Breaking News: “Michael” proves Michael Jackson still had it. The new album of Michael Jackson songs titled simply “Michael” was released December 14, 2010 by Epic Records. The album debuted at number one on the global chart after three million albums were shipped to 31 territories. It has been certified platinum in 14 countries, including the U.S.
Jackson spent four decades creating music that evolved and became popular for each generation. Jackson first came onto the music scene in the 1960’s when he and his brothers charmed music lovers as “The Jackson Five.” My parents were fans of the Jackson kids and as a small child, I remember my parents and my siblings and I gathering around to watch “The Jackson Five.” Michael Jackson was the favorite in our home.
In the 1970’s Jackson went out on his own for a solo career. 1982 proved to be the year that Michael Jackson music career would take him to whole new level. With the release of “Thriller” and the huge success Michael Jackson became known as the King of Pop, changing the music scene forever, and he influenced many future artists. Over the years Jackson has broke many music records, helped numerous children’s charities, and he also dominated the Medias interest for most of the time. Controversy surrounded Jackson most of his life. However, no matter what controversy and speculation that surrounded Jackson, one fact always remained true Jackson was an ultimate entertainer.
The music scene lost a great talent on June 25, 2009 when Jackson died. Now we have an album full of great music by Jackson. “Michael” has received a lot of mixed reviews, and Jackson family and some fans feel some of the tracks are not Jackson singing. Jim Farber from New York Daily news feels it is not comeback worthy, but on the opposite side Entertainment Weekly, Leah Greenblatt says “Michael” is a solid album, arguably stronger than “Invincible” and certainly no great affront to his name. But it can be hard to listen and not wonder what he would have done differently — or if he would have wanted us to hear it at all.”
I agree with EW. “Michael” is a very strong album. The tracks chosen for this album are much better than I expected. I too wonder how Jackson would have arranged the songs, and what he might have added to get them to become the perfection he was determined to always have on any release. With that being said I am not one bit disappointed in this album. I have listened to it many times and I always find myself putting it back in the stereo for one more listen. I do not understand how people cannot hear Jackson clearly in these songs. If they found an imitator that sounds that much like Jackson, that guy will have an amazing career as a Michael Jackson impersonator.
The opening song “Hold My Hand” with Akon is a beautiful song. It is the song that even the teenagers around me love, and they will start it over just to hear it one more time. I have read people that are complaining it has too much of Akon in it and Jackson sounds like that the backup vocal. I do not agree with this. While Akon is singing a great deal on the song, I feel Jackson and Akon sound amazing together singing this song. There have been other songs Jackson has sang with others, where his vocals were not as prominent as the other singer. Jackson enjoyed collaborating with others. Let’s not forget these two examples, Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me,” and Eddie Murphy’s “Whatzupwitu.” “Hold My Hand” is a classic Jackson song and delivers in pure Jackson style, and having Akon duet with him just helps bring the younger generation in too discover Jackson.
“Hollywood Tonight” gets you in the dancing mood and you cannot help but to tap your feet along to the beat even if you are sitting. It makes you want to get up and dance. Exactly what a Jackson song should make you want to do.
“Keep Your Head Up” is another song from Jackson filled with encouragement. By the end the song takes on almost a gospel tone to it.
“(I Like) the Way You Love Me” takes you back in time to when Jackson was at the height of his career. You can invasion Jackson singing this song, and swaying back and forth as he gave it his all.
“Monster” featuring 50 cent, this song took me back to when “Thriller” was playing everywhere. With “Monster” however, Jackson brought 50 Cent in and the duet brought “Monster” into the music of 2010. My twenty year old son, who is a huge hip-rap fan, loves this song. He was surprised he would find a song he would enjoy as he was not a Jackson fan.
“Best of Joy” is a mild love song. But it delivers exactly what it should. It is my least favorites on the album but with each listen I feel it growing on me.
“Breaking News” is the song where Jackson tackles the media and the fact that they always wanted to find he fell from grace. You can hear in his voice how fed up he was.
“(I Can’t Make it) Another Day” featuring Lenny Kravitz. With this song you can hear Michael really getting into the song and singing his heart out.
“Behind the Mask” starts with hearing fans cheering and ready for Jackson to take the stage. This track is one of my favorites. Jackson howls at his best and gets into the song, making you get up and dance along, definitely classic Jackson vocals on this song.
“Much Too Soon” if any of the songs on this album were going to get me teary eyed this is the one. Jackson just sounds so amazing singing this. The only complaint I have of the song is that it ends much too soon.
I think Jackson would have put a lot more into this album, however since that is not possible I think those who put this album together did an amazing job and I am thrilled to be able to add it my collection of Michael Jackson music.
Jackson was a music prodigy and he was able to create music that would fit into the music scene for the past four decades. “Michael” proves Michael Jackson still had it!
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