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Patience [UK]

Patience [UK]

4.0 5
by George Michael

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For his diehard fans -- who entertained themselves with 1999's campy collection of standards, Songs from the Last Century, and waited eight years to hear new material, Patience proves to be their great reward. Like fellow '80s icon Prince, who also made a comeback in 2004 with the inspired


For his diehard fans -- who entertained themselves with 1999's campy collection of standards, Songs from the Last Century, and waited eight years to hear new material, Patience proves to be their great reward. Like fellow '80s icon Prince, who also made a comeback in 2004 with the inspired Musicology, George Michael returns to making music that's both a platform for his proselytizing and substantive enough to please the masses. Lyrically, Michael revisits the universal themes of love, loss, persecution, and redemption found on 1990's excellent, Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1. But in light of his more recent indiscretions -- namely, his humiliating arrest in 1998 for soliciting a male police officer in a Beverly Hills park bathroom -- the openly gay Michael isn't afraid to tackle more personal subject matter. On the poignant "My Mother Had a Brother," he laments the suicide of his uncle, who felt tormented by his own homosexuality. As he did with the melancholy "Jesus to a Child" (from 1996's Older), here the 40-year-old pop star dedicates a song -- the Latin-tinged "Please Send Me Someone (Anselmo's Song)" -- to a lover who died of AIDS. This time, however, Michael sounds optimistic that his prayers for another companion will be answered, and on the breezy "Amazing" and the soaring "American Angel," he sings of the new love that sustains him. Although no Michael effort would be complete without his waxing philosophical in his breathtaking falsetto about the injustices of God and man -- addressed here on the somber title track and the borderline-silly "John and Elvis Are Dead" -- Patience finds the singer-songwriter in a more festive mood. In the vein of Faith's "I Want Your Sex" and Older's "Fastlove," Michael waves his glow stick on the fervent disco anthems "Precious Box," "Freeek! 04," and "Flawless (Go to the City)." Although the tortured "Through" --on which he claims, "Suddenly, the audience is so cruel" -- suggests that this disc may be his last, for our sake let's hope Michael merely needs another lengthy sabbatical to craft his next masterpiece.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Almost immediately after he became an international superstar with 1987's Faith, George Michael developed a complex that he was not taken seriously as an artist. He was right -- he wasn't being taken seriously, but at the height of their success, mainstream pop stars rarely are; it's only after they've been around for a while that critics and audiences alike appreciate the craft behind their best work. Elton John and Madonna both are pop icons who earned good reviews after they proved their lasting power, but Michael, for want of a better phrase, didn't have enough patience to wait to be regarded as an artist, not just a pop star. So, he followed Faith with 1990's Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1, whose very title was a plea to skeptics to shed their preconceived notions of him and hear the music anew. At the time, it seemed like this was temporary hiccup, a somber exorcism Michael needed to work through as an artist, but over the years, it's clear that this was the blueprint for his solo career. Not that there have been that many albums since then, of course. Michael took six years to deliver Older, a delay that was initially blamed on a vicious battle with his record company, Sony, but its own successor, Patience, didn't appear for another eight years, a time which not only had no spats with the label but also saw him re-signing to Sony. Those long, long separations between albums suggest that Michael is a painstaking perfectionist in the studio, and Patience sure sounds like the work of a musician who spent every day of those eight years working on these 14 tracks (12 on the U.S. version; the anti-Bush and -Blair "Shoot the Dog" was excised for the American CD, presumably because it would be too controversial, but who knows why the reprise of "Patience" was cut). While there are unifying lyrical and musical themes throughout the album, each track is its own entity, scrubbed, polished, and manicured without regard to how it fits alongside the next. There's an excessive attention to detail to each song, and that tunnel vision means each song runs about a minute or two longer than it should, which ultimately makes Patience seems twice as long as its actual running time. That's unfortunate because the core of the album is quite good: it's hard not to admire his studiocraft, there's a starkly confessional streak in his writing that's disarmingly direct, and, as an album, it balances the moody ballads and sleek neo-disco better than Older, feeling much brighter than that claustrophobic affair. If there's a lack of incessantly catchy hooks or undeniable rhythms -- in other words, singles as indelible as those on Faith, or even Listen Without Prejudice -- that feels like a conscious decision by Michael, as if any concession to chart-bound pop would cheapen his music and diminish his chances of being taken seriously. They would have lightened the mood of the decidedly somber and portentous Patience, which is clearly not what Michael wants, since by stretching out each song and burying his hooks beneath the album's shiny surfaces and preponderance of mid-tempos, he's forcing listeners to work to understand his intentions. For some fans, it's worth the effort, particularly since it's his best album since Listen Without Prejudice (not saying much since it's only his second album of original material since then), but it's hard not to hear it and think that Michael's ultimate ambitions would be better served if he tightened up and lightened up just a little bit.
People Magazine - Chuck Arnold
The disc, which sounds like a sequel to 1990's sublime Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, demonstrates why the British star should have been -- and could still wind up being, if he doesn't stick to his claim that this will be his last CD -- the Elton John of his generation.

Product Details

Release Date:
Sbme Import

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Michael   Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
David Austin   Keyboards
Joel Bryant   Background Vocals
Chris Cameron   Piano
Pete Gleadall   Keyboards
Phil Palmer   Guitar
Graham Silbiger   Bass Guitar
Luke Smith   Wurlitzer
Ruadhri Cushnan   Keyboards
Michael Brown   Guitar
James Jackman   Keyboards

Technical Credits

George Michael   Arranger,Composer,Producer,drum programming
Philip Oakey   Composer
David Arnold   Orchestration
David Austin   Composer,Programming
Ian Burden   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Pete Gleadall   Programming
Eric Matthew   Composer
Gary Turnier   Composer
Ruadhri Cushnan   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer
Niall Flynn   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer
Oliver Stumm   Composer
Joanna Bailey   Direction
James Jackman   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer

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Patience 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far one of the best albums of the year. I am thrilled that George is back and he deserves all praises and accolades for this masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I grew up listening to George Michael -- Wham! hit the scene in the US just as I was entering my teenage years. Few artists have captured and held my devotion as George Michael has, and Patience reaffirms my ardent admiration. This album exemplifies everything I love about his music, and more. I think it contains his best work yet. It's been a long wait for new music from George Michael, but if Patience indicates what we can expect from him after a long hiatus, then I will wait, willingly if impatiently, for as long as it takes for him to release his next masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Patience,the new George Micheal release,is just as spectacular as his previous release,Older. Patience,which is reminicsent of "Jesus to a Child" has the same depth and quality. "Amazing" as well as "Flawless" have that dance/house mix we come to associate with George. This album is just incredible from start to finish;little do we realize that George did most of the instruments as well as writing and producing the album. All I know is that we don't want him to retire:Give us more!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
George michael mmmmm what can i say I never was a fan, I of knew his old stuff but only certain songs. Until last yr. when i saw him on oprah he i got to know him a little better and he performed tow song the single "amazing" from the new album and "father figure" when i heard him sing these songs i quickly became a fan, now i usually am a risk taker. Without knowing an artist well i get the cd so it was a gamble when i bought this becaue i didn't know him musically, So i bought "patience" and what an album i was very impressed this album is very personal in both love and tragety George Michael really did an awesome job and it is my cd player till this day I love this man and for what he stands. American Angel anouther great song about his new man in his life which made me feel great one because I to was falling in love with someone and two im a queen lol.....i fall for love songs so fast. I do recomend getting this cd you will not regret it especially if you are a young Gay man like myself only 20 yrs. old lol but this album just makes you feel really good inside and up lifting. If I were you also get the greatest hits collection "ladies and gentelmen george michael".
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album like every George Michael album is one of the greatest albums to have ever been made! This man is a genius and he's so vocally talented that it's a shame more people aren't listening to him like they used to. He's been voted as one of the greatest recording voices of all time by several critics, and he proves that he definately deserves that with this album (and every album he's ever done). He's truly amazing!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This from a person who anxiously awaits all music from this artist... this CD is not great. It's polished, interesting, and took quite a few listenings for me to decide I liked it. Even at "good" it was better than 90% of everything else that appeared this year. Pretty amazing, still!