Zack Kouns
Michael Jackson: "I Just Can't Start Loving You"
June 21, 2009
12'' Vinyl LP & MP3: $15.00
S&H $4.00 US/CAN or $6.00 International
Digital Download Available: $8.00
This item can be bought at a discounted rate as part of the Ownness 3 item sale

Michael Jackson: “I Just Can’t Start Loving You” is Zack Kouns' attempt to integrate elements of Michael Jackson’s bizarre and esoteric personality into the subject matter of eight experimental pop songs. The music sounds simultaneously like and unlike Kouns' other output, while still remaining subtly Jackson-esque in its nature. Recorded in September 2008, and released just 4 days before the death of The King of Pop.

Track listing:
1. The Kids Are With Their Dad This Weekend (2:56)
2. Desperation Is Coveted (6:52)
3. How Could He Hurt That Little Child? (6:05)
4. A Little Radio Wave (3:48)

5. Oak Bark (4:30)
6. The Way You Make Me Feel (6:01)
7. Punishment (4:09)
8. God Loves the Little Children (4:06)

Praise for Michael Jackson: “I Just Can’t Start Loving You”:

"Mr. Kouns is one of those artists who is refreshingly unpredictable, and “Michael Jackson: I Just Can't Start Loving You” is a perfect example of how dicey an endeavor trying to pin him down can be.

The majority of these sinister ditties are piano and keys based songs, embellished with, I dunno, maybe Juno synths and some sort of cheapo sonic embellishments and sparingly used chimes. This is one of the records that I reacted to almost immediately but chose to listen to numerous times. Though the music is mostly ballads, the lyrical content is fairly sick. For instance, the song “Desperation Is Coveted,” a great example of a cheerful chord progression features ironically motivated words of violence and insanity: “Torture and Violence/Is Our Inheritance/I felt them surge up inside of me;commingled with impotence and fear.”

The overall effect is similar to a mix of John Trubee and Boyd Rice, though the music resembles neither. On a personal note, I'd like to hear a duet between Lisa “Suckdog” Carver and Mr. Kouns. “Michael Jackson: I Just Can't Start Loving You” is one of those records which can both be categorized with ease when it comes to its off-kilter pop, but nearly impossible to pigeon-hold when paired with the sickness of the lyrics. As far as its genre-twisting content goes, it's the kind of record I love. Bizarre and catchy, Zack Kouns has managed to create on of those weird ones. Cheers! 9/10"
- P. Somniferum, Foxy Digitalis

"His songs and instrumentation are delicate and musical his voice is less so but perfectly expresses the anguish, loss and trepidation inherent in the lyrics which are almost uniformly wonderful (particularly the opening track) even through the synths... Kouns' style of music is very much his own which is a definite plus point."
- Ian Holloway, Wonderful Wooden Reasons