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Thread: Thoughts on "Threatened" [MERGED]

   
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    Default Re: Threatened doesn't get the credit it deserves.

    "Threatened" is great! Sure, the lyricism is standard pseudo-gothic-slash-braggadocio, but the production is insane (which I could honestly say for most of the Rodney Jerkins songs) and the Rod Serling "rap" is one of the most unique and creative things Michael has ever done.

    If not for "Unbreakable," it would be a PHENOMENAL album opener.

    - the opening narration ("Tonight's story [...] calls for a different kind of introduction")
    - the sudden explosion from eerie voice-over into driving groove
    - the ending lyrics ("What you have just witnessed could be the end of a particularly terrifying nightmare. It isn't... it's the beginning...")

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    Default Re: Threatened doesn't get the credit it deserves.

    I know Michael wanted to do a short film for Threatened and I would have loved to have seen that

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    Default Re: Threatened doesn't get the credit it deserves.

    There were also segments from ‘The Bard’ episode that were used for the ‘Threatened’ song.

    ‘The Bard’ was the Episode 18 (Season 4) of ‘The Twilight Zone’ TV series.

    The ‘Xscape’ song would have been generally a much better choice as a closing track on the ‘Invincible’ album (instead of ‘Threatened’).

    ‘Threatened’ is so over-produced, so over-processed, lyrically rehashed, it has also that typical generic Rodney Jerkins’ sound that the audience was already familiar with when the song came out in 2001, and additionally Michael Jackson’s vocals on the song sound strained and unnatural.

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    Default Re: Threatened doesn't get the credit it deserves.


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    Default Re: Threatened doesn't get the credit it deserves.

    I really like the song but it's kinda ruined by the clunky robotic sound that a lot of invincible suffers from.

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    Default Re: Threatened doesn't get the credit it deserves.

    I admit mostly ignoring the song until I heard the intro performed live in This Is It, which made me rediscover it and I love it ever since. But I agree that the album version suffers a bit from overproduction to some extent (an overused word concerning Invincible, I know, but still). An orchestration including real instruments (for the lack of a better expression) as well would definitely improve the song (as proved in TII).

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    I also think it suffers because the lyrical subject matter is somewhat familiar at best, and predictable at worst.
    I honestly wonder sometimes why there isn't a similar criticism towards the Off The Wall album, which wasn't exactly a lyrical masterpiece either.
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    Default Re: Threatened doesn't get the credit it deserves.

    Quote Originally Posted by ozemouze View Post
    I admit mostly ignoring the song until I heard the intro performed live in This Is It, which made me rediscover it and I love it ever since. But I agree that the album version suffers a bit from overproduction to some extent (an overused word concerning Invincible, I know, but still). An orchestration including real instruments (for the lack of a better expression) as well would definitely improve the song (as proved in TII).



    I honestly wonder sometimes why there isn't a similar criticism towards the Off The Wall album, which wasn't exactly a lyrical masterpiece either.
    I did consider that when I made that post but I guess because songs about love are the standard really. It's the language of song. Lyrical subject matter that steps out of that is fairly unusual, and when it's revisited - particularly when someone's career is like 'the house that Thriller built' - it's going to draw that kind of critique I think.

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    Default Re: Threatened Appreciation Thread [MERGED]

    I am glad that Michael decided to include a section of Threatened during Thriller for This Is It. That is honestly one of my favourite parts of the movie.

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    Default Re: Threatened Appreciation Thread [MERGED]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nite Line View Post
    I am glad that Michael decided to include a section of Threatened during Thriller for This Is It. That is honestly one of my favourite parts of the movie.
    Definitely agree. I would really like to have the full song in that dope version!

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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Threatened" [MERGED]

    Yeah... I especially like this cool dance move Michael does during it ... anybody has a gif of it?

    I'm curious, was this "Threatened" interlude ever used before in some TV appearance etc., or was it really brand new for "This is it"?

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    Default Re: Threatened doesn't get the credit it deserves.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmoothGangsta View Post
    I really like the song but it's kinda ruined by the clunky robotic sound that a lot of invincible suffers from.
    I love the robotic sound of invincible, definitely a product of the time, in my opinion.

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    Default Re: Threatened doesn't get the credit it deserves.

    Quote Originally Posted by analogue View Post
    I love how Michael took different audio clips of Rod Serling speaking from the Twilight Zone and edited them together to make it into a rap. Threatened really doesn't get the credit it truly deserves.
    Having worked with some of the biggest names in pop and R&B, Jerkins thinks back to his experience with Michael Jackson on the “Invincible” album in 2000 and 2001 as a key moment in his own career in music. “He challenged me to dig deeper,” Jerkins reflects. “Michael [would say], ‘Go to the junkyard and hit on things and make sounds.’ There were a lot of 3 and 4 a.m. phone calls. ‘I need you to go to the studio for me.’ I’d be super tired. I would play songs over the phone and he’d say, ‘I need you to pan the hi-hats differently.’ Genius. How did he hear that over the phone?”

    Jackson had a way of testing those who worked with him. Jerkins explains: “We were finishing the album and Michael wanted a song that could come out at Halloween. He had ‘Thriller,’ he had ‘Ghost’ — he always wanted spooky songs. He loved the track for the song ‘Threatened,’ only he said, ‘It’s missing Rod Sterling. I need Rod Sterling to rap on this.’ At first I’m thinking, ‘Is there some new rapper called Rod Sterling that I don’t know about?’ I said, ‘Elaborate, Michael.’ He said, ‘You know Rod Sterling from “The Twilight Zone.”‘ Five days later he says ‘Did you get Rod Sterling to rap on it yet?’ I said, ‘Michael, Rod Sterling is dead.’ He said, ‘Yeah but I still need him to rap on it.'”

    Jerkins obtained VHS copies of every ‘Twilight Zone’ episode, deconstructed Rod Sterling’s voiceovers and built, with the help of a rapper, an eight-bar rap using the vocal snippets.

    Jerkins continues: “Michael comes back in the studio and again, he says, ‘Did you ever get Rod Sterling to rap?’ I said ‘As a matter of fact I did.’ He looked at me as if to say, ‘You’re lying. There’s no way. I was just playing around with you!’ I pressed play and the joy that came on his face. It looked like he wanted to cry. He was so amazed that we got that done and that I took on that challenge and he loved it. It was sad it never came out [as a single] as he had big plans for that song.”

    https://variety.com/2020/music/news/...on-1234615892/

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    Default Re: Threatened doesn't get the credit it deserves.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesM View Post
    I love the robotic sound of invincible, definitely a product of the time, in my opinion.
    Yeah. If I put that in comparison to the mixes of the (original!) producers on the "Xscape" album, I think "Invincible" was an absolute masterpiece.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Threatened" [MERGED]

    @Fuzball, thank you... that's really such a neat story (Threatened / Jerkins / Sterling / Michael).

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    Default Re: Threatened doesn't get the credit it deserves.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesM View Post
    I love the robotic sound of invincible, definitely a product of the time, in my opinion.
    I like it too, it works beautifully with e.g. Heartbreaker, but when it's overdone it becomes flat and dull instead of interesting. That's what happened with Threatened IMO, and combining the robotic sound with real instruments definitely improves the song, makes it more effective, moreover, come to alive (at least for me).
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