Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Michael" Jackson He Is Forever

I thought I would like a song or two but I’m blown away at how a set of unreleased demos can rival most modern releases. The album doesn't really have a theme or concept but these ten tracks are superbly produced and carefully made to sound like a Michael Jackson record. Producers Teddy Riley, "Tricky" Stewart, Akon and others did a superb job piecing together the tracks to create a finished product.

The album opens up with Hold My Hand a duet with Akon, the only song not penned by Michael was recorded in 2007 and just completed; this beautiful song proves that Michael can have had a modern hit. Hollywood Tonight is very reminiscent of the Dangerous era and has all the Jackson signature vocal beat boxing groove, the ending with the whistling of the melody is divine. Keep Your Head Up High is a lush gorgeous inspirational ballad that could easily be his new Man In The Mirror, hearing his “Woh” screams in the background with the choir is hair raising. On (I Like) The Way You Love we hear a bit of his genius, a rare recording of Michael explaining how he wants the song to sound imitating the drum beats and instrumentation with only his vocals. It goes right into the full lush production making this beautiful Motown style groove sound magical. Monster is another song about the pitfalls of Hollywood, some of the background vocal by Michael was song through a PVC tube, not the best track on the album but it still gets you grooving. I could have done without the 50 Cents rap cameo but apparently Michael had wanted to work with him on his new record. Best Of Joy sound eerily familiar like a long lost 80’s R &B ballad that could easily be part of his Greatest Hits. “Everybody wants a part of Michael Jackson” he sings on Breaking News, making fun of how media would tear him apart, but the urgency of the beats suggest he was more then just laughing. I Can’t Make It Another Day teams up Michael with Lenny Kravitz to produce a heavy rock “Dirty Diana” groove. The last 2 track were taken from around the time of “Thriller”. Behind The Mask is a haunting robotic dance groove that sample’s Japanese Electropop pioneers Yellow Light Orchestra’s song of the same name, “Who Do You Love?...Where is your soul, where did it go?” Michael screams with his signature Hee-Hee’s. The closing track Much Too Soon is a beautiful country style ballad reminiscent of Gone Too Soon, I don't understand why it was never used, it could have been a huge hit.

This should have been the album he released in 2001 instead of “Unbreakable”. We'll never know how these songs would have sounded had Michael finished them, but I do not believe that his vocals are fake. To fit his vocals with the final musical production the producers admitted that they had to slightly modulate Michael's voice. If they are fakes than Sony Music produced one the best albums of the year and the imitator should be given a record contract. To the reviewers who slammed the album saying it's just slim pickings from someone who was a perfectionist, and Michael would have never released these songs… well Michael's slim pickings is miles beyond the drivel that gets released as a record these days.

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