HOT PRESS ALBUM REVIEW: MICHAEL JACKSON

28 06 2014

Here’s a reprint of my review of the Michael Jackson “album” that ran in Hot Press a few weeks back.

 

MICHAEL JACKSON

Xscape (Sony)

3/10

Key Track: ‘Love Never Felt So Good.’

SOME “TREASURES” SHOULD STAY BURIED.

Xscape is the second posthumous compilation album of unreleased and rare tracks by self-anointed king of pop Michael Jackson. Featuring eight cuts culled from the singer’s archives, producer L.A. Reid and his Timbaland-led team have re-made and re-arranged the material and given them a thoroughly modern make-over, which is all well and good, but does the record deserve to bear the world-famous MJ brand? Well no, not really, as aside from that unmistakable voice, this ultra polished opus is nothing more than a hugely expensive Frankenstein’s monster.

 

Your enjoyment of Xscape will hinge on how hungry you are to hear rare Michael Jackson vocal performances. For the die-hard’s, the record is a glimpse of what might have been. For those not quite as ravenous as some of Jacko’s more passionate acolytes, Xscape is a brazen attempt to make a quick buck. Ballad ‘Do You Know Where Your Children Are’ is one of the worst offenders and sounds as uncomfortable as Gary Glitter covering Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ in the wake of the MJ’s well documented legal trouble, while the homage to America’s ‘A Horse With No Name’ (retitled here as ‘A Place With No Name’) is a glorified remix of ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ and nothing more.

 

Single ‘Love Never Felt So Good’ (which Jackson first demoed in 1983 and was covered by Christmas crooner Johnny Mathis a year later) is a solid song though, but on the whole Xscape is strictly for completists.

OUT NOW

EDWIN McFEE