* * * GEORGE MICHAEL. "Faith." Columbia.
George Michael must have a lot of weighty matters on his mind these days, now that he's ditched Andrew Ridgeley, his longtime partner in Wham!, to chart his own solo path. Michael was always that duo's more creative and prolific member, which is a polite way of saying he did mostly everything. He always seemed like a solo artist even before he made the big move. This official solo debut album just verifies that the move was a sound and logical one.
Many of Michael's Wham! hits reflected teen-to-early-20s concerns and scenarios. The songs he's recorded on his own are more grown-up in tone, and one of the major weighty matters on Michael's mind is sex.
It's the topic that naturally dominates "I Want Your Sex (Part 1 and 2)," on which he sidesteps the "irresponsible" label by warning in ominous Big Brother terms: "Sex is natural, sex is fun/Sex is best when it's one on one." There are also the single-entendre wink and tussle of "Hard Day" and the frankly sexual, Frankie Goes to Hollywood-isms of "Monkey."