Friday, March 26, 2010

90's Guilty Pleasures #11: George Michael "Freedom '90" (1990)

There's a certain category of hit single that is among my absolute favorites, where a song's complexity stretches beyond simply verse, chorus and bridge. In some cases, these songs include a pre-chorus, post-chorus, multiple bridges, and/or segmented verses of some sort. It's the songwriter's attempt to stretch the boundaries of what's capable in charting pop music, to see how far the flow can possibly last while keeping the listener's attention. And when it works, it normally succeeds in helping to separate the artists from the pop-stars. As far as I can tell, the first hit song of this category was "Oh! Pretty Woman." It was perfected by "Good Vibrations," and the most recent example (as of March 2010) was "Bad Romance."

I find it revealing that George Michael would choose such complexity, with a 6-minute string of one undeniable hook after another, as his confession to the world of wanting to break free from record companies, while secretly also confessing his sexual orientation. This was something he really wanted his fans to hear, giving even more meaning to the album title Listen Without Prejudice.

The video is still overrated, but it's not bad...

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