Michael Bolton’s “The One Thing” (1993)

Remind me never to accept music review suggestions based on pure dare and absurdity. Sure, reviewing two Michael Bolton albums as a tribute to Game of Thrones sounds funny until you’re actually doing it. That being said, lets dig into Bolton’s 1993 release, “The One Thing.”

I cannot review an album in a vacuum, all past musical experience heavily impacts the way I think about what I’m listening to in the present. Having only listened to Michael Bolton’s “Time, Love & Tenderness” (1991) two days ago, listening to “The One Thing” (1993) is just insufferable. I don’t care about how nice Bolton’s voice is, not as long as I’m just listening to more of the same. A song from “The One Thing” is only distinguishable from a song on “Time, Love & Tenderness” in that you might notice that there’s more guitar, or you don’t hear those really cheesy keyboard presets. And there are songs on “The One Thing” that sound exactly like songs that Bolton released two years prior.

I could forgive the musical similarities between the albums if only there was some sort of lyrical/thematic evolution in Bolton’s songs; but there isn’t. “The One Thing” highlights an apparent problem with Bolton and the “adult-contemporary/love-song” genre, for me at least: if the one thing you do well is sing love songs or pseudo-inspirational garbage, then I’m going to stop noticing or caring about your talent and tune out. Like Bolton, I’m not made of steel – and I can only endure so much before I crumble. Like “Time, Love & Tenderness” it’s hard to say that “The One Thing” isn’t okay, but after consuming two hours worth of Bolton I can say without a doubt that I can’t stand it anymore – and that’s not okay.

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