I was watching Hitz.Tv on Astro the other day and they showed a feature highlighting the 25th anniversary reissue of Michael Jackson’s phenomenal Thriller album. That album was the hottest selling album of the 1980s and with songs like Billie Jean, Beat It and Thriller – the title track- the album was propelled into the strastophere and into the consciousness of over 40 million music enthusiasts who bought the album. To date Thriller has sold an astounding 100 million copies according to Wikipedia.
Michael Jackson brought to the music scene his particular style of distinctive vocal sounds and controversial thematic elements in his musical expression. He was the first to actively use music videos as a marketing tool to sell songs by embellishing his music with a visual punch. Although Thriller was Michael’s second solo album, it felt very much like a debut effort as it explored a variety of genres of music and with lyrics that had darker themes compared to it’s predecessor. Michael Jackson’s work has influenced a whole new generation of contemporary hip hop, pop and r&b musicians. As the decade of the 80s wore on and with the release of more successful albums Michael Jackson came to be known as the “King Of Pop”.
What then for our “Prince Of Pop” David Archuleta- a title I’d like to confer upon him even though it may seem a bit presumptuous at this point in time. Then again it will probably come to pass that it is a richly deserved moniker. From his first audition in San Diego to the final performance of “When You Say You Love Me” in Tulsa, David has displayed a subtle but assertive; a restrained and yet dynamic musical intuition; a readiness to take chances with the fortitude and intrepid certainty of a nonconformist; to take a leap of faith with his musical panache. The spectrum of musical hues he has laid before us all these months is but a hint of the anthology of distinctive sounds and musical styles of the debut album. It is but a tantalising peek into the myriad possibilities of the as yet unfinished oeuvre.
With the impending release of his debut cd, David is on the cusp of a stellar musical career. His prodigious musical talents promises to take us into territories unknown ; a phenomenon looming over the horizon that will probably thunder over us all like a tsunami. Will he usher in and preside over a new era of musical landscapes and hold sway over new artistes that will come after him? I’m awaiting the answer to that proposition and the arrival of Nov 11th with great anticipation. It will be a thriller.