July 1, 2009

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While he may be English, Dan Love drops nothing but science and mathematics at From Da Bricks.  

My Granddad passed away when I was in my final year of primary school, so now he only exists in a state of half memory where I can’t separate real events from imagined realities informed by photographs, stories my Mum told me, or fleeting recollections re-organised into something more coherent and tangible. But there are certain things I’m sure of. I remember him being proud of me when I got the answer to a crossword puzzle clue in my living room (it was ‘netball’.) I remember him holding my hand as we crossed the road to the Tescos at the top of our street. I remember him fixing up an abandoned bike we found and turning it into something sparkly and amazing. I remember the two-piece tracksuit he bought me that made me feel untouchably fresh. And I remember him giving me Dangerous on tape.

With the benefit of matured taste and the ability to see how that album fits into the wider musical spectrum, Dangerous is far from the one-gloved wonder’s greatest work, but back then “Jam” was my anthem. I couldn’t have given a damn about the intricacies of Teddy Riley’s New Jack aesthetic or Heavy D’s microphone proficiency. I didn’t even know who these people were. All I knew was that the song made me feel powerful. Rarely has a rewind button been put under such strain.

So when I listen to “Jam” now–and the album as a whole–I think of my grandparents, but more specifically my Granddad. It’s one of the most concrete and indelible memories I have of him, and thus, it’s infinitely precious. The outpouring of emotion and sadness over the last week shows that I’m not alone. MJ’s music weaved itself into our own life stories in a way that testifies to his genius and illuminates his true legacy.

Download:
MP3: Michael Jackson-“Jam”

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