So musically this comes over like a ’99 era Irv Gotti/Ja Rule track (you know, when they were good): stop-start rhythm, lotsa chimes, pizzicato xylophone(?). Only the dippy-dippy-do funk bass maroons it in the 70s. It’s fucking great. I must have listened to it 20 times on the bus ride home Friday night. (That last bit of sunlight-at-night before the creeping horror that is Daylight Savings.)

My pal Arthur (who tipped me off to the song in the first place) had this to say: “The song is Foster Sylvers’ ‘Misdemeanor.’ He was the youngest (I think) of family group, the Sylvers, who also did ‘Boogie Fever.’ They were supposed to be a southern Jackson Five; they were from Memphis. And they tried to make him their Michael. I think it’s better than any Michael solo single from the pre-Off the Wall era.”

It’s probably too short to make it onto pop radio today (just a hair over 2:30), and we don’t give hits to fey pre-pubescent pop stars these days anyway. But the vocal style is so great – laconic, ebullient – and the groove so invisibly springheeled, I’d pay cash money to hear this covered by, say, Amerie today. (And in this day and age of mp3, that’s the highest compliment I can give.)