Less excitement over this album

ShipOfFools

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This may be controversial, but I'm going to state it.

When Michael was released in 2010, I literally played the hell out of it for two years straight. I couldn't get enough of that album. Even though only 7 of the songs are proven MJ tracks, I still loved it.

Xscape is clearly an even better album, and a perfect album in every respects. But I'm not as excited about it 5 months after it was released. I barely listen to it now.

What my suspicions are is that I'm missing Michael. 2010 was close enough to the TII tour and movie that I felt like he was still here somewhat. The second album after he died is perfect, really, but it just doesn't feel like Michael, because he's not promoting it. I guess it finally sunk in that he's gone.
 

Birchey

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I think the problem is that even though Xscape is "sonically" a better album, the production is alot better and is quite current sounding, the tracks on Michael, sound more like Michael Jackson songs. Xscape favouring current trends in music will date it tremendously over the next few years whilst alot of tracks on Michael were already dated sounding, so have the more MJ nostalgia feel.

In Short
Michael sounds more like Michael Jackson than Xscape does.
 

Zakk

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I prefer the 7 tracks on 'Michael' also.. as his vision wasn't completely butchered and altered. I love the original versions on Xscape, but they're not as in the spotlight which is disappointing.
 

Smooth72

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Although I love Xscape I now believe that the problem with the album is that it is over produced. The reason why it is critically acclaimed and recieved good review is Mj voice is brilliant. I do say the tracks are over produce and a bit too load. There is too much going on in some of the tracks. As my family was traveling this weekend my kids wanted to listen to Xscape. When certain songs came on, only the new versions not the demos, my wife would but her headphones on to block out the songs. At first it was like why? Finally I asked what's up with that? She said STTR was great but not the rest. She does like the demos, but thinks the other new versions are no very good,too much going on. I though about for a few days and now I do agree. I feel the problem hear is Mj made his music for everyone young and old, black or white. These new songs are targeted to one audience the younger generation not for everyone. My 2 cents for what it's worth. I did do a comparison for example. I listened to Xscape then put in Dangerous, clearly the 2 albums are not comparable. Really Xscape dose not measure up to anything Mj put out when he was alive.
 

OnirMJ

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I think the problem is that even though Xscape is "sonically" a better album, the production is alot better and is quite current sounding, the tracks on Michael, sound more like Michael Jackson songs.

I agree with this part. But I would add that Xscape has better song sellection, it has more unreleased songs (8) where MICHAEL has only 6 (or 7 if you count The Way You Love Me), it has 0 fake songs & has the Original versions.

I'd say that MICHAEL has the best song released on both albums (Hollywood Tonight) and also few more great tracks like Hold My Hand, Another Day & Behind The Mask. And in general, like you said, they all sound "more like Michael Jackson" than Xscape songs.

But in my opinion all 8 tracks on Xscape are killer tracks, real gems. And even though some tracks may sound less like Michael Jackson songs and more like a remix of Michael Jackson songs (A Place With No Name & Do You Know Where Your Children Are), I'll take Xscape album over MICHAEL album any day.
 

analogue

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It's funny because Timberland was brought in the as the trendy producer who was gonna update all of MJ's original demo's and make them sound current. But IMO the best updated songs are the one's Timberland didn't touch. Love Never Felt So Good (MJ Solo version) produced by John McClain, A Place With No Name produced by StarGate and Xscape produced by Rodney Jerkins are all much better than what Timberland produced IMO
 

OnirMJ

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It's funny because Timberland was brought in the as the trendy producer who was gonna update all of MJ's original demo's and make them sound current. But IMO the best updated songs are the one's Timberland didn't touch. Love Never Felt So Good (MJ Solo version) produced by John McClain, A Place With No Name produced by StarGate and Xscape produced by Rodney Jerkins are all much better than what Timberland produced IMO

In my opinion it's completely opposite. McClain's version of LNFSG to me sounds uninspiring and awful where Timbaland's version sounds great and very current (too bad we didn't get solo version as well). A Place With No Name sounds current but too much like a remix or recycled version of Leave Me Alone and TWYMMF. I agree that Xscape sounds brilliant and very current. But also Blue Gangsta, Chicago, Loving You and Slave To The Rhythm - all very current, up to date and great. Only song that Timbaland ruined (or made it worse) for me is DYKWYCA. McClain's version of LNFSG and StarGate's version of APWNN both sound worse to me than the Originals.
 

Dorian

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It's funny because back in 2010 people said that the MICHAEL was a rip-off of his previous songs (using samples & etc) and let's not talk about butchered songs taking into consideration Hollywood Tonight, Behind The Mask and The Way You Love Me when it comes to Michael's vision.

Now when they tried to make it on their own, people seem to want the nostalgia factor back.

People are complicated. I enjoy both of the albums. And I still love MICHAEL more than escape. But that's because it was the first disc of material we got after he died. We seem to forget that the songs from XSCAPE ar stronger than the ones from Michael, it's just that some of them were leaked before and this cut off a part of the hype.

giphy.gif
 

HIStoric

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Personally, I strongly prefer Xscape. I found myself playing both Xscape and Michael a lot upon release, but how often I played Michael decreased dramatically after the first couple of months. I'm still playing a number of the tracks on Xscape continuously almost six months on. I know a few other MJ fans who have Xscape in their library and play it occasionally but won't even have Michael in their iTunes library (me included) simply because it's just not that great of an album overall. Pretty forgettable in all honesty.

I played the JT version of LNFSG to a bunch of classmates while DJing once (we just had the teachers iMac hooked up to the huge sound system while 20ish of us were chilling in the room). People responded really well to it, saying that it actually sounded pretty good! Demo wise, I listen to the contemporary versions a lot more than the demos but I really appreciate their inclusion because sometimes I'll be in a 90s mood, and I can play them in the old 90s style. Many of the songs I prefer the contemporary version (LNFSG, Loving You), some I prefer the old version (Chicago, DYKWYCA), others I'm indifferent (APWNN, STTR, Blue Gangster, Xscape).

Is it possible you're not as big on Xscape because we've had these tracks for a lot longer? I'm sure that's probably cut down the longitivtiy of the album for some fans (but that can also be a good thing - less room for previously leaked songs on upcoming albums!).
 

JEMFTV

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But I'm not as excited about it 5 months after it was released. I barely listen to it now.

Yes, same for me. Although the tracks are great, i don't care that much for the Xscape-Album anymore..
 

OnirMJ

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I'm still listening to it every day (at least a song or two). It's still in my car and in my CD player. It's on my phone and on my computer also. Great album for me.
 

RIP_2009

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Havent played this album since sometime this summer.
And I wont play it anytime soon either but I played some of the
tracks from MICHAEL album last week and will give it more spins
in the near future.
Some songs on that album is among my favorite MJ songs in many decades.
 

marialovesmjj

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Everyone has made very excellent points.

Maybe the reason you feel this way is like you said, because you miss Michael and because of some of the other things people brought up. Personally I do like Xscape but it's not the same because Michael's not here...

I'm still giving it a few plays though. I think the original tracks will hold up better than the others.
 

innuendo141

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I must say this thread is a bit of a revelation. To me, Michael does sound like more of a Michael Jackson album (the obvious monstrosities aside). Xscape is kinda like Blood on the Dance Floor to me now, with the Original Versions taking the place of the 5 new songs and the remixes being just that- remixes. I do like Xscape, and glad it was so successful but there is not one of the newer contemporised versions that I prefer over the original demo (Love Never Felt is quite close though). This just comes down to musical taste. I never listened to Timbaland and his production did nothing to change my mind.

But hey, I’m still glad it was successful. I do hope that not all future releases will be targeted towards current music fans. Michael was all about leading the path, and Xscape tracks, while good, just sound like they’ve been done before. Which they have.
 

OnirMJ

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I think there is also a lack of promotion over this album. Michael was much more promoted.

I agree. If there weren't fake songs on that album and if we didn't stop them they would release Monster as 4th single (remixes were already done). Also we stopped the release of Breaking News as first single, so with that and planned (I Like) The Way You Love Me, that album could have had 5 or 6 singles! And with fake songs, all the negative feedback from public and fans, and all the controversy, that album had 3 singles, 1 promo single (Breaking News) and one radio single (The Way You Love Me). Xscape got only 2 singles, 1 radio single (Loving You) and a performance of Slave To The Rhythm. Very poor in comparison to MICHAEL and taking into consideration quality of the material on Xscape and positive feedback from fans and public.
 

innuendo141

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One thing I do not miss about the Michael era is debating about vocals... For me, this is the reason Xscape will win hands down.
 

Hess

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I agree.

The controversy and the bad and negative atmosphere that came with it ruined it a little. - MJJC and other MJ forums became spillted, some belived it was all MJ, some not, some did not know what to think. All the discussion and debate created a negative vipe.

Xscape has been ALL positive. 8 great great songs - we even got the original versions too which was great and very appreciated.

I have made my own playlist with 6 songs from Michael all 8 from Xscape and WHE! - Great great playlist. - 15 amazing songs - 14 of which have been released after MJ passed.

To keep getting new music is a gift from above!
 

HIStoric

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I think there is also a lack of promotion over this album. Michael was much more promoted. Sony seemed to care back then.

You think it was promoted more? I feel there was barely any promotion... I saw a TV ad or two and a poster in a shop... but really that was it. Maybe it was different in America though?

Dunno, I feel like Michael was forgotten pretty quickly outside of the MJ fanbase while Xscape was remembered for a bit longer (partly due to the JT duet version of LNFSG - I remember seeing that in the iTunes charts for a while after Xscape came out. Easily the biggest new single post MJ's passing).
 

HIStoric

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I do hope that not all future releases will be targeted towards current music fans.

Personally, this is how I would like it. Anniversary releases should consist of the original album and previously unreleased songs/demos that haven't been tampered. It's a great way to see into Michael's process for creating that album as well as seeing what other masterpieces he came up with. Add in a couple of good remixes and boom, you have a great anniversary album in line with what Michael had for Thriller 25.

'New' compilations of unreleased material, in the style of Michael and Xscape... I would really prefer to have the songs contemporised and the demos released alongside them. Everyone wins in all honesty. It draws in new fans, suits even more tastes and pleases the fans who want things to remain the old way! That's what I really loved about Xscape. It felt modern and sleek while also allowing us to dabble into Michael's creative process :)
 

OnirMJ

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Personally, this is how I would like it. Anniversary releases should consist of the original album and previously unreleased songs/demos that haven't been tampered. It's a great way to see into Michael's process for creating that album as well as seeing what other masterpieces he came up with. Add in a couple of good remixes and boom, you have a great anniversary album in line with what Michael had for Thriller 25.

'New' compilations of unreleased material, in the style of Michael and Xscape... I would really prefer to have the songs contemporised and the demos released alongside them. Everyone wins in all honesty. It draws in new fans, suits even more tastes and pleases the fans who want things to remain the old way! That's what I really loved about Xscape. It felt modern and sleek while also allowing us to dabble into Michael's creative process :)

I agree with you, but why not have both? Why should not every album be successful? I'm sure MJ would love that. Why target something just to hardcore fans? Why ignore the whole world? In my opinion each release should be released the way Xscape was (new versions + original versions). CD2 of Bad 25 was great, but just for the fans, and that's why the album sold so poorly and wasn't a hit anywhere. No radio station in the world (especially in US) would play Don't Be Messin' Around and I'm So Blue in that form. Now imagine if Quincy (but he is a douche and he would of course refuse) or Teddy Riley or Rodney Jerkins or Jam & Lewis or even Timbaland or RedOne finished those tracks for the radio. That + the originals instead of pointless Pepsi remixes with Pitbull would be a perfect release. For the world, not just for the fans. In my opinion that's how all releases (including anniversary albums) should be handled.
 

Zakk

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I remember hearing Hold My Hand non stop on the radio, while the 'Michael' album was still considered as new! i felt so proud of Michael, like he was back to bring the world a collection of magnificent works of art.. plus i saw tv commercials during X Factor, articles in the newspaper, radio announcements every day on the way to school.. those were the days :) This is it had more, and i loved that time too, but a new album was so damn epic.
 

SmoothGangsta

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I really don't understand some people's obsession with the albums being successful. I'd be okay with the remixes if they respect the original demos but I really don't see that happening especially since on xscape they just made new music for most of the songs. Apart from lnfsg. And that was only because they didn't have multitracks. If they did they probably would have totally remixed it too.
 

innuendo141

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I really don't understand some people's obsession with the albums being successful. I'd be okay with the remixes if they respect the original demos but I really don't see that happening especially since on xscape they just made new music for most of the songs. Apart from lnfsg. And that was only because they didn't have multitracks. If they did they probably would have totally remixed it too.

Artistic integrity is far more important than success. I'd like all of Michael's work to do well but not at the expense of my own musical taste.
 

OnirMJ

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I really don't understand some people's obsession with the albums being successful.

It's not an obsession. It's just reality and common sense. Why not sell 2 MIL albums and have #1 album?? MJ would love that. MJ was all about success (and quality of course). Bad 25 sold very poorly because it was aimed for the fans. And if they included new/finished versions of the songs album would be a success, but you would still get your demos and/or original versions.
 

innuendo141

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Absolutely. But if you can have both, why not?

Absolutely. If possible, go for it. There's a fine line between either/or though. There's a difference between writing a song, then say, turning it into a HIT (eg. early Dangerous evolving to the monster on the album. To another extent, Enter Sandman by Metallica sounded much different in the beginning, but maintained its roots throughout) and taking a song, and just discarding the original environment of the song and adding new layers just to make it sound "new" (eg. A Place With No Name). This I have an issue with.
 

OnirMJ

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Absolutely. If possible, go for it. There's a fine line between either/or though. There's a difference between writing a song, then say, turning it into a HIT (eg. early Dangerous evolving to the monster on the album. To another extent, Enter Sandman by Metallica sounded much different in the beginning, but maintained its roots throughout) and taking a song, and just discarding the original environment of the song and adding new layers just to make it sound "new" (eg. A Place With No Name). This I have an issue with.

That was their approach for this album, like it is explained in the album booklet. Like they said, they weren't trying to finish MJ's work because, like they said, it's impossible without Mike, so they tried to create completely new songs inspired by MJ's vocals - it's all explained in the booklet and in the interviews the producers gave.

That's not something I would do. But the final product sounds good. So you have quality, you have success. The only thing that is missing in the new/album versions is authenticity - but that's something they did intentionally.

But even if you don't like some tracks or even if they are not your musical taste, you still got the originals - which are essential in every release. So I don't see a reason why the album shouldn't be successful or why should it be aimed just for the fans - when you can have both.
 

innuendo141

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That was their approach for this album, like it is explained in the album booklet. Like they said, they weren't trying to finish MJ's work because, like they said, it's impossible without Mike, so they tried to create completely new songs inspired by MJ's vocals - it's all explained in the booklet and in the interviews the producers gave.

That's not something I would do. But the final product sounds good. So you have quality, you have success. The only thing that is missing in the new/album versions is authenticity - but that's something they did intentionally.

But even if you don't like some tracks or even if they are not your musical taste, you still got the originals - which are essential in every release. So I don't see a reason why the album shouldn't be successful or why should it be aimed just for the fans - when you can have both.

I agree with your points, but I was talking about that idea of taking a song and changing it into something completely new and modern. They were inspired by Michael's vocals but they still don't sound connected with them. They did a good job, I'm not denying that, but I prefer the demos as they feel like Michael Jackson songs. Taking old songs and making them sound "fresh and new" is the part I don't like and wouldn't like that to be the case with every future release.

Yes, I prefer the demos but I don't want it to be always the case "Thank god, at least we got the demos". We won't always get what we want and have both updated and original versions of songs, but I wouldn't mind some songs released that at least sound like Michael Jackson songs, like the songs on Michael did. Well, 7 of them anyway.
 

OnirMJ

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I agree with your points, but I was talking about that idea of taking a song and changing it into something completely new and modern. They were inspired by Michael's vocals but they still don't sound connected with them. They did a good job, I'm not denying that, but I prefer the demos as they feel like Michael Jackson songs. Taking old songs and making them sound "fresh and new" is the part I don't like and wouldn't like that to be the case with every future release.

Yes, I prefer the demos but I don't want it to be always the case "Thank god, at least we got the demos". We won't always get what we want and have both updated and original versions of songs, but I wouldn't mind some songs released that at least sound like Michael Jackson songs, like the songs on Michael did. Well, 7 of them anyway.

Agree with you 100%. The ideal thing would be MICHAEL type album (finished songs without MJ) + the original versions. But in my opinion both versions are essential for the album to be both good for the fans and successfull. Finished (MICHAEL) or contemporized (Xscape), I prefer MICHAEL type like you said, but either of them is good for me.

So my ideal album to worst album type:
1. finished songs without MJ + the original versions
2. contemporized versions + the original versions
3. just original versions
4. just finished songs without MJ
5. just contemporized versions
 
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