George Michael, Faith (1987)
I was never really that impressed by George Michael at the time. Of course Faith was huge and you could not escape it – like Purple Rain and Born In The USA and Thriller and She’s So Unusual and So and Actually and a few other monumentally enormous albums from the 1980s. I liked all of them but I just tolerated Faith. The title song was undeniably catchy but I just never quite got caught up in it. The other singles – and there were heaps from this album – pretty much passed me by. I do remember that I was kinda impressed by the status of the album, by its achievements. I just didn’t actively participate. And that’s how it’s been. I actually got hooked in to the talent of George Michael – just what a gifted singer he is(/was?) by the covers album he did. That won me over. And then I picked up some anniversary edition of Faith on CD but never really listened to it. I just stayed listening to his covers album and also the Older album. Then I found Faith(!) – finally, I guess you could say/I could add – on vinyl. And it’s only been recently that I’ve really (properly) started to listen to it as an album. And all those tracks – the other big singles that I had no interest in at the time still sound fresh and remarkable. More so than most of the material on Born In The USA and Thriller and Purple Rain and Actually and So and She’s So Unusual and so many other albums from the era. Funnily enough. A phenomenal solo-debut when you consider that as big as Wham! was it was really a bold artistic statement to step out from that pop-star boy-band/duo and do something of real lasting worth. The soul/gospel influence/feel/sound is so beautifully, indelibly stamped on these pop tunes and dramatic ballads. I’m all the more in to it knowing what a giant fuck up George Michael is; so destructive. He won’t hit the heights of his first three albums ever again. Ironic that he instructed us to Listen Without Prejudice (that one is actually a better album than Faith). Fat chance anyone will be doing that ever again.
Sample Track: Father Figure
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