Being unceremoniously outed across the globe when he was caught indulging in "lewd conduct" in a Beverley Hills toilet seems to have given George Michael's career a new lease of life.
After being a girls' dream when with Wham, and then a safe pop star, Michael's conduct since the incident has confirmed him as a star not afraid of courting controversy.
His humourous video for Outside reconstructed the whole unfortunate toilet situation, told from his perspective. Mocking the police, it made light of a difficult time for the singer.
So when the video for Shoot The Dog featured "Cherie Blair" hopping into bed with the gay star, and the dog in question being George W Bush's poodle and Cherie's husband, the gasps of surprise and outrage were all the more difficult to comprehend.
The whole affair has been designed to sell records, of course, and on the evidence of the music presented here, Michael needs all the help he can get.
Shoot The Dog was written, arranged, performed and produced by Michael, albeit with the help of a sample of Human League's Love Action (I Believe In Love). The final result is a somewhat flaccid mish-mash of vocals, sampled synths and rhythm which borders on being funky.
But the deep-end vocals are largely illegible, while Michael's characteristic high-end work lands somewhere between self-parody and Barry Gibb. And the music seems like a genetic fusion of Outside and his earlier controversial hit I Want Your Sex.
Despite that, with the lack of perceptible hooks of any kind, the whole affair largely washes over the listener, leaving one wondering what all the fuss was about. But we know, of course. Good marketing, a politically motivated video and an attempt to maintain his A-list credentials lie behind Shoot The Dog. But really, this mut is barking up the wrong tree.