My first experience of George Michael was the album “Older”. When I was a kid, I used to go over to my grandparents house and play Quake II on the PC and listen to the main man, George Michael. “Older” is such a fucking cool album. George Michael’s voice is fantastic and the songs are all very funky but also so chilled and atmospheric. I’ve only really understood what the songs throughout the album are actually about as I’ve grown older and there’s some real sadness in there.
Picking a song from “Older” is easy for me though. It has to be “Fastlove”. It might not even be the best song on there, but it’s the song that has stuck with me the most through the years. The sample from “Forget Me Nots” by Patrice Rushden is perfect. The bass is so good. It’s strange to have a dance song that is about sex but seems sad at the same time. If you consider when this came out in George Michael’s life you really can see what he was going through and what was to come. He’s very clearly in a bad state. There’s the fairly clear gay references, but he wouldn’t be publicly outed until 2 years later in 1998. He’s isolated and depressed and a secretly gay man using sex to cope with his life. It’s worth giving the lyrics a read and seeing how it fits so perfectly into what was going on. It sounds so bleak but as a child listening to “Fastlove”, I just thought it was a bop. And I guess that’s George Michael. Bopping away but having a really tough time in the background.
You can listen to “Fastlove” by George Michael here.