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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than could ever have been hoped. A genuine reminder of the genius of Michael Jackson
If you have ever liked Michael Jackson's music then this album is simply a must purchase, especially in the deluxe format as the originals are in most cases far better than anything Timberland, Dark Child or Rodney Jerkins can remix.

The opener "Love Never Felt So Good" is a classic, feel good Jackson soul ballad. It is a beautiful song that could have...
Published 4 months ago by Tom Hughes

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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bionic supersonic
Just over a year after his shocking death, "Michael" was released in 2010, a hastily assembled collection that included relatively recent outtakes, causing speculation and controversy as to whether it was all original Michael Jackson songs, and if it was actually him singing on the record. Apparently there are another 4 albums to come according to the deal with Sony. This...
Published 4 months ago by Scarlet Jupiter


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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than could ever have been hoped. A genuine reminder of the genius of Michael Jackson, 13 May 2014
This review is from: Xscape (Audio CD)
If you have ever liked Michael Jackson's music then this album is simply a must purchase, especially in the deluxe format as the originals are in most cases far better than anything Timberland, Dark Child or Rodney Jerkins can remix.

The opener "Love Never Felt So Good" is a classic, feel good Jackson soul ballad. It is a beautiful song that could have easily been added to "Off the Wall" or "Thriller" as a single, it is that strong.

Another gem is "Loving you" which in remixed form on the standard album sounds well done as an up-tempo dance up and in the context of the album really injects some pace. However Michael's synth driven original is a slow paced "Bad" era ballad that is one the most uplifting, touching songs he has ever written. It is also quite personal and written in the first person, which is actually quite rare for any Jackson song post Bad, as lyrics started to become more impersonal and paranoid.

Chicago is a smooth modern take on the Liberian Girl theme from Bad but with less of the magical visceral fantasy imagery that astounded much of his best work. Another song that struggles for this reason is "Do You Know Where Your Children Are" which is more of a statement of concern than a well crafted piece of pop.

Blue Gangsta and A Place with No Name (especially the acoustic, western inspired deluxe original version) are other high points in a album that is successful on so many levels. Considering how it has been constructed with many different producers over such a protracted time frame it is incredible how complete and diverse it actually feels. The downside to this album is that I agree it is overproduced in some places and many of the best versions of these songs are the original versions that are only available in the deluxe package.

There is also a stark, sad reminder that Michael's final years musically were quite dark and paranoid, lacking the joy of his earlier work. The best, early songs on this package are a wonderful reminder at how beautiful Michael could sing and write feel good music. It is fantastic that we have some new songs from this era to enjoy, with some surprisingly strong ones from the 90s thrown in.

My reason for five stars is because although far from his finest ever work, this is still a superb collection of songs and in deluxe form, gives us at least 2 songs that are up-to standard of his greatest classics. It is more enjoyable than any album since Dangerous and better than any music from his modern day pretenders Timberlake et al. Michael may be gone, but this album is so good he can still be called today's King of Pop not just in the history books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mostly good well produced album, 17 May 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Xscape should be seen a bit differently to the rushed cash in that "Michael" was (though there were a few songs on that which made it worth investigating)

First off a lot more attention has gone into the production of these songs, and whilst you can never have the "real Michael Jackson" touch only he could add, it does feel as if care was put into this second posthumous release.

A few track highlights for me include:

- Love Never Felt So Good, a catchy upbeat number harking back to the days of post off the wall/Thriller time period evidently dug from the files around 1983, it's a simple yet enjoyable song that captures the disco feel of Jackson well. Both versions are interesting the original with a piano backing and the disco beat version

- Loving You, another straight forward song from the "Bad" studio sessions, strong vocal performance from Jackson and a pleasing melody and topped with the MJ happy era singing style, one of the stronger titles on the album

- A Place With No Name, a reworked new lyrics version of the well known "Horse With No Name" from the 70's band America. I was never a fan of the drawn out original, however Jackson injects vocal power and talent into the song and leaves the Dewey Bunnell original looking lazy and tired..a surprisingly good song.

- Xscape the album title song, is a good vocal test song with Jackson's harsher sounding voice with a real edge to it, but the re-worked version injects the bite needed to pull it off. I prefer the new produced version on this with the extra backing and editing. This is a good example of considered skilful production; taking MJ's cutting vocals and surrounding them with the beef needed to deliver a finished song.

I think most Jacskon fans know by now that there are not likely to be any "killer MJ classics" hiding around on a demo tape in a dark dusty corner nearly 5 years after Michael's passing (unless something well hidden turns up) We probably have heard the best from Jacskon in the past. This collection is by no means bad, the vocal power of Jackson's unique voice shine through. But as one paper said this is a collection of "near misses", and with MJ's well known perfectionism that no doubt prevented a normal release of these songs.

As others have said though an MJ demo tape is usually far better than many modern artists can muster on a full studio production. Some moments of magic here, though there is no Billie Jean equivalent song hiding on the track list...a Jackson near miss is still worth a listen.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The King Rises Again!, 12 May 2014
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This review is from: Xscape (Audio CD)
Brilliant. Just brilliant. 8 songs unreleased remastered, and on the deluxe addition, the originals. Track by track review :

Track 1 Love Never Felt So Good:.. An 80s disco vibe, amongst crackling vocals. Love Never Felt So Good was recorded in the 80s, and should've been released in the 80s too. 10-10

Track 2 Chicago:.. Michael sings in a low chord during the verses, before unleashing regret and angst in the chorus. About a girl who was already married.10-10

Track 3 Loving You:.. Another one with an 80s vibe, a love song yet more "poppy" that a ballad would be. 10-10

Track 4 A Place With No Name:.. Using a sample from "A Horse With No Name" comes A Place With No Name. Superb. 10-10

Track 5 Slave To The Rythm:.. A funky disco groove getting at women being treated worse than men. 10-10

Track 6 Do You Know Where Your Children Are:.. About a girl who runs away from her abusing stepdaddy, only to resort to prostitution. A few hehes and you have a song!!! 9-10

Track 7 Blue Gangsta:.. About a girl who makes him angry. Worth noting that his vocal performance is outstanding. 10-10

Track 8 Xscape:.. Another disco groove. Probably the poorest on the album but hey. 8-10...

Gotta get it!!!

Deluxe edition is the way to go. Includes :

A cool poster of MJ,

All songs in their original forms aswell as the remastered versions,

A DVD Documentary on how the album was made,

A booklet of all the songs' lyrics,

And the hit, Love Never Felt So Good remixed with MJ and Justin Timberlake. Two pop stars, great song.

My personal standout tracks are "Chicago" "Slave To The Rythm" "Blue Gangsta" and "Love Never Felt So Good'..

So all in all. GET ITTTTT!!!!!!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected, 14 May 2014
By 
A. M. Shaw "Dr. Death" (Gillingham, Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Xscape (Audio CD)
Can't understand why people don't like this album.
You're never going to get an album on a par with Thriller or Bad, but for me this album is far better than a lot of albums out today.
The deluxe edition is brilliant with some of the original versions better than the reworkings.
I can't give it five stars, but I can really recommend it and some of todays artists could learn a lot by just listening to it, especially the originals
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KING OF POP ALIVE, 25 May 2014
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This review is from: Xscape (Audio CD)
OMG THIS ALBUM IS AMAZING" FUNKY GOOD SOUNDS GREAT MICHAEL JACKSON RYTHEM AND I JUST CRIED LISTEN TO IT ..........SO GOOD THE WAY THE PRODUCERS GIVE IT MAGIC OF MICHAEL JACKSON BACK ........ THANK YOU .AND ALLOWED YOU TO HEAR THE ORGINALS ......THAT MAGIC ....10/10
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bionic supersonic, 12 May 2014
This review is from: Xscape (Audio CD)
Just over a year after his shocking death, "Michael" was released in 2010, a hastily assembled collection that included relatively recent outtakes, causing speculation and controversy as to whether it was all original Michael Jackson songs, and if it was actually him singing on the record. Apparently there are another 4 albums to come according to the deal with Sony. This second posthumous release, features 8 unreleased songs from 1983-1999, (6 of which hardcore MJ fans may have already heard over the years), worked on by a team of producers including Darkchild, Timbaland and Stargate, lovingly and respectfully "contemporised". Although unfinished, most of these tracks have more joy and range than the rather constipated material "Invincible" was, enhancing rumours of the pressure he was under when recording that album, and the events following its release.

"Xscape" represents a bionic Michael Jackson; the voice, the lyrics, the melodies, the feeling, they are all MJ. The rest is all built around this man, who is encased in gleaming technological machinery. MJ, a hopeless perfectionist, was competing with himself, so it is fascinating to compare the "modernised" tracks with the original demos included on the deluxe edition of "Xscape". This edition is really the one to go for, as it offers the essence of the artist behind these songs. Obviously, there are no hidden classics to be found here, this collection only adds some worthy songs to the MJ canon, like "Chicago", "Slave to the rhythm" and "Blue gangsta", reminders of his greatness. It is a blessing to have him sound alive again. Jackson was once pop's premier genius, any "new" material will only eclipse his past greatness, so he should be really left alone. HIStory has been written already.

Note: Deluxe edition comes in 2 versions, crystal-case and soft-pack; the latter, which serves as the international deluxe edition, also includes an exclusive MJ poster.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have to say...I love it, 19 May 2014
By 
fairylighter (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Xscape (Audio CD)
So, I heard Love Never Felt So Good whilst driving home from work last week. Firstly, I was having a bad day so anything new and peppy would have given me a jolt of happiness. But I liked it SO much that I purchased the deluxe edition by Friday for delivery Saturday. I listened to all 8 remastered tracks then listened to the original versions. At first listen I was not overly impressed with the remastered ones except for two as I originally thought most were too techno for my liking. However, after popping it into my car and listening in that environment (you know the one, a small space, controlled acoustics, my own personal place) I actually now really like all versions. This is going to be a regular in my drive music list. I admit that it is a bit haunting to hear his voice since he's been dead for 5 years. And you can really hear all the classic Michael Jackson "style" as he sang these during different periods from the early 80s through I think the late 90s. They were just hanging around in his stash of songs. The music is tight. I am very happy I purchased.
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3.0 out of 5 stars ... all the hype this album has received I was disappointed in it, 11 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Xscape (Audio CD)
I know that I'm probably going to be in the minority here but after all the hype this album has received I was disappointed in it. The so called finished tracks with the exception of "Love never felt so Good" and "Slave to the Rhythm" felt unfinished and not at all what Michael would have wanted released they were definitely not up to his standard. It is my personal opinion that excellent musical talent should not be interfered with by todays artists who have not got one ounce of the talent that Michael had. I much preferred the original soundtracks, even though they still needed a lot of work done on them by Michael, they all had his personal stamp on them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The king is back!, 19 May 2014
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I'm loving this and it's the only thing I'm listening to at the moment. To hear that voice again on tracks you've not heard before is very sureal, like he's come back from the grave!

This is a really solid album and there isn't bad track on it, which is something new for a Michael Jackson album. I've always been a huge fan, but all his albums prior have always had a track I didn't like, not this one.

Big up to the new production team, LA Reid, Timberland, Stargate, Darkchild, etc. Their production really lifts these good tracks to a new level. The original versions are good two. But this is the perfect combination of out right MJ talent and modern production magic.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Posthumous Album, 12 May 2014
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Xscape (Audio CD)
Xscape is an album using a variation of unused tracks or B sides from previous Michael Jackson albums, Yet this album has a more disco soul vibe feel to it that is more in tone with Jackos first solo album Off The Wall.

There are no ballards on this 8 track album just disco pop tracks that have a retro vibe to them showcasing that these unreleased gems are songs of genuine quality & I'm surprised that the majority of these songs didn't make it on to any of Jackos previous albums.

This review is for the 8 track standard edition although there is a deluxe edition that features 8 additional remixes of the albums songs including Justin Timberlake dueting with Michael Jackson on Love Never Felt So Good.

As a added bonus this album comes with a free mp3 download for your cloud player which is currently blaring out my Kindle Fire.

A excellent posthumous album that showcases why Michael Jackson was & will always be the true king of pop gone but never forgotten.
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