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Ok, but could have been so much better.
on 16 December 2010
First off - "Michael" isn't the album Michael Jackson would have released as a new album had he been alive now, although it does contain several new songs a lot of it are out-takes from previous albums and demo's remixed. Sony were touting this back in the Summer as a "New" album that had songs Michael was working on before his death, well like i just said this clearly isn't all the case. "Michael" isn't a bad album at all, just not a particularly great one. Will it trouble the likes of "Off the wall", "Thriller" or "Bad" as great legendary Michael jackson albums? - Er No but it's at least as good say "Invincible" so it isn't all bad news.
One of the things that baffles me is that several of the songs on here that are out-takes from earlier albums have been remixed..why? Behind the mask for one was a finished song from the Thriller sessions so why did Sony feel the need to remix it? The reason i mention this is coz there are lots of finished songs from earlier albums that were never used just sitting there and sound perfectly good! Some of these can be heard on you-tube..songs like "I got the hots" and the brilliant Rod Temperton written "Hot Street" are all finished and sound fantastic..when these songs are eventually released i hope Sony don't ruin these by giving these contemporary makeovers !
It makes "Michael" a somewhat un-even album because of the many factors of completion these songs were in. Some were largely finished and some not and have been altered.
First single "Hold my hand" featuring Akon is one of the several new songs here and it's a nice but pretty unremarkable song, it's the sort of song Akon was churning out back in 2007/8 but is largely forgettable to be honest, pleasant but rather vacuous.
Another great new song is "Keep your head up" a nice contemporary rnb song but with a more memorable tune.
Some have mentioned the 3 tracks or so that allegedly Michael doesn't sing on and Sony have employed a soundalike instead? - Personally i'm not so sure?..only "Monster" sounds potentially fake to me? The voice is a bit lower than Michaels usual register but the other songs sound perfectly fine and i've been listening to Michaels voice regularly for some 35 yrs or so that's my take on it at least. Make your own mind up.
"Michael" is still an essential purchase for any Michael Jackson fan but this album is somewhat a missed opportunity, id personally love to hear the songs that Michael was working on with Will.i.am and Neyo before his death but will.i.am at least is pretty against the music they made being released so it's unlikely we'll ever hear it..shame. Not sure why the Neyo songs didn't make this album.. i'm sure Sony will try to release another album next year,so maybe they will be on that.
Id like any following michael Jackson albums to fall into 1 of 2 catogories - Post 2005 ( after the trial) songs michael was working on with modern producers and contemporary sound and the finished earlier album out-takes. Here's hoping.