable and catchy as hell. His vocal delivery is also special and he uses his "rough and tough" voice here, as compared to his smooth and controlled delivery on the ballads.

However, it is without a doubt, the music video that sold the song. I believe it is even better than his much-acclaimed Thriller video in terms of artistry and choreography, but the Smooth Criminal video is never as greatly recognised. If you look closely, you can see that every single character in the video has some moves to make, even though they may be in the background.

The dancing is top notch of course, and there are several memorable scenes: the billiard ball jumping off the edge and landing in MJ's grasp before he smashes it to powder; his neverending spin on the table top; the famous 45-degree tilt among others.

This is one of my fave MJ songs and rightly so. He has a knack of writing songs with unique basslines and rhythms, making him an all-rounded musician, not just a singer. I also liked Alient Ant Farm's cover of the song as well. Does the song justice. I have that single too...might just feature it here someday.


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