Love MJ, but I never could connect with this album. I only really love the single tracks...it wasn't for me up to his usual standard. I barely have 40 plays of the album in my chart :\\. It's weird because I LOVEEEE New Jack Swing, but for some reason, I'm just not with it.
Although MJ overextended himself on Dangerous, considering what he did do he could have mixed shit up a little more. The new jack swing sound is almost solely designated to the tracks intended as singles (generally the up/mid-tempos) while the sort of (underutilized) progressive/adult contemporary sound is reserved for the ballads etc. Drawing a line like that is risky business. Dangerous is kind of like MJ's answer to Prince's Sign "O" The Times and Madonna's Like A Prayer - except he doesn't quite get the balance right between outright pop and, if y'all will, art pop. It's as if he wasn't sure whether he wanted to recreate Bad for the '90s or follow through with that bold personal statement. If this was truly the dilemma MJ faced, then a lopsided compromise was struck. The finished product is still a borderline classic for me though. Dangerous contains some of MJ's best, and most unique, material.
I think MJ sort of put all his eggs in one basket here (and too hastily) - which, as UnfortunatelyGr said, led to a simultaneously extremely accomplished and somewhat flawed album. At its heart Dangerous is an uneven mixture of the dynamic yet relatively straightforward pop done on an epic scale we’d come to expect from Michael by the '90s and the more musically/conceptually ambitious, lengthy compositions we hadn’t quite. I dig all the salacious new jack swing songs here on some level but one or two less in favour of another Will You Be There, Who Is It or Why You Wanna Trip On Me (minus the new jack swing this time) would have made a difference. There are some intriguing pseudo-socio-political/spiritual things going on that need reinforcing. Even something as innocent and simple yet sophisticated and sumptuous as Someone Put Your Hand Out would have really given Dangerous another dimension (it can get excessively bitter and paranoid, even if that's largely the point).
I've always seen this album as simultaneously extremely accomplished and somewhat flawed. On the positive side, the production standards are utterly impeccable, as befits such an unrelenting creative perfectionist as MJ. But new jack swing as a genre blows a bit hot and cold for me, and the self-produced stuff's generally a bit too cheesy, sappy and/or showbiz-schmaltzy, especially the slower songs like Gone Too Soon and Heal The World. It's also missing a sexy slow jam like Quincy was still doing in his solo work. Oh, and some of the tracks could have done with being shortened. But in the areas where it's right, it's the high watermark in MJ's catalogue. So, a tough album for me to categorise as a hit or miss.
The content on this album clearly shows Michael at his most focused conceptually, but the execution is a little off at times. First of all, the production has a lot of new jack swing oriented stuff. In moderation, this is okay I suppose, but it shows Michael more as a follower than a trendsetter. Before with an album like Thriller or even Bad to a degree, Michael was leading the way in pop music sonically. Rather here he really isn't doing much that hasn't been done before instrumentally. When he does change from the new jack swing style, it's to slower ballads which often come off a little sappy and overblown. Plus it's somewhat disjointed. The first half is upbeat then the second half is mostly slower ballady type stuff. Where Michael seems to cure this sonic complacency is his subject matter, which is more focused at socially conscious content than ever. He can be effective at times getting his broad and practically cliche messages across, but often to more trained ear it can seem