I haven’t written my “My Life in Music” the College Years yet but if I had “Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1” would probably be the “surprise” CD. When people ask, “what is the the CD (remember those?) you have, that you love, that would surprise your NEXT listeners?”. It’s this Mr. Michael album.

I believe that I was at a record store that had a listening station (remember those?). I listen to everything but my guess is it was more of a joke that I hit the button for Listen Without Prejudice then me “listening to everything” (if that makes sense). But I did it.

Hit play: A Big Band intro then it slowed down…whoa…wait a minute. Strings? Acoustic guitar? The opening lines…are just ok but I keep listening. I knew it. Waste of time but that intro surprised me. I felt a need to continue listening.

Then at the one minute mark it pays off. The lyric “The rich declare themselves poor…and most of us are not sure…if we have too much but we’ll take our chances…’cause god stop keeping score” smacks me right in the face.

Whoa…what? Wait? Holy balls that’s a great lyric. I need to pay attention. This is right up my alley as a recovering Catholic (going to a Jesuit college).

“Am I going to buy this album?” I thought after listening to “Praying for Time”? I mean, I was in love with NIN, Pearl Jam, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Can I be found with George hanging out in my CD collection? I am the type of guy that does, in fact, judge you by your music collection.

Song two…at the time there was little hope of me enjoying this song but now…I’ve got to say. It’s quite brilliant. Also the gay man knew what he was doing. 5 super models to lip sync…yeah that’s never a bad move.

The keys are the key.

The dance song is done and George goes right back to blowing me away. It’s a jazz album. The lyrics. Damn?!? My college brain was being blown away. I was going to buy this album.

And George had the balls to follow the “dance song” with this as the 3rd song? Are you fucking kidding me? The label surely was not happy…but surprisingly I am quite happy.

Again the keys are the key.

What a voice. So strong. So sad. So much pain. I would end up listening to this album quite often. I’d skip Freedom (and Soul Free) and wallow in the sadness and “lost”ness of this album.

OK. Please forgive me but I need to break away from this album to show you his amazing voice.

Chills at 3:00. I love live music. He did Freddie proud. Amazingly strong voice. Wow.

Back to the album now.

I keep listening. Now it’s GM unplugged. What is this album? I am going to buy it. Not that this song is not the strongest on the album but it’s good enough.

Then…the keys again. That’s it. I AM BUYING this album. It’s so jazzy. Holy balls. I’m going to bring George Michael home with me…

Side two

Great break up…get on with your life (well try to at least)…song.
Then this lyric: But something I just can’t explain…Something in me needs this pain.
Yep. We all taunt ourselves so well.

Painful. I wonder…why we fight? Monkey brain runs so deep.

I love that this song follows. It’s mellow happy. Does that make sense?

A bit of the dance-y back. I would usually FF this one.

Perfect ending.

Thanks George. May you find peace. Thanks for the music.

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