audio review : Jam And Lewis [ Volume One ] ( album ) … Jimmy Jam And Terry Lewis

audio review : Jam And Lewis [ Volume One ] ( album ) ... Jimmy Jam And Terry

The title suggests a compilation of songs from the past, but this is a new album; the duo’s first ever after four decades of making music for other people’s. Some of those singers are featured here. Every song is by a different artist or group, in fact, with one flagrant exception.

That Janet Jackson isn’t included, and starting the whole damn set, is about as disheartening as recent rumors that Jam And Lewis aren’t involved in her upcoming Black Diamond project. Unbreakable was underwhelming, yes, but they should never stop making music together.

Maybe if they had a new Janet song, they wouldn’t need to restore a 2005 Toni Braxton album reject, the inclusion of which makes me wonder how much of this set is actually new. Babylove; the best song and one true jam; sure is. It’s Time for another Morris Day solo album.

my rating : 3 of 5

2021

video review : Knowing

video review : Knowing

This movie starts off interestingly enough and stays that way for a while, but soon the plot heads Hellward. There are some awesome disaster scenes scattered about, all of which happen to include people running around on fire or being smashed to death by man-made vehicles gone awry, but they don’t even begin to make-up for all the numerical nonsense happening elsewhere in this two-hour yawner.

Part of the problem isn’t that it tries to cover several sci-fi subgenres at once, but that it does so clumsily, going from paranormal thriller to disaster flick to religious allegory only when it’s convenient to the plot. Marco Beltrami’s over-the-top score isn’t appreciated until the end, during a muted scene in which the jovial orchestration doesn’t at all fit with what’s happening on screen but sounds terrific nonetheless.

my rating : 2 of 5

2009

video review : Jesus He Knows Me ( song ) … Genesis

video review : Jesus He Knows Me ( song ) ... Genesis

Casual listeners probably thought this was a typical Christian praise song; the chorus sure sounds like it; but the video makes the message crystal clear. It’s a parody in which frontman Phil Collins plays the role of a television evangelist; the Robert Tilton type who, the band suggests, are mostly in it for the money.

The video, their best yet, is thoroughly entertaining in all the funny/clever ways it plays with the concept. My favorite bit is the paparazzi photos of Mike Rutherford cheating on his wife. It’s also a damn good song, though the most endearing part is an organ prelude you won’t hear on the regular audio version.

my rating : 5 of 5

1992

audio review : Will You Be There ( song ) … Michael Jackson

This song would be better without the intro; an orchestral piece that lasts for over a minute; especially considering a second one; what sounds like angels hymning; immediately follows. By the time Michael Jackson sings, his old Motown records Got To Be There and I’ll Be There would be reaching their ends.

This isn’t a romantic dedication to some girl though. As the angels suggest, it seems to be a religious calling of sorts. “Hold me like the river Jordan and I will then say to thee you are my friend,” Michael Jackson pleads, “Carry me like you are my brother, love me like a mother; Will You Be There?”

The church choir offers a similar melody to the verses, which suggests a lack of musical creativity, though it is a wondrous melody. The song, in fact, sounds like one that was destined to be made; perhaps a future standard generations of people will come to sing-along with and enjoy. It reminds me of Christmas.

The one major sin (flaw) other than the ostentatious prelude is Jackson seeming to not be able to hear what the choir is saying during the peak. “Lay your head lowly,” they sing to which he ad-libs about getting “lonely”. The coda, on which he recites a poignant poem over the music of Heaven, sounds divine.

my rating : 4 of 5

1991