George Michael’s PR game hasn’t been stellar for awhile, but he’s such an unforgettable and, uh, devastating vocalist that it’s easy to re-celebrate him. He’s like the male Dionne Warwick in this way. Who cares about a snarly Celebrity Apprentice stint when she sang “Walk on By,” mortals? Who cares about George Michael’s snafus when he gave you everything from “Father Figure” to “Jesus as a Child” and the ever-awesome “Outside” video? We don’t have another George Michael. When he reappears, it’s worth listening without prejudice and burning a leather jacket or two if we’re so inspired.
The new song is called “Let Her Down Easy” and the gorgeous, circus-themed black and white video is directed by Vaughan Arnell, one of Britain’s foremost and most innovative music video directors. Interestingly it’s not one of George’s own tunes, but a track written and originally performed by Terence Trent D’Arby, another super-champion of 1988. The idea of another George Michael album is almost a shock to the brain, but we’ll get to purchase Symphonica on March 17. Man.
So, this video: The balletic pacing and old-timey coloring gave me immediate pangs of “Constant Craving,” and the studly circus performer reminded me of that torrid toreador from Madonna’s “Take a Bow” video. That’s all fine by me. The word to describe this video is immaculate — not a shot or note or out of place. The immediacy of George’s vocal reminds me of his fantastic cover of Stevie Wonder’s “They Won’t Go When I Go” from his second solo album, but this track is somehow tenderer. It’s a return to form for a man with unbeatable form. So, so refreshing. Anyone else feel like their monkey’s been set free?