Should MJ have done more songs like his older hits in his later career?

Spaceship

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
163
Points
28
I've noticed a lot of people say MJ lost his touch after he parted ways with Quincy Jones and went for a more contemporary, hip hop/New jack swing sound when he made Dangerous. You don't see Dangerous, History or Invincible get the same appreciation as Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad. To be honest, Bad doesn't get as much recognition as Off the Wall and Thriller, either.

There were still a few post-Bad songs such as "Remember the Time", "You Rock My World" and "One More Chance" that were like his older songs with Quincy, but for the most part, MJ stayed away from the retro-ish stuff. It certainly was a deliberate decision on his part; Darkchild originally wanted to make music like Off the Wall and Thriller when he worked on Invincible, but MJ wanted to go for harder, more futuristic beats. Apparently that was why he turned down the Neptunes' music for Invincible as well; he felt it was too much like his older work. Even in 2007, MJ turned down tracks made by Corey Rooney and Rod Michael for that same reason.

Did he make the right call? I can see why he wanted to do different things, but I think the hip hop-ish/new jack swing stuff was pretty hit-and-miss; they were a bit too heavy on repetitive clunky beats that could get tiresome. I would have preferred him to strike a balance between modern and retro, I guess; I liked the neo soul on "Break or Dawn" and "Butterflies", and I can tell "Hollywood Tonight" had the potential to become great as it's sorta like an updated "Billie Jean". It's a shame that he never finished "Fall Again", because it's a nice adult contemporary song.

Maybe he could have also dabbled in genres he hadn't already tried his hand at; Latin pop on "Whatever Happens" felt refreshing, and I like the more refined rock influence on "Another Day" and "We've Had Enough". Now that I think about it, wasn't "Morphine" the closest thing MJ made to a proper rock song? Perhaps he could have made more music like that. The folk influence on "A Place with No Name" was also interesting. And maybe he could have also tried psychedelic stuff a la Jimi Hendrix or Sly and the Family Stone? Maybe that's pushing it, lol. As for the hip hop-ish stuff, I think he should have cut back on the heavy production and made them a bit softer; more songs like "Blue Gangster", which is like a cross between "Who Is It" and "Smooth Criminal ", would have been nice.
 
Last edited:

mj_frenzy

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
1,970
Points
48
Location
Greece
Michael Jackson did not turn down the Neptunes' music for the 'Invincible' album.

In actual fact, Michael Jackson did not have the chance to hear and evaluate these songs.

Pharrell Williams revealed that he submitted these songs to Michael Jackson's management team, but the team did not forward them to Michael Jackson (because they did not think that they were songs that Michael Jackson was interested in for inclusion on that album).

When Michael Jackson heard later some of those songs that ended up on other albums (like, on Justin Timberlake's 'Justified' album released in 2002), he liked them and he said that he should have recorded them for his own 'Invincible' album.

Also, Michael Jackson went overboard with the new jack swing songs that he included on his 'Dangerous' album.

He should have kept for that album only the good ones (such as, 'Jam', 'In The Closet'), and he should have thrown away songs like 'Can't Let Her Get Away' with these repetitive angular beats and childish lyrics, or 'She Drives Me Wild' which is a mash-up of pointless car sounds.
 

AChanceToDance

Proud Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2022
Messages
303
Points
43
You don't see Dangerous, History or Invincible get the same appreciation as Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad. To be honest, Bad doesn't get as much recognition as Off the Wall and Thriller, either.
I feel like his last 3 albums weren't as well received as his other ones not because of the quality but because of his reputation and for lack of promoting (for Invincible's case), there's no denying that after the allegations his image wasn't the same anymore, even after he was acquitted he was still seen as a joke by the media.
 

DuranDuran

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
11,252
Points
63
repetitive angular beats and childish lyrics, or 'She Drives Me Wild' which is a mash-up of pointless car sounds.

I take it you've never listened to much New Jack Swing. 😆 Bobby Brown sold 6 or 7 million copies of his Don't Be Cruel album with those kinds of beats. NJS beats were partially based on the go-go genre from Washington DC, but go-go was performed by bands with a drummer, not drum machines like New Jack. Why do you think Mike hired Teddy Riley? Because NJS was all over the radio in the USA during the late 1980s & early 1990s. It was hot, especially on R&B radio. Teddy first worked on The Jacksons' 2300 Jackson Street album which came out around 2 years before Dangerous.

Also Prince has a song called Walk Don't Walk on Diamonds & Pearls which had car sounds as a rhythm. Before that Stevie Wonder had songs with nature sounds on them like Overjoyed and several songs on the Journey Through Secret Life Of Plants album.
 

Zeus 7

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
1,274
Points
48
It was always important for Michael to grow and progress, his post Bad album receptions cannot be compared to pre Bad, Michael became a corporate target, the media's money machine and had to fight battles no other entertainer ever did, mainly because of his assets, race and jealousy. Michael continued to create musical gold while adapting his lyrical writing to leave HIStory for future generations.
 

Hess

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
11,328
Points
83
I find my self listening more often to HIStory era songs than OTW.

I think it was smart and neccesary to evolve. If MJ had just kept releasing songs that sounded like OTW/Thriller that would not have been very creative.

MJ pushed the boundaries and changed music styles and moved the direction in the entire music industry with each album. That is amazing.
 

zinniabooklover

Proud Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2022
Messages
2,450
Points
113
I find my self listening more often to HIStory era songs than OTW.

I think it was smart and neccesary to evolve. If MJ had just kept releasing songs that sounded like OTW/Thriller that would not have been very creative.

MJ pushed the boundaries and changed music styles and moved the direction in the entire music industry with each album. That is amazing.
Agree 100%.

Any good creative artist changes and evolves and goes in different directions. I mean, it's just a normal part of being creative.

I've never understood the argument that Michael lost his way after he parted company with Quincy. I think his most interesting, most complex music came after the Q years. And that's not to denigrate the music from any other era of Michael's career cos I love it all. All of it has a special magic or quality. But the stuff from Dangerous onwards, my god, the sound of a creative genius coming into his own and really finding his voice like never before. That's how it comes over to me. I certainly get more out of the later stuff.

And I love the car sounds on She Drives Me Wild. Fabulous. The only part of that song that doesn't quite land with me is the chorus as it's quite soft. But those sound effects? Awesome.
 

SmoothCriminal1995

Proud Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
1,791
Points
63
I like the fact that Mike evolved with the times myself. That way you have different albums/tracks for different moods.

With that being said, I do wish around the Invincible era to 2009, he would have leaned into his classic style more. The more they went for cutting edge on Invincible, the more dated it sounded

I wish Invincible would have sounded more like YRMW, Break Of Dawn and Whatever Happens. But I don't blame Mike for always pushing to pioneer

Had Mike been well and focused on new music, he could have really dominated the charts again in the late 2000's. His influence was heavily felt at that time
 

mj_frenzy

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
1,970
Points
48
Location
Greece
@DuranDuran, Michael Jackson should not have included so many new jack swing songs on his 'Dangerous' album because half of that album sounds like an album released by the Guy band with Michael Jackson as the lead singer.

@Hess, Michael Jackson did not push the boundaries, he did not change music styles and he did not move the direction in the entire music industry with each new album.

In terms of music, Michael Jackson was a trend-settler, not a trend-setter.

For example:

The 'Off The Wall' album was a mostly disco album (disco music was not something new when that album came out).

The 'BAD' album was a mostly funk album (funk music was not something new when that album came out).

The 'Dangerous' album had many new jack swing songs (new jack swing music was not something new when that album came out).

The 'Invincible' album had a sound with which Rodney Jerkins had already made big hits with other artists.

@zinniabooklover, the argument in the post-Quincy Jones era has to do with the fact that Michael Jackson's later albums lack Quincy Jones' quality control (in terms of the final track list).

There has been a lot of criticism about the fact that these later albums contain many fillers, as opposed to his first three adult albums with Quincy Jones as the main producer of them.
 

zinniabooklover

Proud Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2022
Messages
2,450
Points
113
@zinniabooklover, the argument in the post-Quincy Jones era has to do with the fact that Michael Jackson's later albums lack Quincy Jones' quality control (in terms of the final track list).
Yep. Heard that argument. Many, many times. This is the, 'we'll have to agree to disagree', part of the conversation.
 

DuranDuran

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
11,252
Points
63
@DuranDuran, Michael Jackson should not have included so many new jack swing songs on his 'Dangerous' album because half of that album sounds like an album released by the Guy band with Michael Jackson as the lead singer.
Mike wasn't the only veteran performer who released New Jack Swing songs and/or albums. Some others are:

Aretha Franklin
Boy George
Bar-Kays
Prince
James Ingram
Sheena Easton
El DeBarge
Jermaine Jackson
The Jacksons
Janet Jackson
Stevie Wonder
Earth Wind & Fire
Gap Band
Midnight Star
Morris Day
Whitney Houston
The Winans
The Temptations
Diana Ross

Also I wouldn't call Bad a funk album. There's little if anything that is funky on it, maybe Speed Demon. A lot of the Jackson 5 songs are more funk than the Bad album, because the 1970s is the primary decade for funk music. Funk itself wasn't a really a big thing on the radio by 1987 other than maybe getting sampled on rap songs, particularly James Brown & P-Funk. INXS & Terence Trent D'Arby had some funky sounds. It was mainly hip hop. and hip hop was an influence on New Jack Swing: music, fashion, and image wise. Funk was kinda resurrected in the early 1990s by acts like Brand New Heavies & Jamiroquai. But the UK "acid jazz" bands had nowhere near the popularity in the USA as NJS. In the USA, Jamiroquai is pretty much a "one hit wonder". Brand New Heavies had a few songs played on R&B radio. Both bands had some hip hop sounds in their music too, like turntable scratching. BNH even released an entire album of collabs with rappers.
 

Spaceship

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
163
Points
28
Thought more about it, and I would say the main issue with MJ's post-Bad albums are, indeed, the sheer number of songwriters and producers on them. I can understand MJ working with multiple songwriters and producers when he was younger, but after Bad, he should have been capable of writing and producing an album almost all by himself. I'm just thinking, Prince produced and wrote many whole albums by himself, so why couldn't the King of Pop? He wrote almost all of Bad, so why couldn't he have been as involved in his later albums? Multiple producers on a single album also can result in a lack of cohesion, and when you're switching producers from album to album, your discography sounds rather erratic. By letting Quincy produce all of Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad, those albums sounded fairly consistent and gave MJ a distinct sound that was unlike most other artists.

After Bad, he dropped Quincy in favor of Teddy Riley as his main collaborator. After Dangerous, he dropped Riley in favor of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis as his main collaborators. After History, he dropped Jam & Lewis in favor of Rodney Jerkins as his main collaborator. He was clearly changing his producers around for the sake of following whatever musical trends were relevant at the time of these albums, and as a result, he ended up sounding too much like other artists. By the time of Invincible, this problem was at its worst; why does this 40-something musical legend need all these younger producers and songwriters to craft the majority of his album? I'm not saying he needed to write and produce every single song, but he could have been more involved in the process.

Invincible also lacks a single truly personal song from MJ to cover his signature themes of paranoia and confusion. There's nothing on the level of "Who Is It", the best song on Dangerous, or "Stranger in Moscow", the best song on History. MJ wrote both those by himself, and they're the two best things he recorded after Bad; Invincible would have certainly benefited if he wrote at least one haunting song like those by himself.
 
Last edited:

DuranDuran

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
11,252
Points
63
Prince produced and wrote many whole albums by himself, so why couldn't the King of Pop?
The difference is that Prince wasn't necessarily trying to get radio hits or sell the most, just put out as much music as possible. Which was one of Prince's conflicts with Warner Brothers. A lot of Prince's songs were too weird for mainstream popularity. He'd put out instrumental albums or a 3 CD album of new songs (Emancipation) or posed nude on an album cover (Lovesexy). Some record stores in the USA put the Lovesexy album behind the counter and many department stores wouldn't sell it at all. Some people would be embarrassed to be seen buying a record with that picture or having it in their house, especially guys. So it didn't sell that well. Prince also changed his name into a symbol and wrote slave on his face. His music after Prince left Warners got little if any radio airplay in the US and comedians & the media made fun of the unpronouncable name.

Mike was always trying to get the most sales and the highest charting hits. So it makes sense that Mike would get whoever had the popular sound of the moment. If he put out the kinds of records that Prince did, Mike wouldn't have gotten the same amount of airplay either. Mike came from the R&B field which in a lot of cases the producer and/or songwriter wrote the songs. In rock music, the songs are more likely to self written, which is why the music magazines like Rolling Stone give rock music more importance than other genres. That's what Motown was when the Jackson 5 came out. Marvin Gaye & Stevie Wonder had to fight the Motown system to do their own music. The J5 left Motown, because the label would not let the brothers do that.
 

Spaceship

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
163
Points
28
The difference is that Prince wasn't necessarily trying to get radio hits or sell the most, just put out as much music as possible. Which was one of Prince's conflicts with Warner Brothers. A lot of Prince's songs were too weird for mainstream popularity.

He still had several albums that sold well with multiple hit singles (1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade, Sign o' the Times, Batman, Diamonds and Pearls, etc). That's not to say him spamming albums didn't eventually become a problem in the 1990s, but he was more than capable of writing and producing successful albums by himself even when he releasing them at a quicker pace than MJ. If he wanted to, he could have taken more time on his albums like and still come out with sufficient results.

Mike was always trying to get the most sales and the highest charting hits. So it makes sense that Mike would get whoever had the popular sound of the moment.

Bad is one of the best selling albums of all time, and MJ wrote all but two tracks on it. He also wrote all of the singles in America by himself aside from "Man in the Mirror".
 
Last edited:

DuranDuran

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
11,252
Points
63
He still had several albums that sold well with multiple hit singles (1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade, Sign o' the Times, Batman, Diamonds and Pearls, etc). That's not to say him spamming albums didn't eventually become a problem in the 1990s, but he was more than capable of writing and producing successful albums by himself even when he releasing them at a quicker pace than MJ. If he wanted to, he could have taken more time on his albums like and still come out with sufficient results.



Bad is one of the best selling albums of all time, and MJ wrote all but two tracks on it. He also wrote all of the singles in America by himself aside from "Man in the Mirror".
For every single that Prince released that was a big hit in the 1980s, there were usually 2 or 3 others that didn't do that well. Prince didn't get the constant Top 10 hits like Madonna or Whitney Houston and Whitney did not write any songs.

Bad is the only album that is like that. Off The Wall & Thriller did not have the same ratio of self written songs. On The Jacksons albums (not counting the Gamble & Huff ones), the songs were generally co-written with the brothers. Except Blame It On The Boogie which was a remake. With Destiny & Triumph, not all of the songs had any participation by Mike in the writing. On all of their albums, there's only 2 songs that Mike has a solo writing credit (Blues Away, Heartbreak Hotel)
 

mj_frenzy

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
1,970
Points
48
Location
Greece
@DuranDuran, apart from 'Speed Demon', the 'BAD' album has other funk songs as well, such as:

- 'Leave Me Alone'
- 'Another Part Of Me'
- 'Just Good Friends'
- 'BAD' (the title track)

Also, Michael Jackson's lucrative deal with Sony (signed in March, 1991) stipulated that the singer had to release 6 new studio albums in the following 15 years.

Prince, on the other hand, did not have such stipulations and restrictions.

And when his record label would try to limit the number of Prince's album releases, he would easily switch over to another record label so as to continue releasing the number of albums that he wanted to.

@Spaceship, after the 'Dangerous' album, Michael Jackson did not drop Teddy Riley.

He wanted Teddy Riley to be again his main collaborator for the subsequent 'HIStory' album.

He even paid Teddy Riley a significant amount of money in order to start working on the 'HIStory' album.

But American record executive Jimmy Iovine (the then-manager of Teddy Riley) forced Teddy Riley to abandon the 'HIStory' album and to focus on working on Blackstreet's second album ('Another Level').
 

filmandmusic

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
815
Points
93
Well then, your idea of funk and my idea of funk are 2 different things. :)
Yeah my idea about funk is significantly different as well.

I have always been interested in the writing credits of the destiny and triumph albums. The songs are usually credited as "the Jacksons" but I still like to believe Michael was the biggest creative input in most of those tracks. I mean we don't really know who did what on those tracks, right?
 

DuranDuran

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
11,252
Points
63
Yeah my idea about funk is significantly different as well.

I have always been interested in the writing credits of the destiny and triumph albums. The songs are usually credited as "the Jacksons" but I still like to believe Michael was the biggest creative input in most of those tracks. I mean we don't really know who did what on those tracks, right?
I'd say the 12" version of Bad is funky. But funky does not necessarily mean it's a straight funk song. The other 3 songs no, they're just R&B tracks to me. Funk is just R&B anyway, like soul, New Jack Swing, electrofunk, & neo-soul are. They're all subgenres of R&B, or really just marketing terms usually made up by the record labels. NJS songs can be funky, disco songs can be funky, rock songs can be funky, there's even country songs that are funky.

On the album label, it tells who wrote what. All the songs doesn't just say The Jacksons, the album cover might have that, but the individual songs are credited to certain people. Like Be Not Always is credited to Mike & Marlon and That's What You Get is Randy & Mike. Tito was interviewed on the Questlove Supreme show and he said That's What You Get was about somebody. I think Johnny Jackson, who was the drummer for the Jackson 5. I have to listen to it again to make sure. Questlove interviewed Randy too on a separate episode. Questlove did 3 different shows with various Jackson brothers. One was Tito by himself, the second was Randy, and the third had Jackie, Tito, & Marlon. Tito didn't say all that much on the group interview. If you're interested in music, Questlove is good to listen too. He doesn't do celebrity gossip interviews like Wendy Williams & Howard Stern, it's all about the music. I was surprised about the Randy one, because he doesn't seem to be in the entertainment limelight and has not done anything music related since 1989. Unless you count working for Janet or doing the 2001 NYC concerts, lol.
 

dethorro

Proud Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
725
Points
43
@Hess, Michael Jackson did not push the boundaries, he did not change music styles and he did not move the direction in the entire music industry with each new album.
Contrary to your assertion, Michael did very much push boundaries in the music industry, even though what he did was not necessarily new.

In the early 80s, it was unheard of for an African-American singer to release rock music and dominate the charts with it in the way Michael did with Beat it, for example.

So, while Michael did not ”change music styles”, that is ”create new musical styles”, he certainly changed the way an African-American singer was seen by the public.

Additionally, he was much more adventurous than most other pop singers of his time, especially in later albums, in using very many different styles and influences in his music and making them more mainstream.

Think about the HIStory album. It has classical influences (Childhood, Little Susie), rock influences (D.S.) and even a wonderful mix of blues, opera and gospel (Earth Song). What other pop artist in 1995 was releasing music that sounded like this and was this varied?

Earth Song’s succes in and of itself is a miracle, in my opinion. The song is so unlike anything else which came out in the 90s and is such a wonderful composition.
For example:

The 'Off The Wall' album was a mostly disco album (disco music was not something new when that album came out).

It sure wasn’t. In fact, it was dying down, which makes him and Quincy all the more courageous for releasing such a disco flavoured album after the whole ‘disco sucks’ movement and disco demolition night.
The 'BAD' album was a mostly funk album (funk music was not something new when that album came out).
Ummm….no! Bad is Michael’s most commercial and mainstream sounding album.
 
Last edited:

Spaceship

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
163
Points
28
For every single that Prince released that was a big hit in the 1980s, there were usually 2 or 3 others that didn't do that well. Prince didn't get the constant Top 10 hits like Madonna or Whitney Houston and Whitney did not write any songs.

Purple Rain had four top ten hits. The only single that didn't crack the top ten was "Take Me with U", but it's pretty rare for a single album to produce that many top ten hits in the first place.
Bad is the only album that is like that.

It's not like his subsequent albums had several top ten hits, either. Dangerous had "Black or White", "Remember the Time", "In the Closet" and "Will You Be There", but"Jam", "Heal the World" and "Who Is It" didn't fare as well in America. History's only top ten hits in America were "Scream" and "You Are Not Alone"; "They Don't Care About Us" and "Stranger in Moscow" didn't fare as well.

It should have been pretty clear by the time of Invincible that MJ wasn't going to put a ton of top ten hits off one album. Only younger artists pull off such a feat when they release landmark albums (1989 by Taylor Swift, Teenage Dream by Katy Perry, Confessions by Usher, etc). His singles performance peaked with Bad and declined with each later album. I would have expected Invincible to have had six singles at most, with no more than three reaching the top ten if given proper promo. And in that case, not much of a reason to make the album full of producers and songwriters.
 

mj_frenzy

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
1,970
Points
48
Location
Greece
@dethorro, Madonna for instance pushed the boundaries of pop music and moved the direction in the entire music industry.

Her 'Vogue' song (1990) turned the then-underground house genre into a mainstream genre.

Or, her 'Ray Of Light' album (1998) which turned the then-underground electronica genre into a mainstream genre.

Actually, it was her 'Ray Of Light' album which by incorporating also so many different genres (including even mystical genres) sounded the most diverse and most adventurous pop album of the '90s, not the 'HIStory' album.

Also, Michael Jackson's most commercial and mainstream sounding album is the 'Thriller' album, not the 'BAD' album.

The 'Thriller' album is also his least dated album and it still sounds fresh, as opposed to the 'BAD' album which has aged terribly.

The 'BAD' album (with its outdated instrumentation, synthesizers, basslines, etc) sounds like a relic of the past, and the vast majority of his fans have even admitted that.
 

DuranDuran

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
11,252
Points
63
The 'BAD' album (with its outdated instrumentation, synthesizers, basslines, etc) sounds like a relic of the past,
You mean the 1980s sound that modern artists such as Bruno Mars & Lizzo uses and have a lot of popularity with. Bruno also uses a Morris Day style cool swag on some of his songs like Uptown Funk and a few of the Silk Sonic songs. Sgt. Pepper by The Beatles sounds like the 1960s, yet it is often rated the best album in history by the mainstream music magazines. Most popular music sounds like the time period it came out. I don't understand why the so-called "dated" music is supposed to be a bad thing. People today still get into old stuff. Superhero movies & TV shows are really popular now. Superman was created in the 1930s, Spider-Man in the 1960s.
 

SeriousEffect.

Proud Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
577
Points
28
Location
Tampa, Florida
Everytime I listen to Justified it makes me mad a bit as some of those Neptunes songs would have truly revived MJ's career in the US. JT is doing his best MJ impersonation across that entire album.
 

Spaceship

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
163
Points
28
I think people exaggerate on what impact those Neptunes tracks would have had on MJ's career. Invincible was doomed no matter what given the label dispute, and it's not like most of those Neptunes tracks were all that successful for JT. "Like I Love You" didn't crack the top ten on the Hot 100, "Senorita" only hit no.27 and "I'm Lovin' It" flopped altogether. "Rock Your Body" was a notable success, but much of that was due to it being released shortly after his breakout single "Cry Me a River", which was not produced by Timbaland.

Interestingly enough, Timberlake reunited with the Neptunes to produce the bulk of his last album, which wasn't very successful and none of the singles that did well came from them; "Supplies" was actually trash altogether, and they cancelled the title track's single release altogether. Once again, the successful singles - "Filthy" and "Say Something" only came from Timbaland. It's mainly due to him that Timberlake became the successful solo artist he is today.
 
Last edited:

SmoothCriminal1995

Proud Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
1,791
Points
63
Everytime I listen to Justified it makes me mad a bit as some of those Neptunes songs would have truly revived MJ's career in the US. JT is doing his best MJ impersonation across that entire album.
I agree with you on that, I think that sound would have helped Mike's career in the US. But I can't imagine Mike singing those songs, they sound too young and naive for him at that point in his life.

I do think had MJ worked with The Neptune's at that point, like he had with Teddy 10 years earlier, it could have been lightening striking twice

I think Invincible needed more adult material like, YRMW, Break Of Dawn and Whatever Happens. Still classic Mike sound but it's evolved
 

Spaceship

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
163
Points
28
I agree with you on that, I think that sound would have helped Mike's career in the US. But I can't imagine Mike singing those songs, they sound too young and naive for him at that point in his life.

Obviously they would have had different lyrics if MJ sang them. The beats suit MJ just fine, but the issue I have with them is that they sound a bit too much like MJ's older work a la "You Rock My World". A few songs like that is fine, but they shouldn't make the bulk of the album.

Another issue I had with the Neptunes is a lot of their beats basically sound the same. "Like I Love You", "Last Night", "Rock Your Body" and "Senorita" by Timberlake sound very similar to "Girlfriend" by NSYNC, "U Don't Have to Call" by Usher and "I'm a Slave 4 U" by Britney Spears. I know it's typical for a producer to have one main style, but when they have so many songs that sound very similar, there's an issue. I wouldn't have want MJ to just sound like everyone else they produced for.
 
Last edited:

SilkySnare

Proud Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
117
Points
18
Whoever is saying Bad sounds dated is clearly missing the entire synthwave comeback phehomenon.
I mean, yeah...Bad is surely a great reflection of that era's sound (while Thriller is more timeless) but dated it does not sound.
As much as I'm crazy about Dangerous, I would say it sounds more dated than Bad. Bad has a retro nostalgia synthwave feel about it, while Dangerous is probably too modern to sound retro yet. Maybe in another 10 years.

Oh and can we please finally drop the Invincible hate, that album was 10 years ahead of its time and still sounds fresh today. I would say that Invincible is MJ's true return to creative form and is the album that I listen to the most lately. Compositions on that album are a total masterpiece and all other MJ's songs, with the exception of BOTDF album, sound almost empty in comparison. Even the massively rich and dense Leave me Alone has less going on than any random track from Invincible with maybe the exception of You Are My Life and Don't Walk Away.

As for the original question, I'm very glad that MJ constantly evolved and changed producers. It's like we got a new MJ on every album. No other artist or band managed to pull that off, ever. It's one of the key factors that define MJ.
Maybe a few tracks could be cut from Dangerous and HIStory and released on different occasions or something like that. But apart from that, all albums are unique masterpieces. The only reason we can't call these albums industry changers is because noone could replicate them. You can replicate his dance moves and add your own, but you can't replicate his music.
 

zinniabooklover

Proud Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2022
Messages
2,450
Points
113
Oh and can we please finally drop the Invincible hate, that album was 10 years ahead of its time and still sounds fresh today. I would say that Invincible is MJ's true return to creative form

Agree 100%. 1000%, actually 😊 Invincible isn't my fave Michael album but only because I don't have one. Invincible is the one I play the most, it always has been. I think it's brilliant. It's not the fact that it gets criticised that bugs me, it's the level of sheer venom that gets dumped on it. I don't understand it and find it exhausting and frankly weird.

As for the original question, I'm very glad that MJ constantly evolved and changed producers. It's like we got a new MJ on every album.

Yep. I think about this often, this thing of getting a 'new' MJ every album. Because that is exactly what it feels like (sounds like).

all albums are unique masterpieces. The only reason we can't call these albums industry changers is because noone could replicate them. You can replicate his dance moves and add your own, but you can't replicate his music.
This. I like this theory 😀
 
Top