I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan so it was with great excitement that I read on Monday “New Michael Jackson album coming in May”. I could barely hold in a shamon! It’s almost 5 years since his death but the world will be treated to some ‘new’ music from the undisputed King of Pop with the release of XSCAPE on May 13th. Being a big fan means that whilst I’m super excited I hope it does his legacy justice.
Epic Records Chairman and CEO L.A. Reid has be given unlimited access to the vault of what MJ considered unfinished tracks so surely we can expect something special. Many people have talked about the huge amount of unused material Michael had and the quality of this work left on the studio floor over the years. Some of the music world’s best producers have been brought in to ‘contemporize’ the tracks with Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins and John McClain all part of the project.
This is the second posthumous album, the first ‘MICHAEL’ was released in 2010. I for one, got up early the day of its release to rush down and buy a copy. I’m always a digital music buyer and hadn’t bought a CD in years but this was Michael Jackson! I had to have a hard copy. I liked the album but was it worthy of the King of Pop? The way MJ created his music was extraordinary! Because he couldn’t read or write music he would build every part of the track with his voice; notes, chords, harmony, melody, bass and rhythm. He explained and demonstrated this in a court case concerning his ‘Dangerous’ album (which he won of course). This creative process is somewhat lost when the control goes over to others, however talented they are. And in my opinion this is where ‘MICHAEL’ wasn’t quite up to the quality you’d expect.
No matter what, everyone involved in XSCAPE have some big penny loafers to fill.