Can't I just vote for either or both against the Quincy Jones triade? lol This was actually a bit of a tough call since I think they are both brilliant. For the longest time, I've considered HIStory to be Michael's best and most personal album. Same as sooo many others, I saw it as the closest he had come to making a concept album. There was structure, honesty and a lottt of anger and sadness at the injustice he had been subjected to.
However, I ended up voting for Dangerous now because I believes it contains a most welcome balance between the heavy themes and the lighter ones, the public service and awareness raising component of his music, as well as the exploration of romance and sensuality. What others may see as a fault - the diversity of issues covered, I see as an advantage. There is far too much sorrow and heartache attached to most of HIStory, in spite of its seemingly hopeful ending with Smile. I hate to think that it represents the closest connection between Michael's music and his life. It is extremely important because it represents Michael's brilliant, artistic answer to the horrid accusations leveled against him, but still......that one issue cannot and should not define all of his life and career. We are so much more than the sum of our struggles, or of ours conquests. However terrible it may sound, I am not that big of a fan of his 80s success, which I believe was engulfed in a rather big layer of shallowness. I believe the essence of the man was neither in the amount of Grammys he won, the gazillion sells of Thriller and definitely not in the heinous lies he was terrorized with. HIStory represented his side of that particular, sordid story, his side which also happened to be the truth, but it did not capture the story of his entire life.
It is my sincere opinion that beneath and beyond all the success and public turmoil, there was a most talented man deeply interested in the welfare of the many. And along side all that goodwill for all mankind and most especially the most vulnerable among us, he was also a man with a most conventional, if not downright traditionalist approach to the private sphere, someone with a boundless sensuality which he unleashed mostly on record and on stage due to the extraordinary circumstances of his life. And that is why I believe Dangerous reflects very well the two essential sides to Michael: the public consciousness and duty combined with the quest of private bliss. I now realize that HIStory was too much on the dark side for me. There is much evil in this world and plenty of reasons to feel down and out about humanity and Michael had some very persuasive arguments in 1993 and 2005 to feel that way, but I like to think that light is greater than darkness and evil can be defeated and overcome by love.