My running review of Michael Jackson’s new CD “Michael”. Obviously, he’s dead, so the album was put together from unfinished demos and other recordings.
1. Hold My Hand (duet with Akon) – Not listening to pop music except for at work, I don’t really know Akon (except I think he threw a fan who got on stage into the crowd and was sued or something). It’s not amazing, it’s fairly catchy, pretty “vanilla”. But it stands out on the album, and sounds like the most finished of the bunch.
2. Hollywood Tonight – Again, nothing special. Classic MJ beat box. Album liner lyrics are wrong, which is always irritating to me. Proofread people, proofread. Vocals are clearly demo, I don’t think it’s “production” or an autotune making it sound weird to me, it’s just MJ not being perfect.
3. Keep Your Head Up – beginning already sounds sappy and lame. Boring, so boring. I don’t hate it, it’s just boring. There are much better “uplifting” MJ songs to choose from if you need one.
4. (I Like) The Way You Love Me – I was attempting an unbiased review, but maybe that’s impossible since I just find pop music to be so boring. Sounds like it’s been sung over a telephone. The auto tune production, which I understand was probably necessary, is annoying. Does nothing for me. Kinda annoying.
5. Monster (featuring 50 cent) – more upbeat, but played out subject matter (paparazzi). More my style, might actually listen to it again haha.
6. Best Of Joy – gag. 50 seconds in and i’m not even going to bother finishing it. next.
7. Breaking News – the first “single”, the most controversial with people claiming it’s not him. Sounds like him to me, Hollywood Tonight sounds less like him than this one. But clearly it had to be worked into a complete song, with vocals added in sections. Whatever, doesn’t make it not him. Again, played out subject matter about the media/paparazzi/tabloids. It’s not bad, upbeat. I’m indifferent, leaning towards it being ok.
8. (I Can’t Make It) Another Day (featuring Lenny Kravitz) – clearly the best song on the album, written by Lenny Kravitz. Guitars, upbeat. Like. Dave Grohl on drums, neat.
9. Behind the Mask – not what i was expecting. It’s faster and upbeat, and I assumed it was some lame song about himself ha. It’s strange, can’t say if I like it or not. It’s the type of vocals I like, strong and clear. One of the songs that seem older to me, a mix of Off The Wall and Bad (ha sounds strange eh?). I think I like it, definitely deserving of more listens.
10. Much Too Soon – gag. boring. will never listen again.
I don’t think I can even venture to give it a grade. It’s not groundbreaking or mind blowing, and in general is kind of generic. Overall, the thought of listening to it doesn’t make me cringe like Invincible. Maybe it’s because MJ DIDN’T have a final say in the songs, that they don’t sound like he is an old man trying too hard to fit into current music (like Invincible). But on the other hand, I’m not sure he’d be happy having the world hear these songs unfinished, or finished by other hands. I have little to no interest in listening to the album again, and after I copy a few songs for the car, it’ll sit on the shelf.
I wish the liner notes had dates listed…like, year the demo was made because some sound like they might be recent and some older, and it’s something I’d just like to know.
So much controversy regarding, is it him singing, is it not him, was it all faked…I guess I don’t understand what all the shock and surprise is, regarding it sounding “funny”…They weren’t finished songs, they weren’t finished vocals, they sometimes are clearly demos. So what did people expect? It wasn’t a finished record MJ was just sitting on when he died, and people had to take what was there and make it into a finished product for release. So that might have meant adding old MJ vocals, running them through autotune and other processing techniques, having other people fill in vocals as backup or for layering. To me, this is not a shock, and it doesn’t mean they are fake. Maybe I just know too much about what goes into making an album that I am just not surprised. It is completely what I expected.
And for those who point to the Jackson family claims that it is not MJ singing…what the hell would they know? When was the last time a Jackson who is not Janet, was involved in MJ recording (and even that was 15 years ago)? Thriller? Even before? Joe Jackson was fired a long long time ago, and MJ wasn’t exactly on good terms with his family the last few years. So what would they know about how or when he recorded any of this. So of ANYONE’s claims that it is not really MJ singing, theirs would be the least reliable.
Kinda sad that I know this is not full of the best demos that MJ had to offer. Disappointed that Blue Gangsta, which can be found on youtube, is not on the album. But I guess Sony has a contract for 29738629727 MJ albums, it’s bound to end up on one of them. I hope the estate can find more (better) archival songs to release. I may not listen to this record ever again, but I will still pay attention to future releases in the hopes of finding a gem. This one doesn’t have any.