When You Think About It, Telling Heaven To Wait Is Deep
Usually, I keep this blog consistently focused on me, but today, it feels weird to go into some story or philosophy about something other than Michael Jackson.
We all have memories of Michael Jackson. I don’t know one person who doesn’t have something profound to say about the impact he made on popular music and popular culture. I don’t know one person who doesn’t remember where they were when they heard about Michael Jackson’s death. I don’t know one person who isn’t talking about either of those things today.
So considering everyone who is reading anything today will probably read one or two things about Michael Jackson, let me throw my hat in the ring.
Everyone has a favorite Michael Jackson hit. There’s “Thriller” of course. Then we have “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, so on and so forth. To me, Michael Jackson’s hit records always sound like they were made to be as big as they were. While some songs we loved when they first came out, now in retrospect make us smack our foreheads and rhetorically ask, “Why did I like this song again?” Jackson’s number ones sound like they were destined to be on top of the charts, as though God required all of humanity to listen to those songs.
But in addition to our favorite hits, everyone has their favorite MJ songs other people don’t really talk about and they never get to hear on radio. This is especially true of the work MJ put out in his later years. I remember reading a lot of tributes to Michael Jackson, a lot of critical analysis of his discography and always being disappointed by the way writers glossed over Jackson’s Dangerous album and some of the songs on Invincible. Sure they were nothing compared to Off The Wall, Thriller, and even Bad but some songs on there were indeed bad and remain so to this day.
Two of my favorite underrated Michael Jackson songs are “Remember The Time” and “Heaven Can Wait”. Arguably the former isn’t underrated. Of all the work Michael Jackson did in the 90’s, “Remember The Time” is probably the song with the most staying power. To this day, when I’m at a party, I can tell a DJ knows what he’s doing if he puts on “Remember The Time”, arguably his most underrated cut for the dance floor and definitely one of the few good things to come out of the New Jack Swing Era.
Then there’s “Heaven Can Wait” from the Invicible album, which as an entire album sucked, but that one song still gets burn on my iPod. Shall the day ever come when I get married; we’re slow dancing to this. Hear that future-wife-who-I-don’t-know?
What’s so cool about the record is how modern it sounds. This was Michael Jackson’s ode to Quiet Storm radio and one of the clearest signs he was listening to people like R. Kelly at the time he was making Invincible. Like most of the good modern day R&B records, “Heaven Can Wait” has that double time back beat, allowing two people slow dancing with one another to slow grind like no one is watching, but it’s true beauty comes into the lyrics.
Am I the only one who has a hard time understanding what the hell Michael Jackson says in like half of his songs? I always felt MJ enunciated his lyrics not to be understood, but to blend with the beat of the track, like an extension of the rest of the track’s percussion. But “Heaven Can Wait” is something different, one of those songs where every word is clear and more importantly, heartfelt.
Tell the angels no, I don’t wanna leave my baby alone. I don’t want nobody else to hold you. That’s the chance I’ll take, maybe I’ll stay, heaven can wait.
No, if the angels took me from this earth, I would tell them bring me back to her. It’s a chance I’ll take, maybe I’ll stay, heaven can wait.
I mean, come on, who tells the angels no and for heaven to wait? Words like that let me know when it comes to love, a lot of us ain’t felt nothing yet.
Click here to hear “Heaven Can Wait” and then share your favorite underrated Michael Jackson song in the c-section.