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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 13 May 2014
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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on 12 May 2014
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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on 12 May 2014
It is ironic that, while he was alive, his releases were rare, but now every couple of years or so, something new or old sees the light of day. "Michael" was released in 2010, just a year after his shocking death, 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. "Xscape" is the second posthumous release, featuring 8 unreleased songs from 1983-1999, 6 of which hardcore fans may have already heard over the years. Worked on by a team of producers including Darkchild, Timbaland and Stargate, it is clear that these old tracks were lovingly and respectfully "contemporised". What is even clearer, surprising even, is that, although unfinished, most of them have more joy and range than the rather constipated material showcased on his last studio record, "Invincible", 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 Michael. 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, plus, the documentary feature is quite interesting ( you, also, get a nice poster). 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. Apparently there are another 4 albums to come according to the deal with Sony. 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.
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on 14 May 2014
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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on 19 May 2014
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 October 2014
I used to be a big MJ fan, back in the days of Bad and Thriller and I wasn't interested at all when I heard this album had been released - how good can a posthumous album be? I didn't think it would be worth a listen. How wrong was I! I saw a couple of videos on You Tube of tracks on this album and was hooked straight away. Now I've downloaded the album I've got it on repeat, listening to it whenever I get a chance!

It's such a well produced pop album. A strong collection of smooth and groovy tracks through to rocky dance tracks. I love it. If you like pop, give this album a listen.
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on 19 May 2014
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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on 25 May 2014
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on 22 June 2014
Having heard so many of the remixes already on the internet, I like the album but it could have done with more songs like "mamacita, "let me let go" and other songs from the so called 7even album.

What is good with the expanded version is having the originals to compared the new mixes to.
Michael Jackson is about vibes, feels, rhythm and beat and the new mixes do not stick to that and therefore is not really keeping to MJ's vision. this is very clear on "Xscape" which is the worst remix on the album and as it is the only one done by the original producer, it is disappointing. I hope the other mixes are better.

some of the best tracks are "love never felt so good" - it really gives the old mix a great makeover and summer feel, with a disco feel.

Blue Gangster - new mix is one of the most interesting and dramatic but it fails to keep the pulse of the original version.

Chicago - is a fab song and really a surprise, as I had not heard it before.

loving you - I love the original version a lot but the remix is good too.

Slave to the rhythm - is one of my favourite - the remix is good but again the mix with Justin Beaver keeps more to the original vibe and is better.

Do you know where you're children are - is a great track but does it keep the vibe of the original? I would have preferred additional production and mix on the original version.

a place with no name - is just ok - I was never too hot on the original song this comes from.

with the "love never felt so good" with Justin is a great remix addition.

just to say the mixes released on the internet are better the demo versions presented here and the Fugees mix of blue gangsta is great
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on 16 May 2014
I really don't know why everyone is fawning over this album like it's Thriller or Off the wall. It's a middling jacko album, no more,no less... Some good tracks, but equally some duff stuff on here too.

I don't know why Sony won't let the original versions speak for there-selves, The remixed versions largely bring nothing to the table, and only 2 tracks really benefit from the modern spin... the worst offender is "Loving you" which is a lovely sweet mid tempo track in its original form, but is hideously over produced to the Nth degree in it's modern incarnation...stripping it of all its charm..Even "Xscape" from the Invincible sessions is way way better in it's original form, Rodney Jerkins remix is largely forgettable...though why the original version was left off Invincible is mind boggling, as it's better than about 6 tracks on that album.

At least Sony have given fans the option of including the originals this time which should be commended. There's still tons of good stuff unreleased mind you..especially tracks like "Sunset Driver" from the Off the wall sessions and "Hot Street" from Thriller sessions so putting just 8 tracks on here is stingy beyond words

Is it worth buying?...sure of course...but it's not a 5 star album like Thriller or Off the has 3 really really good tracks and the rest just ok or not so good. When the hype dies down, people will start to look at this album a bit more objectively than they're doing now

Good but no classic
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