Michael Jackson
Thriller


4.5
superb

Review

by Brendan Schroer USER (186 Reviews)
November 8th, 2012 | 95 replies


Release Date: 1982 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Almost flawless, Thriller is a testament to how well pop music can really be done.

For the sake of refraining from making any more jokes on the singer, let's forget about Michael Jackson's controversy during 2000's before his death and go back in time (mentally, of course) to the early 1980's. Disco had died down, and while other genres such as NWOBHM and glam rock were starting their reign, a whole new beast was approaching... one that couldn't be contained by normal means, and still can't be contained even today. Such a beast had the power to cross racial boundaries and tear down multiple barriers in popular music history. All of this can be bundled into one word: Thriller.

Even though Jackson was involved in the music industry since he was 6 years old and singing in the Jackson 5, nothing could have prepared the world for the success of 1982's Thriller. Selling 110 million copies, having 7 hit singles, and destroying all expectations set by his previous album Off The Wall, the album became the biggest blockbuster record in history. With iconic tracks like "Billie Jean," "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "Beat It," "The Girl Is Mine," and of course the fantastic title track, it became clear why the album became such a success.

While some parts of the album are a little cheesy at times (I'm looking at you, "The Girl Is Mine"), the majority of the record feels timeless. From the rousing dance beat that kicks off "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" to the beautifully soulful synth work that permeates album closer "The Lady In My Life," nearly everything has aged wonderfully. The lyrics reflect this very well too, with diverse topics ranging from love, nightmarish imagery, longing to live life to the fullest (and doing so in the process), to anti-violence, all rarely feeling too contrived; even when it is, though, it's pretty entertaining to say the least.

The diversity also extends to the music; with "Beat It," you get a hard rock tune. With "Human Nature," "The Girl Is Mine," and "The Lady In My Life," you get soul music. With "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and "PYT," you get some funky dance tunes. And so it goes. It's fantastic, because that means the songs never feel like they run together; they all have something distinct to offer that differentiates them from each other. At forty-two minutes, the material never really drags too much anywhere either, so everything is very comprehensive and easy to pick up and listen to at any time.

As a side note, I'd recommend the special edition of the album, as it includes multiple interviews surrounding the making of it, as well as the fantastic ballad "Someone in the Dark" from the E.T. movie. Thus, if you have the option between the original and special edition (usually found at Best Buy, Target, etc.), I'd recommend the latter choice.

As was said, though, the cheesy nature of a few of the tunes can definitely get to certain people. Just go into the album with the right frame of mind (as in, think about the time period this record was made in) and the record will be amazing to you. There's no doubt that this album is a real landmark of the 80's, as well as a cornerstone of Michael Jackson's career that solidified him as one of the best entertainers in popular music history. Get this album as soon as you can.



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user ratings (1041)
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4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
Dylan S. (5)
A pop album that will be remembered even years from now, almost three decades after its release in 1...

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...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ethics
November 8th 2012


4112 Comments


yep, forever the best pop album

demigod!
November 8th 2012


45279 Comments


dont think i've ever listened to the whole thing front to back but yeah it rules of course

Digging: Black Sabbath - Master of Reality

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2012


6356 Comments


What I like about Michael Jackson is that he has a really solid rock edge decorating his motown soul/pop thing.

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

XingKing
November 8th 2012


11090 Comments


This album is fucking stellar.

Oceanus
November 8th 2012


877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Had an epic Thriller (song) jam and dance session once with tons of people, was awesome. But that guitar part is so damned boring, paha.

SharkEthic
November 8th 2012


585 Comments


fun fact: p.y.t. is dedicated to macaulay culkin

Tyrael
November 8th 2012


20979 Comments


'yep, forever the best pop album'

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

holy fuck

Youtellme
November 8th 2012


1351 Comments


Cool album, though "the girl is mine" is so fucking embarassing to hear.

One of the cheesiest songs i've ever heard.

Youtellme
November 8th 2012


1351 Comments


"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

holy fuck"

Any better pop albums there lad?


I can't think of many.

Youtellme
November 8th 2012


1351 Comments


Skeletor?

Jethro42
November 8th 2012


12662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good job on the review, posd.

Tyrael
November 8th 2012


20979 Comments


'Any better pop albums there lad?'

Pet Sounds
Hounds of Love
Parallel Lines
Sign 'O The Times/Purple Rain/1999
Like A Prayer
The Joshua Tree
Murmur

...

Ethics
November 8th 2012


4112 Comments


sorry mainstream pop albums sir im so sorry sir

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2012


50960 Comments


Kate Bush is mainstream pop, in the UK at least
So is Purple Rain, Joshua Tree, Pet Sounds

Digging: Friendzone - Collection 1

Ethics
November 8th 2012


4112 Comments


dam i was just flat out wrong then cause kate definitely kills this 5x over alone
don't think purple rain or joshua tree are better than this though

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2012


16163 Comments


agree something like hounds of love, pet sounds > this but it's still decent and nice review

Digging: Suzanne Vega - Suzanne Vega

Youtellme
November 8th 2012


1351 Comments


"Pet Sounds
Hounds of Love
Parallel Lines
Sign 'O The Times/Purple Rain/1999
Like A Prayer
The Joshua Tree
Murmur"

I prefer this
Have not heard
They're about even for me, though this is more entertaining
Have not heard
Fuck Madonna
The U2 album? Fuck U2, in the ass.
Have not heard

XingKing
November 8th 2012


11090 Comments


No one likes Demi, SkelHumanEater. Hush.

Shuyin
November 8th 2012


12081 Comments


fuck it

thriller is awesome

Tyrael
November 8th 2012


20979 Comments


I agree with sonic for once



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