When a friend tries to put you on to a new artist, usually the first thing out of their mouth is something along the lines of, “They remind me of (insert artist here). It’s natural. We all do it. Our introductions of new food, music, movies, etc. are all some version of Amazon’s sales tactic of “customers who purchased this item also purchased THIS.” Usually, when you finally sit down to listen to the recommendation, it only vaguely sounds like the thing it was advertised to sound like.
Then there are other times where you listen to an artist’s song and not only does it sound similar to another artist, but it could legitimately fit into said artist’s catalog and be a hit. From the style of the song to the lyrics to the track, everything lines up perfectly and sounds as if it was lifted from an artist's unreleased tracks and remade by someone else.
From the first moment I heard Dornik, his voice reminded me of someone I’d heard before. That’s nothing new though. There are plenty of artists that sound like another artist, not necessarily from the standpoint of trying to be an imitation. They just have qualities that make you think of someone else. But in those moments when the vocal tone, delivery, and music all align perfectly, you blow past the notion of things simply being similar and go to a place where you imagine how dope it would be to hear this song performed by another artist.
So, when I copped Dornik’s self-titled album in August of 2015, I froze in my tracks when I heard “Something About You.” His mellow, breathy delivery which was slightly nasal at times (in a good way) floated effortlessly over the sweet-sounding synth-driven track. The first thing I thought was, “Michael Jackson would MURDER this!”
I know I’m not the first person to compare Dornik to Michael Jackson, but I truly believe this song more than any other could have fit perfectly in Michael Jackson’s catalog and been a huge hit. This is the type of mid-tempo groove where the King of Pop would have added his subtle yet aggressive adlibs to take it over the top.
If you’re not completely convinced, listen to Michael Jackson’s version of “Butterflies”. Similar tempo, similar groove. Mike Jack would have eaten “Something About You” alive! Nothing about the track needs to be changed. Simply remove Dornik’s vocals and add Michael Jackson’s, and it would fit perfectly on his 2001 album “Invincible”.
To me, the fit between these two artists on this particular song is perfect. It goes beyond the vocal similarities or production. There’s shared energy in the delivery that comes across without Dornik appearing as an impersonator. Unfortunately, we’ll never get the chance to hear Michael Jackson record the greatest MJ song never sang.