George Michael - Twenty Five

Wake me up before the lights go

Twenty Five

It’s easy to make fun of George Michael, but the fact is he wrote Careless Whisper when he was 17 and you didn’t. Or, if you did, you wrote it on your pencil case. He made the transition from boy band to adult solo success, and proved he was more than a flash in the pan with the excellent Ladies & Gentlemen collection. He has earned the right to do stupid things. Things like this.
Billed as a retrospective of 25 years in music, it’s far less representative than the earlier collection, despite the inclusion of some Wham! material. For some reason, it includes 2004’s poorly received Patience in its entirety, even though, by this point, Michael had long been asleep at the wheel (if he wasn’t stoned when he made John & Elvis Are Dead, he should have been afterwards).
There are some great tracks here, not least the Stevie Wonder-referencing Fastlove, and the Tony Hancock-sampling Too Funky. But they’re thinly spread over three discs, themed ‘For Living’, ‘For Loving’ and ‘For Loyal’ (roughly translating as one disc of pop, one of pomp and one of pap). Ladies & Gentlement may have risen above its lavatorial title, but this is just a little shitter.

2 stars 2 stars

SonyBMG | 88697009012 (3-CD)

Reviewed by Simon Hugo
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