Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"I Just Can't Stop Loving You," Michael Jackson (9/19/87)
Anticipation is through the roof, really off the charts, as Action Jackson's about to drop the first single from Bad, his follow-up to the biggest selling album of all time, and he delivers - this? I think it's fair to say that most of the world was fairly stunned that MJ launched Bad with this near-duet with Siedah Garrett, a lush, simply pretty love ballad. Folks expected more, something big, something in neon, and this wasn't it. What this was, however, was a reminder that Jackson was (once) just as adept with balladry as he was with fierce dance-pop-R&B-fusion. "I Just Can't" - not a Ray Charles cover, but hopefully you knew that already - is unexpectedly gorgeous and needs to be resurrected as the classic it deserves to be seen as. B+

"Love Is A House," Force M.D.'s (9/5/87)
Their one and only charttopper - you always assumed "Tender Love" did the duty, didn't you? But that enduring smash just made it to #4 R&B (#10 pop) in early '86 - this is where the Force M.D.'s did their real tender lovin', imploring a honey to "open up and let me into your heart." Ah, romance. Nutrasweet production, lovely vocals (you expected different?), and a single I cherish more than their contribution to the Breakin' soundtrack. B+

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