The new Michael Jackson album should be available in stores and online by now (at least here in Norway) and I have to say that it’s actually a pretty great album. The beats, melodies and vocals all sound like a Michael Jackson album should sound except for some parts which I’ll get into later.
- Hold My Hand (duet with Akon)
- Hollywood Tonight
- Keep Your Head Up
- (I Like) The Way You Love Me
- Monster (featuring 50 Cent)
- Best Of Joy
- Breaking News
- (I Can’t Make It) Another Day (featuring Lenny Kravitz)
- Behind The Mask
- Much Too Soon
In my first listen through the album I discovered great and strong tracks like Hold My Hand, Hollywood Tonight, (I Like) The Way You Love Me, (I Can’t Make It) Another Day and of course Behind The Mask. At first I thought those were the few songs that any person could take away as being greatly genuine MJ tracks. After listening to the others songs some more I found Keep Your Head Up, Monster, Best Of Joy (A gem!) and Much Too Soon I’d add those to the list as well. They sound great and all done in pure Michael Jackson style.
Since Michael Jackson isn’t around anymore these are of course produced by other people with the material that was available; things he recorded and worked on before he died and of course some older demo material like Behind The Mask and (I Like) The Way You Love Me (demo is featured on the album: Ultimate Collection).
There’s been a lot of discussion around the world after the whole album was put online regarding the vocals of SOME songs on the album not being Michael Jacksons but a very talented person able to sound like him. The tracks in question is “Keep Your Head Up”, “Monster” and “Breaking News”. The vocals for these tracks are said to be recorded in a home studio when Michael and his kids were living with his second “family”, the Cascios. That’s an possible explanation for some vocals sounding a little unlike Michael Jackson because of the way it was recorded. Anyway, the tracks sound great except for Breaking News which is to me that absolute weakest song in this album.
The only thing that has made me a little mad about the whole “fake vocals” discussion is that it’s creating so much hype that people are starting to question other genuine tracks like The Way You Love Me. People should just enjoy the album and be grateful that we get to hear some really great tracks from the king. The producers have done what they could to make the material they had available sounding as great and as Michael as it could without himself being there and adding his touches.