More about: Michael Jackson
Being that he is the King of pop it’s always difficult to give a fair critique of a Michael Jackson album, let alone a posthumous one. Used to awarding Michael Jackson with the highest of accolades, due in part to his flawless approach to music, his less-than-amazing ‘Invincible’ project made it a bit easier to do so. While the album had its moments, it just wasn’t up to the usual high standards set by the greatest entertainer the world has ever known. Since that 2001 release there have been a few leaked songs here and there, as well as talk of a Will.I.Am helmed MJ album. The re-release of ‘Thriller’ saw a mediocre attempt at resurrecting the multi-platinum selling singer’s career with a few miss-judged remixes, and fans of the singer didn’t seem impressed that the Black Eyed Peas frontman had the keys to the kingdom as far as the next project was concerned. Quite possibly the most reported death since Princess Diana, the aftermath was almost certain to see a new album released instantly. However, only just seeing the light of day, and with Will.I.Am nowhere to be seen, the Teddy Riley overseen ‘Michael’ is what fans have been waiting for and ultimately deserve.
While the album’s lead single, ‘Hold My Hand’, is incredibly cheesy, and features the newfound King of cheesy pop , Akon, it’s easy to see why it was included and released as the first single. Akon sells, draws in the average Joe. He has the same effect Michael Jackson had back in the seventies and eighties. He brought people together. Anyway, listed as the album’s first track it’s without doubt the weakest link. Things only get better from this point.
Feeling like early nineties Michael Jackson, beatbox sound effects and sharp vocals on ‘Hollywood Tonight’ perk up your ears and have you both surprised and interested to hear what’s next. The Neff-U produced ‘(I Like) The Way You Love Me’ starts with a non-studio produced recording of the singer explaining an idea for a song he has. After he recreates the beat with his mouth the actual interpretation of his idea starts and soulfully transforms in to what can only be described as an authentic MJ record. While most albums released by artists who have passed away sound like a half assed attempt by someone who didn’t even know the artist, ‘Michael’ sounds as if it was recorded entirely with Michael Jackson’s permission and guidance. Even the 50 Cent featured ‘Monster’ sounds as if the two of them just stepped in to the studio, knocked the track out and then went about their business. 50’s quick-fire verse works on the Teddy Riley produced banger, just like Heavy D’s verse worked on MJ’s 1991 hit ‘Jam’, which Teddy Riley was also instrumental in the creation of.
Gunning for the paparazzi on ‘Breaking News’, lines such as, “Everybody wanting a piece of Michael Jackson,” have the superstar sounding off at the news reporters of the world. The smooth criminal’s almost aggressive stand is without doubt one of the album’s main highlights. Think ‘Dangerous’ but 19 years on. That’s the best way to sum this album up. R.I.P. The King of pop.
More about: Michael Jackson