Michael Jackson – Michael

December 17, 2010 at 10:30 PM | Posted in Michael Jackson | Leave a comment

Michael Jackson – Michael

1. Hold My Hand (feat. Akon)
2. Hollywood Tonight
3. Keep Your Head Up
4. (I Like) The Way You Love Me
5. Monster (feat. 50 Cent)
6. Best Of Joy
7. Breaking News
8. (I Can’t Make It) Another Day (feat. Lenny Kravitz)
9. Behind The Mask
10. Much Too Soon

♦ ♦ ♦

Michael is a posthumous compilation by the late American singer Michael Jackson, aka the King of Pop. It was released on December 10, 2010 to mixed and average reviews, mostly because the authentity of certain songs (Breaking News) has been questioned.

Okay, so we’re talking about MJ, the rightful King of Pop, here, so I will maintain myself. Otherwise I will praise this album into heaven already.
Hold My Hand (feat. Akon) is a wonderful opening track. It has a pumping R&B beat and clear influences of Aliaune Thiam, better known as Akon. Both singers sound great together and make quite a pair. The lyrics to this song are beautiful, not cliché-written, calling for unity. The light synthesizer effects and piano complete the track, as well as the choir in the last chorus.

Hollywood Tonight really takes me back to the good old days, Dangerous anyone? The heavy bass and Michael’s skitting are ofcourse some of his signature musical and vocal styles, and I love that on this album. Especially because it’s posthumous, this shows that Michael still had his old tricks. The spoken bridge really gives a good insight into the lyrical content, no wonder he was such a good lyricist. Shall I stop talking about his vocals? Okay, one word then: uncomparably good (okay, two xD)!

Michael was sooo good at making ballads that will make you cry at the first note. Keep Your Head Up is another perfect example of that, the lyrics are so heartfelt, so are his vocals. This song actually makes me think so much of Mariah Carey’s Through The Rain, which was another beautiful ballad that I loved to death. Everything about this song just makes me shake with goosebumps, and I think I have found another Michael song that I will listen tooo much in a row. How pretty this is!

What I like so much about (I Like) The Way You Love Me is that Michael opens the track with suggesting an opening for the track, and it sounds almost like vintage with him beatboxing for the beat suggestion. After that, the song starts exactly the way the wanted (maybe that’s a little hint?), and for once he keeps things so simple and sweet! No commercial stuff, no earcatching beats, just a beautiful and simple track.

Wait, I don’t know what kind of scream opened Monster (feat. 50 Cent), but it was a damn scary one! This song sounds like it dates back to the HIStory: In The Mix era, kinda similar to tracks like Ghosts (or is it just me who thinks that way?). It’s more of an agressive song compared to the previous two tracks, with heavier bass, handclaps and synths and some haunting instruments in the background. 50 Cent is a bit monotonous and his style doesn’t fit Michael’s, but he spices things up a bit (Michael himself spices up most of the song with shouting ‘HA!’ all the time :3).

Best Of Joy is another lovely ballad, and the shortest on this album, just over three minutes long. The lyrics are cheerful and the music is also simple and sweet. An acoustic guitar and fingerknips and handclaps overrule this track, and the one thing I don’t like about it is that this song is over before you know it. It should’ve been a bit longer, because it’s so sweet.

Breaking News is more of the Dangerous era considering the musical sound, but the lyrical content really is of today. It’s about him being followed all the time by the media and that everyone always has to have the breaking news about him. This was the controversial song, but I can’t hear anybody else but Michael himself, and I may not be a professional but I know when it’s Michael singing or someone else. This was another good song, he keeps on throwing good stuff at me, stuff that takes me back to the beautiful old days.

The beat for (I Can’t Make It) Another Day is another great arrangement, together with the terrific electric guitar riffs. Lenny Kravitz’s vocals are a nice addition as well, but the guitar solo in the bridge totally kicks ass! They should’ve teamed up earlier, this song is too good to be left off of any album. It may be a bit repetitive at some points, but it’s a darn good track.

Behind The Mask is another signature style song, and it seems like it’s a live recorded track. A crowd is cheering for Michael and then he drops in with the first song that is influenced by a saxophone, and so it’s more soulful and brassy than other songs, especially with the woman singing gospel in the background during the last part of the song.

Another beautiful ballad to end the album; Much Too Soon. At first I thought this would be a follow up for Gone Too Soon or something, but it isn’t like that at all. This song is all about the pretty lyrics, and the music gives me goosebumps all over again, especially at the bridge with the harmonica and acoustic guitar parts. At the very end, strings finish the song, and it’s the perfect end to end this album.

Well, I can’t say no else than that this was a great album, despite the fact that these tracks are all actually unfinished, they’re demo’s, and Michael never gave these songs his final blessing. A bit of a pity, makes me think this album maybe shouldn’t have been released… But then again, I would have missed all the fun! And I don’t think I would’ve let that happen! This album was too good to miss, blessings or not, and it’s such a treat for us longtime fans after his death one and a half years ago. This fits perfectly into the latest era’s of his musical career, and yet it combines this with modern aspects like the collaborations with Akon and 50 Cent. This is the final standing ovation for the King of Pop!

Favorite tracks: Hold My Hand (feat. Akon) | Keep Your Head Up | (I Can’t Make It) Another Day | Much Too Soo


4½ stars

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