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Michael,George ~ Patience
It must be hard being a George Michael fan. Patience is only his fourth studio effort in the 18 years since Wham! split, so its release must be some cause for celebration. There always seems to have been something preventing him from releasing a new album--from arrests for lewd behavior, protracted battles with record companies, or prolonged periods of grieving for departed family and friends. Thankfully, Patience is pretty good.
Flitting between fraught ballads and up-tempo adult pop (the misguided sample-laden single "Freeek!" being the unnecessary exception), George here returns to the structure and mood of 1990s Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1. Patience is at its most delicate and moving with its title track, the intense, tabloid-attacking "Through" and the painful family memories of "My Mother Had a Brother." To balance this, hearts will be raised by "Amazing," with its echoes of the Bee Gees, "Round Here," in which George remembers his early days scampering around Bushey with Andrew Ridgley, and "Cars and Trains," which celebrates the kind of lifestyle that so riled the LAPD back in 1998. That's the thing about George Michael these days. Love him or loathe him, he is unapologetically himself. And fans should be very grateful for that. --Dominic Wills
Top customer reviews
Patience is a virtue. While this may not be his best album; it is a masterpiece compared to much of the material produced by other artists out there these days. I would highly recommend this album and any others in George's catalog.
Ether way:::I just had to have another copy. This is a absolutely wonderful album. It's dark in places but beautiful on all fronts. Listen to it over and over to get the full beauty.
Love it! Enjoy!
While not anywhere as commercially successful as his debut, it also received critical acclaim, but this is where things got REALLY weird. George obviously had a chip on his shoulder about what constituted critical acclaim, and although he refused to actively participate in the marketing of his second release, he blamed Sony for the lackluster sales when compared to "Faith." He refused to appear on the cover of the release or appear on any promotional material, and although record companies sometimes don't have an artist's best interests in mind, I think that they marketed this release as well as possible and even managed to come up with one of George's best videos by way of "Freedom 90." Although George was nowhere to be seen on the video, in a way it is the ultimate George Michael video.
As many know George lost his long legal battle with Sony and released his third CD ("Older") a full 6 years after "Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1." "Older" continued George's focus on following his less than commercial bliss and although I really liked it, it did not sell as it should have. For reason's unknown to me, we had to wait another 8 years for George to put out "Patience," which is only his fourth release of original songs as a solo artist. It is very much in the vein of "Older." Every single song is produced flawlessly and George continues to prove to be one of his generation's best balladeers.
Of course it would be very easy for George to go write some fast paced songs in the vein that made him famous, but it seems like commercial success is less important to him than writing the type of music that seems close to his soul. I for one would like to see both Georges, one singing the heck out of energy-filled songs and the more contemplative one found in "Older" and now "Patience."
To put my review in perspective, I gave "Faith" 5 stars, both "Listen..." and "Older" earned 4 stars, and I was wavering between 3 and 4 stars for "Patience," but after a few listens it easily earns 4 stars. Don't get me wrong, listening to the release in its entirety is quite a pleasure, but George seems to be set in his ways regarding the type of music that he's is going to release. The first song "Patience" is quite beautiful, but sounds just a little too close for comfort to the more effective `Praying For Time." "Amazing" also reminds me of a previous George song both lyrically and musically, although I like it a lot.
Other highlights for me include "Cars and Trains" as it perks things up. It's still mid-tempo, but unlike some songs it shows a very strong conviction and the accompaniment makes it stand out from the rest. Although I've already started my desire for George to do more up-tempo stuff, both "My Mother Had A Brother" and "American Angel" are gems and unlike much of today's music it tells a story and you really want to listen to the lyrics. Then comes my favorite song "Flawless (Go To The City)" a thumping anthem that I would love to have George record more of. He may think that these songs are musical tripe, but putting out good dance music is a talent in as much as his more personal stuff. "Precious Box" has an addictive ambient beat that brings something new to the production arsenal. The mid-tempo, Latin-tinged "Please Send Me Someone (Anselmo's Song)" is a beautiful song both lyrically and musically. Although "Freeek! '04" sounds a little too much like "Freedom 90" with a little "I Want Your Sex" on the side, it's still a fun song. "Through" serves as the perfect ender as it reflects that one should always have hope and although it may sound cheesy, I don't think you can hear that enough in these scary times.
Although I give this release 4 stars, I wish that George would let loose and release music without feeling that upbeat and beat-driven songs are lesser than the slow and mid-tempo songs he seems to prefer. I am glad that this release is selling very well (currently number 17 on the Amazon.com charts) as I thought that at best it would sell as much as "Older."
Not to beat a dead horse here, but it seems like George wants to have it both ways as he wants both critical and commercial success, yet he has not been pushing this release enough and the only two pictures in the entire CD seem to be from the "Faith" and "Older" periods. The generous inserts have these great pictures of different people, and while may have artistic merit, I wish that George would embrace both his private and public personas as I think that the byproduct would truly free him from any demons that may still haunt him from the overwhelming success and loss of privacy experienced in during the chart life of "Faith" and maybe his tenure with Wham!.
Most recent customer reviews
Cons: Synthesized music, too many bad songs.Read more