Somewhere between the polished, eager-to-please Bad and the sessions for Dangerous, Michael Jackson apparently rediscovered his love for the gritty tracks of James Brown and Sly Stone. The commercial fortunes of New Jack Swing king Teddy Riley were no doubt another spur,but whatever: The six Riley-coproduced tracks that open this 1991 album rate as some of the funkiest, most agitated music Jackson's ever made. "Jam" and "Why You Wanna Trip on Me" find the saddening concerns of the prayerful "Heal the World" and "Will You Be There" boiling over, while "Remember the Time" is one of his most daring rhythmic statements since the coda of "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough." Dangerous may have been the last time Jackson would tip-toe so deftly on the line between abandon and self-absorption.

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