First Hit #1: March 26, 1988
Man in the Mirror is painfully sincere. Maybe it’s my fault, I’m not generally moved by songs that are outright telling me what to think, even if their motives are pure. Man in the Mirror has very pure motives – be a better person, help your fellow man, change yourself and the world around you, that kind of thing – but I find myself resisting. I don’t want to be told the best way to live my life, or to make a change like Michael Jackson did, or anything. I actively resist the really heavy handed moralizing and the sledgehammer used to pound in that message. I mean, it’s not a bad message, and I feel as though it’s actually going to be a meaningful song to many people, but it outright tells you its message and everything that you are supposed to take away from it, and I resist that in general, no matter how well the song is actually sung.
Michael Jackson in the ’80s is still going to be good, and the song is really well performed, but I can’t welcome it in to my heart.