Don't really want to add to the deluge of Jackson-angst, but I read an un-sycophantic article today that contained some interesting points, like:

"The content of pop songs is generally restricted to two essential modes: I Love You and I Hate Myself. In its limitations it resembles binary code. What should not compute, but unfortunately it does, is our insistence that the world’s greatest musicians should impoverish their own imagination by working in such a confined space."

so I suppose the question is, is the format of a pop song negatively restrictive, or does the stricture of the format ensure that songwriters have to be even more creative in order to correctly fit the message perfectly into place - in much the same way that one would with a sonnet or haiku, for example?

-Somehow I doubt it, but it might have some truth in it - and this leads onto thinking about why pop songs are only pronounced 'perfect' in their disposable 3 minute form; and longer, more elaborate noodlings a la Pink Floyd or Radiohead are to be discouraged or frowned upon as self-aggrandising and elitist. I'm no fan of Rick Wakeman, but perhaps it would be nice to hear some different song formats once in a while.