Imagine, if you can, Michael Jackson in the Red Army Faction, sing-whispering diatribes into a microphone rather than blaring them bullhorns or blasting them from bombs. Here his broadside is disguised as a love song sung to an abstraction. And though, under rigorous Marxist analysis, his beloved concept goes from fairest to foulest in 90 seconds, the early infatuation persists in his soft, mellifluous singing. The prospect of a seductive vocal melody as a focal point is unrealized, and the guitar has no hope of carrying the song, either--its thin, wiry sound lacks the requisite force, and it squeezes out only a few chords at a time before being strangled. The bassline is muscular enough to cut a path through the song, but it never locks into a groove to give that path shape. With no clear throughline, the whole song stutters, as if everything's been cut up and reassembled. It's sliced and diced pop, with all the fat, and some of the lean, trimmed away for punch and quickness.