Monday, July 6, 2009

Michael Jackson: I don't understand.

The recent death of pop star Michael Jackson has led to endless accolades. He is apparently widely regarded as a great and influential originator.

This point of view, though widely held, confuses me. Ignoring his messy private life, his actual musical contributions don't impress me. He always seemed to me to be a novelty act. First came the novelty of being a little kid in a family group. Then came his skillful use of video with his cleverly deceptive "moonwalk" dance moves, and his mannerisms like the single glove. All these things seem to me to be shallow attention-getting tricks of no real significance to music. He didn't take music in new directions like Bob Dylan or the Beatles, or even open up a style of music to new audiences like Elvis Presley.

But that's just my opinion.