in Review

Posthumous Pop

Michael Jackson – Michael

I remember getting excited when I first heard “Breaking News”, the first track released from this posthumous collection. It wasn’t great, but it still showed that even in his last years, Jackson still carried more pop prowess in one gloved finger than most of your modern pop hacks. Than I heard the first “official” single and it was absolutely terrible. Just typical, uninspired, shitty pop that you could hear basically anywhere, suppose I should of been warned by that “Feautring Akon” credit. After that I was scared, will this album still sound like the original King of Pop? Or it will it sound like some over produced, Timbaland type, pop disaster?

First off, I’d be lying if I said listening to this album wasn’t embarrassing. I mean Michael Jackson’s a great performer, he’s done some incredible work, but this is the Michael Jackson of the 2000s and even he couldn’t avoid being influenced by the dark side of the modern pop scene. Luckily on even the corniest, most uninspired, tracks you can still rely on Jackson’s presence and singing ability to keep it compelling. His vocal hiccups and “Woos” and “Uhs!” are as fresh as ever, you just have to trim back some of the fat to appreciate it.

As far as I’m concerned there are moments on Michael that are just as good or better that the blah Jackson album Invincible (the last album to be released during his lifetime.) I mean there’s a actually a lot of tracks on this album I like, not love but enjoy.Sure it’s unorganized, but it’s because it’s a posthumous release, which there’s no denying was gonna come one way or another.

So you can look at this album in two different ways; as the latest official Michael Jackson album, or as a loose compilation of Jackson just doing what he loved. I prefer the latter and it could of been much worse. Sure the ballads are cheesy, some of the arrangements are so-so, but the style and strength of MJ keeps it afloat as a loving piece of pop.

Favorite Tracks: “Behind the Mask”, “Breaking News”, “(I Can’t Make It) Another Day” (Featuring Lenny Kravitz) “