Hold My Hand...

Themidwestcowboy

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Just heard Hold My Hand today and I haven't heard that song in ages but I gotta say that I loved MJ's vocal style in this song. To me it truly sounds like a more mature and older version of the Thriller era voice. I much prefer this voice to his "Invincible" voice. I think he overdid the grit a bit in those years. Best Of Joy is another great example of how youthful his voice sounded but just slightly mature.

I wonder how he sounded on fast and uptempo songs in his last years. I Don't count WBSS 2008 cause the quality is really bad.
 

83magic

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it was full circle really. he hadn't sung with such ease and freedom since 'thriller'.

I always wondered about the '08 version of 'startin' somethin'. were those vocals new? I just assumed they were taken from a demo.
 

wonderouzmj

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it was full circle really. he hadn't sung with such ease and freedom since 'thriller'.

I always wondered about the '08 version of 'startin' somethin'. were those vocals new? I just assumed they were taken from a demo.
No those vocals were definitely new! His singing style had seemed to change. Imo it sounded like he didnt wanna do it
 

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His vocals were quite raspy during the Invincible era. It seems that years of doing world tours and performances damaged his voice. However, listening to Michael's songs such as Hold My Hand, Best Of Joy, WBBS 2008 that were all recorded in 2007-08, it seems that his voice got that much needed break and it was back to its best. Michael voice hadn't sounded so youthful and fresh since the early 90s. I'm so eager to hear more songs recorded between 2006-09.
 

83magic

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I think Michael's vocals became progressively harsh and gritty after 'thriller' until the early 2000's. it prevented any real melody from getting out. the smooth clarity was mostly reserved for ballads. even then, it wasn't the same:( there were times where he sounded congested. I think there were reasons for that, that I won't get into.. i'm sure age, maturity, and touring played a role, but it may have been the choice to align himself in the rock genre - which he was never fundamentally part of. I actually enjoyed most of the vocals on the 'michael' album. the only song I question is 'breaking news'. the rest mostly sounds like his 'demo voice' ('say say say' for example) and early 80's vocals that i'm accustomed to :)
 

dam2040

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Hold My Hand makes me so sad, possibly more so than any other of his songs. He truly still had such a wonderful voice and was going to reintroduce himself back into the music world with this as a first step on Akon's album.

Such a shame it leaked.
 

Themidwestcowboy

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dam2040;4265558 said:
Hold My Hand makes me so sad, possibly more so than any other of his songs. He truly still had such a wonderful voice and was going to reintroduce himself back into the music world with this as a first step on Akon's album.

Such a shame it leaked.

When you think about it Hold My Hand could have “saved” his life had it not leaked.
 

Themidwestcowboy

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Nite Line;4265543 said:
His vocals were quite raspy during the Invincible era. It seems that years of doing world tours and performances damaged his voice. However, listening to Michael's songs such as Hold My Hand, Best Of Joy, WBBS 2008 that were all recorded in 2007-08, it seems that his voice got that much needed break and it was back to its best. Michael voice hadn't sounded so youthful and fresh since the early 90s. I'm so eager to hear more songs recorded between 2006-09.

83magic;4265552 said:
I think Michael's vocals became progressively harsh and gritty after 'thriller' until the early 2000's. it prevented any real melody from getting out. the smooth clarity was mostly reserved for ballads. even then, it wasn't the same:( there were times where he sounded congested. I think there were reasons for that, that I won't get into.. i'm sure age, maturity, and touring played a role, but it may have been the choice to align himself in the rock genre - which he was never fundamentally part of. I actually enjoyed most of the vocals on the 'michael' album. the only song I question is 'breaking news'. the rest mostly sounds like his 'demo voice' ('say say say' for example) and early 80's vocals that i'm accustomed to :)

Yes i have my theories as well. Just compare one more chance to hold my hand. The difference is very evident. It’s almost like night and day
 

83magic

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'one more chance' is a great example. his vocals didn't flow very easily at all :( it didn't even sound like him on the chorus.

'the way you love me' (in its original form) on the other hand, surpasses even 'hold my hand' in terms of vocals, melody, and production in my opinion. it was beautiful happiness that was destined to be a hit :) i'm not even into ballads (aside from 'human nature'). when was it recorded exactly? I know it was included on 'the ultimate collection' in 2004...

after my comments in this thread last night, I re-listened to some of the 'michael' album on youtube for the first time in years. it hasn't aged well at all. yikes! once I l venture outside 'thriller', everything else pales in comparison.
 

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It was not just the years of world touring, performances, or his growing that affected his voice in a bad way.

Michael Jackson began to take a lot of heavy drug medication (in order to handle the strain of the allegations against him, from August 1993 onwards) which had an accumulative adverse effect also on his voice during the subsequent years of his life.

During the ‘HIStory’ album sessions he did manage to handle to a degree that deterioration of his voice (through mainly his favourite natural method of dropping few Ricola Cough Drops in a cup of hot water and drink it right before recording).

But in the later years his voice underwent such a bigger, almost irreparable damage that even that natural method could not help the condition of his voice any more.

One can hear the results of that damage of his voice on his ‘Invincible’ album, which is by far his weakest album in terms of vocals.

On ‘Hold My Hand’ Michael Jackson’s voice sounds surprisingly soft, but unfortunately that vocal softness was just one of the very few exceptions in the ‘00s.
 

wendijane

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Themidwestcowboy;4265581 said:
When you think about it Hold My Hand could have “saved” his life had it not leaked.


true, the internet is bitter sweet
 

Nite Line

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Themidwestcowboy;4265582 said:
Yes i have my theories as well. Just compare one more chance to hold my hand. The difference is very evident. It’s almost like night and day

One More Chance is probably his worst vocal performance. His voice sounds so damaged in that song. It's almost as if he was struggling to sing the words.
 

ChrisC

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To me there was a harsh lesson in the leaking of Hold My Hand that Michael needed to learn.

The industry had changed significantly.
 

NatureCriminal7896

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I haven't heard the song. (yeah i know i'm late. but i'm thinking about listening to it.) but what's wrong with this song for it was to be leaked? and how would it saved him?
 

83magic

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I've gotten so used to Michael's own background vocals, that I expected them with every project. they're distinctive and beautiful, and it's an effective technique that he utilised very well. I noticed a lack of them on 'invincible' (except 'you rock my world', which was my favourite song on the album). he was either buried in production with other vocalists, or not featured in the choruses at all.

I think it's telling the way that he chose to sing 'who is it' during the oprah interview. it was higher and softer than the recording. I think that was his natural tone as you can hear it in his speech, rather than the low gritty one.
 

wonderouzmj

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Although i love heaven can wait....i cannot stand the grit in the middle of that song....especially that Nooooooo but does anyone know who the woman is on bgv?
 

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His vocals were on the top in Invincible. The way he changed them up during sometimes even the same chorus was incredible. It's just difficult to get into, you really have to listen to the album over and over, to start noticing the crucial details. Many people can sing "beautifully", but to sing the Invincible album is something totally different.
I would much rather he developed in that direction than go back to happy innocent buzzing around that were OTW and Thriller.
 

SmoothCriminal1995

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Michael's vocals on Hold My Hand are a shining light for me, I'm not the biggest fan of the song but I appreciate the fact we have. I love his vocals on this they sound so free and fresh. You can feel the weight lifted from his shoulders on this track, which is credit to the songwriters and Akon (who I have huge respect for)

I always wonder what his fast up tempo songs of the 2004-09 era sound like vocally, especially the post trial tracks. As much as I like the WBBS 08 version his vocals do sound rushed and strained. It's better than the vocals on One More Chance but not at his level. I wonder if Michael recorded many up tempo tracks at that time and how his vocals sounded.
 

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His vocals on Hold My Hand are delicious. And Best Of Joy is out of this world, his voice is so pure. Such beautiful songs and that crystal voice. His next album would have been gorgeous.
 

83magic

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although I think 'thriller' is light years ahead of 'invincible' vocally (and in every other aspect), I don't think 'invincible' alone had the worst vocals. I think 'dangerous' was just as bad, or maybe worse..

at least 'invincible' had some vocals that were a return to form somewhat. mainly 'you rock my world' (I remember the beautiful acapella that came with the single!), 'butterflies', and 'speechless'. whereas on 'dangerous', 'gone too soon' was the only performance that was up to his usual high standards. it had soothing clarity and range (he outdid himself live).

'will you be there' was shaky and weak on the low verses. it felt like a duet, with the choir doing just as much of the work. maybe more..
'heal the world' was nasally, despite being one of the better songs.
it's rumoured that 'black or white's vocals were done in one take. I wouldn't be surprised if it was, as he sounds rough and unpolished.
'remember the time' sounded average at best. again, he struggled to be heard at some points during the verses, and it lacked range in general. it seemed like it was written for another male vocalist, and just given to Michael. the short film is what made it famous I feel.
he sounded muted on 'in the closet'. his falsetto didn't soar like it usually did. he's breathless elsewhere.. the production ate him up, and there wasn't much of a melody to begin with..

the rest just sounded really bad :( with 'why you wanna trip on me', 'she drives me wild', and 'can't let her get away' being among the worst. ever. he was unrecognisable. violent. damaged :( much of it didn't sound like actual singing. it was completely overbearing and samey.

revisiting 'thriller' after all that is honestly a breath of fresh air! i'm content with living here forever :)
 

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although I think 'thriller' is light years ahead of 'invincible' vocally (and in every other aspect), I don't think 'invincible' alone had the worst vocals. I think 'dangerous' was just as bad, or maybe worse..

at least 'invincible' had some vocals that were a return to form somewhat. mainly 'you rock my world' (I remember the beautiful acapella that came with the single!), 'butterflies', and 'speechless'. whereas on 'dangerous', 'gone too soon' was the only performance that was up to his usual high standards. it had soothing clarity and range (he outdid himself live).

'will you be there' was shaky and weak on the low verses. it felt like a duet, with the choir doing just as much of the work. maybe more..
'heal the world' was nasally, despite being one of the better songs.
it's rumoured that 'black or white's vocals were done in one take. I wouldn't be surprised if it was, as he sounds rough and unpolished.
'remember the time' sounded average at best. again, he struggled to be heard at some points during the verses, and it lacked range in general. it seemed like it was written for another male vocalist, and just given to Michael. the short film is what made it famous I feel.
he sounded muted on 'in the closet'. his falsetto didn't soar like it usually did. he's breathless elsewhere.. the production ate him up, and there wasn't much of a melody to begin with..

the rest just sounded really bad :( with 'why you wanna trip on me', 'she drives me wild', and 'can't let her get away' being among the worst. ever. he was unrecognisable. violent. damaged :( much of it didn't sound like actual singing. it was completely overbearing and samey.

revisiting 'thriller' after all that is honestly a breath of fresh air! i'm content with living here forever :)


Well...I guess you can qualify this discussion under the "personal taste" label so there would not be much point in going further.
However, I do implore you to look past the "he didn't sing nicely" mindset and try to appreciate the uniqueness and the complexity that are these songs that you mention.
The way I see it, anyone can sing "nicely". I mean, not anyone can but everyone knows what it means to sing nicely. But to sing the way Michael did on some of his songs, that is something on another level. Thriller sure is nice and smooth but the deep layers just aren't there. It is a perfection in every sense, but does not push the boundaries of music and does not venture beyond. Bad, on the other hand, really unleashes his true potential while Dangerous takes us deeper into his genius.
To limit yourself to only his "nice" songs would really be missing the complexity and creativity that went into some of his songs.
 

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Horrified at that vocal assessment of Dangerous.
 

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I like Michael's voice after Bad, it became more a grown-up voice :) And this is a very nice song...
 

83magic

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it would only be limiting if I refused to give anything outside '83 a chance. that's clearly not the case, which was evident in my post. I witnessed the things I spoke of first time around. this is simply my perspective and preference. how many other fans focus solely on 'bad', 'dangerous', and 'history'? how many fans completely ignore his work with his brothers?

I don't mind if people dislike 'thriller', but it is lazy to bundle it with 'off the wall', and call it 'lightweight pop fluff'. when 'beat it', 'billie jean', 'startin' somethin', 'human nature', and even 'thriller', are anything but. lyrically or otherwise. Michael was already capable of conveying a range of emotions. except he did it without; the gasping, choking, spluttering, and yelling, that made up the majority of the 'dangerous' album beginning with the first track.

I will defend my fave, the same way that others do theirs. it's only natural to embrace what you love. for me, it's 'thriller' - primarily the year of 1983 (as my user name implies). why bother with the rest when I have the best? why force myself to (re)listen/watch things I find frightening, disturbing, sad, and unpleasant as a whole?
 

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When you want to assess Michael Jackson’s downward condition of his voice over the years, you have to take into account also another very important factor.

Michael Jackson had a chronic lung inflammation along with respiratory bronchiolitis.

These lung impairments had gradually a very serious, bad effect on his voice (especially from ‘90s onwards) mainly because he could not sing long phrases without sounding short of breath.

He could not sing long phrases without sounding short of breath while recording his albums but also while performing on stage.

This shortness of breath made his voice, in turn, also sound more raspy and rough while singing.

Listen for example his voice, from the first three tracks on the ‘Invincible’ album, while singing the bridges (the sections right before the rap) which he had to sing them in one take.

Also, Michael Jackson was aware that his voice was on a downward spiral, which explains why he wanted to protect it so much.

He revealed that on several occasions, like when he revealed that to the German politician Jürgen Todenhöfer in a private conversation they had together in 2001.

Also, according to my information, for the ‘This Is It’ concerts Michael Jackson was about to sing even less live (as compared to the HIStory Tour) because of those lung impairments he had.
 

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That's horrible to know that your instrument, your voice, is failing. Can't imagine what he must've felt.
 

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Everybody have their own favorite albums and taste. i personally don't like the dangerous album but i do like some of the songs on that album. this may change in the future. to honest i'm not really a fan of 90's Michael. so much was going on in that decade and mostly all his songs was about what was going on during that time. Love some Jackson 5 songs and the Jacksons songs. alot people tend to forget where Michael came from even if his brothers was jealous of him etc. Michael always knew where he came from and start it. that's why he always use do ABC, I Want You Back, etc every time he did an concert etc.

Off The Wall and Thriller albums were different compare to his later albums. maybe he wanted to do something different i remember someone saying Michael always wanted to change his music beats and tones because he didn't want to do the samething over and over again and it would get boring. so that's why he did different genres. before he die he was already trying different genres. Michael said he always wanted his music to be fresh and something people will be listening to forever. (which he did mastered.)

Everyone has the right to like whatever album their like. being an MJ fan doesn't mean you have to like every era or every song. Michael knew this and he was fine with it. Michael didn't like some songs he did himself.

My favorite eras tend to be BAD and Thriller eras. but Off The Wall era was great too. i guess everything before the 90's for me.

and not trying to act funny but people really do need to look at 1984 Michael. i found out alot people do not know this Michael alot which is really sad. this Michael was WAY different from the other Michaels and his vitiligo wasn't all the noticeable yet.(which nothing wrong about that just you know that he was black. which people tend to forget or don't know. i mean you can go back farer then that and see how dark-skinned he was.)

I know i'm late to the party but haven't heard any songs of the Michael album due to people saying it's not his voice.
 
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