Square: The Mike We Like Remixes

There are many of us who still enjoy listening to Michael Jackson. Unfortunately, this release doesn't accentuate what we like about his music.


The Mike We Like Remixes

Label: Mellotone
US Release Date: 2006-06-06
UK Release Date: Unavailable

I rarely feel like I'm the target audience for a product, but I'm almost positive Square's The Mike We Like Remixes was specially created to reach my sector of the world population. My sector consists of people who like "Michael Jackson the Singer, Songwriter, and Performer" but don't -- despite the huge "Not Guilty" on the album cover -- have much of an opinion about "Michael Jackson the Guy With the Glittery Socks and Strange Habits". We're the ones who enjoy Jackson's solo albums, even MJ's HIStory: Past, Present, Future, Book 1 collection (though it should have contained the song "Smooth Criminal"!). But we're also the ones who draw the line at the reissues of Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, and Dangerous and their not-worth-the-money bonus features.

We will, however, entertain remixes. That's where Square comes in, presenting 16 tracks -- including audio snippets from producer extraordinaire Quincy Jones -- aimed directly at people like me who like "Billie Jean" more than we like the latest headline about the adventures of "Wacko Jacko". Unfortunately, it's one thing to target the market; it's another thing to satisfy that market. While the album's concept is timely, the execution is lacking. With only seven Jackson classics on deck (that's seven tracks out of 16!), the set travels lighter than it should. From the whole of Jackson's discography, Square presents "Rock With You", "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough", "Billie Jean", "Remember the Time", "Rock My World", "In the Closet", and "Butterflies". Worse, the remixes are mostly built around repetitive drum loops and flat synth chords. Square's musical add-ons seem tacked on, creating chaos instead of melody, offering dissonance rather than harmony. At times, the result sounds like two radios are being played simultaneously -- one plays Square's drum programming and synth chords while the other plays the Mike we originally liked and wanted to hear.


To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less

This film suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

Keep reading... Show less

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

Here comes another Kompakt Pop Ambient collection to make life just a little more bearable.

Another (extremely rough) year has come and gone, which means that the German electronic music label Kompakt gets to roll out their annual Total and Pop Ambient compilations for us all.

Keep reading... Show less

Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.