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Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson Hardcover – 7 Sep 2011
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"The many fans of the King of Pop are going to love this book. Huffington Post writer Vogel began it in 2005, long before Michael Jackson's untimely death, and he wisely focuses on the music and groundbreaking recordings of Jackson's solo career. Scandals and eccentricities are relegated to the background in this critical musical analysis, which will delight even the most knowledgeable Jackson fan. Each track on each record, fr om 1979's Off the Wallthrough 2001's Invincible, including posthumously released recordings, gets a thorough analysis, with listings of the involved writers, producers, and musicians. There is plenty of contextual biographical detail, and Vogel describes the cultural and political backdrop that makes Jackson's achievements all the more remarkable. VERDICT A thoroughly enjoyable analysis of the music and life of the most popular musician of an era."--"Library Journal ""Vogel produced a smart...study of Jackson's creativity and legacy. He achieves moments of intimacy and insight: a glimpse of Jackson, an ambitious perfectionist. Vogel occasionally undermines his hard work by giving Jackson a makeover as a romantic hero rather than a celebrity. Readers will enjoy."- "Publishers Weekly ""
About the Author
Joseph Vogel writes about popular culture, music and politics for The Huffington Post. He has been featured in numerous newspaper, radio and TV interviews, including Democracy Now! And the award-winning documentary This Divided State. He currently resides in upstate New York where he teaches and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Rochester.
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Each track's detailed look not only goes into the lyrical side of it,but the musical side too,pointing out just what was achieved. MICHAEL didn't just make music,he perfected it.
This book really isn't strctly for fans,where as the auther is clearly a great lover of his music,it's written is such a style as to include everyone's interest rather than just that of his millions of fans.
So finally a book that takes a closer look inside the music that came from unquestionably a genius in his own right,someone who earned the title KING OF POP. If you want a book that takes a close look at the man,i recommend JERMAINE's book,if however you want a book that takes a fair insight into what each much loved track actually gives it's listeners,this is it!
The intentions of the author are on-the-money. Vogel should be applauded for looking beyond the headlines & heaping praise on Michael Jackson the musician. The book is also very nicely laid out, generally very well written & has a nice balance of facts, figures, narratives & photographs (several of which are incredibly rare & fascinating). The thing that ultimately lets the book down somewhat is Vogel's text when it comes to much of the track-by-track listings. Far too much of this is simply lifted from a number of media reviews & it's clear that Vogel has managed to locate plenty of old copies of Rolling Stone, etc & simply slipped in the most positive reviews that relates to any given song. There's also a lot of direct lifting from past interviews & whilst the Author has managed to interview several of Michael's key players when it came to recording, the book is ultimately a professional study-by-numbers as opposed to a genuine work of something special. Considering the type of book & fact that's it's over 300 pages, I learnt very little new information which is the acid test when it comes to the fans.
Desite the above criticism it's still a worthy addition to any fans collection & it's lovely to read the thoughts of a like-minded individual who recognises MJJ's talent & isn't afraid to share it. Reverting back to the start of this review, it's just a shame this kind of book wasn't out when Michael was still with us.
The work of Dr. Joseph Vogel is nothing short of a breath of fresh air. His work reminds us that Michael Jackson was the William Shakespeare of the 21st century. His playhouse was the eyes and ears of television screens and record players/walkmans/CD-players/mp3-players for forty solid years. For me, Vogel will always be one of the most influential Michael Jackson Studies Academics because he was actively pursuing Michael’s artistic representation, presenting Michael Jackson Studies long before it was remotely fashionable to do so. Vogel never skips a beat. His research is impeccable. The level of understanding and insight in his work is always accessible and informative. No matter whether you read a blog, article or one of his books you will not be disappointed.
– Elizabeth Amisu, author of THE DANGEROUS PHILOSOPHIES OF MICHAEL JACKSON: HIS MUSIC, HIS PERSONA, AND HIS ARTISTIC AFTERLIFE and editor of THE JOURNAL OF MICHAEL JACKSON STUDIES.
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