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Music

Michael Jackson's 'Dangerous' and the Reinvention of Pop

Nirvana and company may have killed off '80s rock. But if pop was dead, its "king" Michael Jackson had successfully created alternatives.

Recent
Music

Phil Collins: Singles

The main question with Singles is this: does Phil Collins really deserve all the critical revilement he's gotten for decades?

Music

Prince and Michael Jackson: The Rivalry and the Revolution

Deemed As polar opposites by the media, part of what made the Prince v Jackson rivalry so compelling was their similarities.

Joseph Vogel
Music

Michael Jackson: Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall

Something as fresh and lively as Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall results in a rare enhancement of what you already have come to know and love.

Books

Does Michael Jackson's Work Contain the Stuff of Genius?

Steve Knopper’s highly readable biography MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson lays out a credible case for Jackson to be considered along those lofty lines, and not simply as a supreme entertainer.

Music

Ivy Walker: Ivy Walker

Ivy Walker's self-titled debut album is moved by a sense of nostalgia that never really recalls a specific time and place.

Music

Is Taylor Swift the New Michael Jackson?

Is Swift’s 1989 having the biggest impact on the pop culture landscape since Michael Jackson’s Thriller?

Jon Bream
Books

The Struggle for Literacy, the Need for Booze, the Bay Area Book Festival

As the Bay Area Rapid Transit escalator carried me upward, toward the first annual Bay Area Book Festival (6th and 7th, June), I repeated my new mantra. I would buy no books.

Music

Queen: Forever (take 2)

Yes, this is another Queen compilation, but it's not hard to make a good case for Forever.

Reviews

There Isn't a Single Insertion in 'There Goes Gravity' That Isn't Intriguing

An invaluable look into the lives of our most adored musicians, written with wit, humility, and vibrancy by one of our most revered music journalists.

Film

David O. Russell Tells a Great Story in 'American Hustle'

American Hustle is not only about the awkwardly intricate and emblematic fictions designated "Abscam", but also about the stories the scammers tell themselves.

Reviews

This Wasn't It: 'Moscow Case 1993: When the King of Pop Met the Soviets'

Having no footage of the 1993 Moscow concert, part of the Dangerous tour, to speak of, Trubnikoff can hardly concern himself with conveying quite what it was like to attend the show.

Music

The Pop Culture Death Trap, Part 3: Grief and Immortality

Through the act of collective mourning, we elevate dead celebrities to near-divinity. The need is both a primitive and a decidedly American one: to define ourselves by something other than an alienating individualism.

Music

Counterbalance No. 104: Michael Jackson's 'Off the Wall'

Keep on with the force, don’t stop. Don’t stop until you get enough of the 104th most acclaimed album of all time. Michael Jackson returns to the Great List with his 1979 breakthrough.

Music

Easy Star All-Stars: Easy Star's Thrillah

They wanna be start’n somethin’ for sure -- but is it a dub record or a wedding dance?

Music

Michael Jackson: Bad 25 [Deluxe Edition]

Definitively answering the age-old question of "Who's bad?"

Music

Generation X Wants Its MTV, But It’s a VEVO World Now

Gen X’ers may still want their MTV, but the version they loved is as distant a memory as Valley Girl speak, parachute pants, and leg warmers. Wake up and smell the VEVO.

Music

Vijay Iyer Trio: Accelerando

Pianist Vijay Iyer gave us jazz masterpieces in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Looks like this will be his year yet again.

Music

I Heard You Missed Us (Says Van Halen and Many, Many Others) -- We're Back!

The David Lee Roth-fronted Van Halen returns after a 28-year absence. Who else has made fans wait that long? Quite a few, it turns out.

Books

Carrie Fisher Likes to Shock Herself and Her Readers in 'Shockaholic'

Shockaholic switches on and off with the distant past and more recent present, ultimately drawing conclusions about what it means to be born into celebrity and the seeming inescapability of one’s public persona.

Music

Gleeks and Beliebers Rejoice: In Defense of Pop

Pop music makers like Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry may get the kiss off from critics, but really, what's the harm in getting your pop groove on to their style of music?

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CONTEST: Win the Ultimate Home Theater System and "Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon"

Enter for your chance to win a copy of Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon on Blu-ray along with a Blu-ray disc home theater system (prize pack valued at $375)!

Music

Counterbalance: Year One

In this special one-year anniversary edition of Counterbalance, Eric Klinger and Jason Mendelsohn discuss their first year combing through the pop music canon (as determined by Acclaimed Music's calculations of every best-of list available), share a few favorites, and justify a couple items on their expense account.

Music

Paul McCartney’s 69th Birthday: A Life in Videos

This Saturday marks the 69th birthday of singer, songwriter, composer, musician, author, actor, artist, and humanitarian Paul McCartney.

Music

The Year in Music: December 2010

Continuing our look at the year’s most notable events in the world of music, here’s what happened in December 2010.

Music

Counterbalance No. 27: Michael Jackson’s 'Thriller'

With over 140 trillion copies sold, it’s no surprise that Michael Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller would wind up on Acclaimed Music’s Big List. Counterbalance’s Eric Klinger and Jason Mendelsohn would just as soon not be startin’ somethin’, but here we are.

Events

Guessing the Grammys

Predictions on who will win what in the biggest categories, based on industry hype and a little guessing about the academy’s voters.

Music

The Year In Music: June 2010

June 2010, the subject of our latest look at the year’s biggest events in music, was a month of successful releases and summer concerts.

Reviews

'Michael Jackson's Vision' Into the Future

The Moonwalker's short films are brought together here in a single collection. Are you still down with Michael? Are you down? Are you bad?!

Music

Groove Me: Looking Back at New Jack Swing

Marrying hip hop elements to high-energy compositions and carefully-crafted productions, new jack swing was the cutting edge of R&B music in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Music

Michael Jackson: Michael

Michael Jackson's posthumous 2010 album Michael, the first in nine years, reminds us that the best of Michael has already been released.

Music

Mythologizing Michael Jackson

Aristotle's wisdom about these protagonists suffering irreparable loss at the hands of destiny is applicable to Jackson's journey: he suffered disproportionately more than he deserved; he was intelligent and gifted at evoking pathos in his audience; and he had influence but was in conflict with external forces and internal demons. In short: he was a flawed, tragic figure.

Karen Wink
Music

Celebrating 68 Years of Paul McCartney

An up to date video flashback of his entire career.

Music

We Don't Die, We Multiply: R&B Posse Tracks

Take Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love For You", a steamy tale of a mistress longing for romantic bliss with a married man, and imagine how it might play out with a multi-perspective delivery.

Music

The Posthumous Sales Bump

Analyzing the phenomenon of the inevitable spike in album sales and interest of an artist after they die.

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