Over a year after losing Michael Jackson, the core of not only the Jackson family, but much of pop music of the past 40 years, I find myself combing over the brood's vast family catalog and being more impressed than one would expect.
So, I've put together a quick guide to the Jackson Family to save you some time and heartbreak
• Michael: You'd think that everything is sacred with this one. Beloved icon, father, philanthropist, dead. But no, nothing is too sacred for me. I'm telling it like it is. Obviously Thriller and Off the Wall are key. Not a bad track between the two. And Dangerous, while not as well loved as others, is pretty brilliant. His pitfall is the multi-platinum Bad, full of more misses than hits and the transition from hot young man to frightened man-boy.
• Janet: Watching her albums come out has been like watching a steady slide down the bunny slope of quality. After two albums under her father's thumbBeat Street and Janet, both which she pretends don't existshe came full-fledge with the classic Control and stayed hard and strong through Rhythm Nation, Janet and Velvet Rope. All great, but declining in quality. After that, I'll leave you to pick through on iTunes for the good tracks off the last few. Time and time again, each album delves deeper into her woman parts and despair. And each is touted as a return to classic Janet, but they've all lied.
• Jacksons and Jackson 5: I'm going to come right out and say it: They're not an album family. The brothers' output is strong, but go for their best-of comps. Can't go wrong with ABC, Can't You Feel It or Dancing Machine.
• And to round it out, let's touch on Jermaine. He's got about three strong, kitchy songs. Rebbie has the timelessly campy Centipede and Latoya is good for a few YouTube laughs.
Good or bad, you put them all together and they have days' more hits than your family ever will.
Come judge for yourself when Moosebox spins Jackson Family Reunion on August 20 at Wild Pug starting at 9 p.m.