Review #12: Thriller, Michael Jackson

Karla Clifton
3 min readJan 16, 2021

#12: Thriller, Michael Jackson

Doesn’t it suck that Michael Jackson was a bad guy? I feel a tiny bit of guilty relief that he is dead only because he will not earn any money off of my streams on Spotify. That wasn’t what was on my mind when I listened to this album, though.

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. local time, grabbed a cup of coffee from the hotel lobby, and hopped into my car. I’d slept like the dead the night before, and felt okay. As I pulled onto the highway, Thriller began.

It felt a little bit like launching into space. It was just what I needed from the first album of the day: a piece of pop theater with some of the best vocalizations in human history. The sun wouldn’t be up for nearly three hours, and the highways were not well-lit, save for a few sharp turns signaled by motion-activated flashing lights. This album will always remind me of those trucks that are lit up with neon lights.

Anyway, you just can’t erase Jackson from history, and he’s gone anyway. Maybe donate to Prevent Child Abuse America if you feel weird about listening to it later. (Jackson appears three times, so prepare yourself.)


“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” — Too catchy for it’s own good, and did you know that Michael Jackson was sued by Camaroonian saxaphonist Manu Dibango (who recently died of the Coronavirus) over the Mama-say mama-sah ma-ma-coo-sah! part?

“The Girl Is Mine” — It’s so weird that Paul McCartney is in this but it’s really kind of a sweet song. The ad-libbing at the end is so awkward.

“Thriller” — This music video was too important not to include. Imagine listening to this song in the pitch black, sandwiched between two FedEx trucks, driving 70 miles per hour!

“Beat It” — My favorite because Eddie Van Halen is on it, and the guitar solo is one of his best. And yes — the Weird Al cover of this is equally as classic.

“Billie Jean” — The backbeat of this song is so good. Assume that all these music videos a blast.


“Human Nature” — Too sappy.

“P.Y.T.” — Too skeevy. (Okay, fine, it’s kind of a bop, but it’s too full of acronyms, so the skeeviness wins the day.)

“The Lady In My Life” — Too long, too slow. I hate it when the last song on the album is the lamest.


Another dual conclusion:

1. Thriller is amazing and RS is right.

2. Michael Jackson sucked and the 12th greatest album of all time is America’s Sweetheart by Courtney Love. (It has a song about Julian Casablancas on it!)

Review #11: Revolver, The Beatles

Review #13: I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You, Aretha Franklin