A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Michael Jackson's THRILLER has been re-released 25 years after it made its way into everyone's homes. In addition to the original nine-song album that has been remastered, there are six remixes featuring Kanye West, Fergie, Will.i.am, and Akon, and a previously unreleased single "For All Time" that didn't make the cut for the first album. There's also a deluxe version with a DVD.
Is it any good?
Akon's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" is commendable, with an added club beat and a few lyrics. Fergie's rendition of "Beat It" is a waste of time, and Kanye adds little to "Billie Jean" other than an "unh" and "yeh" here and there. (Maybe he wisely realized you shouldn't mess with a good thing.) Will.i.am adds some sleazy lyrics to "P.Y.T." and slows it down to where it barely resembles the original. On "The Girl Is Mine 08," there's no Sir Paul, but there are some annoying chants from Will.i.am saying "she mine she mine/she like the way I rock". Still, this album is Jacko in his element, dazzling and timeless, and reminds us why he was the pre-eminent pop star of a generation.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the lasting success of Thriller (still the greatest selling album of all time) and what makes it so. What kind of influence and effect did Michael Jackson have on artists and pop music today? Do you think his recent media attention, mostly negative, affects the way people view his music today? Or does his music stand on its own?
For kids who love music
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.