“Broken Hearts Heal” by Janet Jackson (2014)

I was one of the millions who was devastated when Michael Jackson passed away. As much as I mourned though, I can’t imagine anything I felt was anywhere near the same ballpark as the anguish his family underwent following Michael’s death.

Wow, that still feels weird to write and it’s been almost nine years.

“Broken Hearts Heal” is Janet’s tribute to the big brother who called her “almost like a twin” in their younger days. While I can’t imagine the years and careers loosening the bond the two shared (hell, Janet threw shade at Mike in more than a couple of interviews during her Velvet Rope days), siblings will always be siblings. Janet’s tribute is as heartfelt and heartbreaking as it is dignified.

Much like Janet’s previous “eulogy” song (“Together Again”), “Broken Hearts Heal” takes an upbeat tack and promises togetherness in the next life. The one full verse describes their shared childhood, singing as they did chores and rubbing shoulders with celebrities. After the first verse, a drumbeat kicks in and the result sounds very close to Michael’s “Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough”. You can feel Janet smiling through the tears as she’s singing, and if you have any love for either Jackson, “Broken Hearts Heal” will cause you to tear up as well.

NOT QUITE FIVE STARS…

“Breathe” by Michelle Branch (2003): This is how you power-pop. “Breathe” is one of those songs that, in a different era, would’ve been Number One for months and months and months.

“Bring On The Night” by The Police (1979): I can generally explain why I love most Police songs the way I do. I can’t do that with “Bring On The Night”. It’s just a great song.

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