NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - WHAM! "MAKE IT BIG"

THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)

 WHAM!


"MAKE IT BIG"

 
Wham!'s second album was for me, the defining moment that George Michael became a superstar and brilliant songwriter paving the way for the superlative albums that were to come like "Faith" and "Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1".  With no disrespect to his pal Andrew Ridgeley, Wham! was the vehicle for George Michael, he was the main (if allegedly the only) songwriter and producer of this album.  The well crafted Pop songs with catchy choruses and such a leap ahead of the debut album, "Fantastic".  Where the debut was raw and a poor man's dream this second long player was polished and rich in hooks and melodies.

"Make It Big" made the top of the charts and the three of the four singles made number 1, Band Aid prevented the double A sided "Last Christmas/Everything She Wants" from making it four in a row.  All the singles were big hits the USA.   The first single "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" was a 50s/60s inspired uptempo Rock and Roll/Pop crossover that would encourage every listener to try and stop themselves from singing the infectious chorus! "Careless Whisper" (credited to George Michael for the first time) was the next single and it was the perfect Pop ballad.  Breathy vocals from George for the most part with a fabulous saxophone riff throughout the song.  Full of emotion and a really classy love song, one of, if not THE best from George in my opinion.  The third single "Freedom" was a kind of Motown sounding track, which became a massive hit and the 10th best selling hit in 1984's year end charts.  The vocals and melodies changed throughout and maybe wasn't as much a sing-a-long as "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" but its still a great Pop song.  The aforementioned "Everything She Wants" had less airplay than "Last Christmas" due to its release date but for me is one of George's best lyrical songs.  I think as a stand alone single it may not have done as well as it is not a catchy Pop song, it doesn't have a catchy chorus, its composition keeps changing in the song, for fans of songwriting like myself though, the lyrics are brilliant.



"Heartbeat" has elements of a slowed down  "Freedom" hidden in the track but its ultimately a Motown Soul song similar to the greats of that genre in the 60s.  It showcases George's blossoming vocals and also his carrying of songs with a minimal backing.

"Like A Baby" in my opinion is the weakest track on the album, it meanders along and doesn't really light up in any way towards the end, I am sure George looking back could have included something better, although the quality of the album was a high one.

"If You Were There", the cover of the Isley Brothers song is a touch of class.  Proving that George could turn his hand to any genre, this R n' B Soul classic is given an updated feel and unlike many cover versions this one works.  A song with a chorus that is instantly in your head also shows Geroge chooses songs that live long in the memory in the most part.

"Credit Card Baby" has a little Jazz Swing feel complete with some brass to help it along.  Its a midtempo bright and breezy song which goes great with the theme of the album.



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