In the last week there has been a lot said about Michael Jackson and the musicians he influenced over the years. Every pop star of today gets mentioned in one way or another: Usher, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Britney Spears, those two American Idol finalists, etc. And it always sounds kind of lame. Are they really trying to blame the current batch of pop stars on Michael Jackson’s music? Just because they try to imitate him doesn’t mean they can be compared to him in any way. Michael Jackson was an original in every sense of the word. His particular style of music has not been kept alive in the mainstream. You can’t classify Thriller, Bad & Dangerous as R&B, Hip-Hop or Rock. The only thing that makes Jackson’s music Pop is that it’s popular, but nothing else in that genre sounds like it. Michael Jackson made dance music and it is in dance music where you will find the evolution of his style.
Whenever I listen to Daft Punk’s brilliant Discovery album, I can’t help but think about Michael Jackson. It just feels like something he could have created in his heyday. Certain music by The Chemical Brothers, Air,Prodigy & Gorillaz (to name a few) makes me feel the same way. Chris Brown can dance like Michael all he wants; he still not going to sound like him. And in the end, isn’t that what this is all about? Michael Jackson had a larger-than-life public persona that over the years turned into a negative thing. What we love about him is the music, and there are lots of people who have been expanding on his sounds for years. Not just badly copying them. Long live the king.