“Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson’s fourth mature album, Dangerous, isn’t a masterpiece on the level of his previous ‘big three’ (Off the WallThriller and Bad), but it still features a significant amount of wonderful material, and this song is among the best of it. Granted, Jackson’s excesses were starting to catch up with him at this point, and the song is sentimental, bombastic and more than a little pretentious (especially in its opening section, which consists of a fragment of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and not the part everyone knows, either). But it also has one of the greatest melodies in all of pop music history, and that, combined with the fact that it is, after all, being sung by Michael Jackson, more than counterbalances its flaws. It also seems to have launched a mediocre movie with no other particular distinctions into blockbuster status simply through its existence, which illustrates just how useful a good Award Bait song can really be.

Verdict: Good.

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