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

DuranDuran

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It's like we got a new MJ on every album. No other artist or band managed to pull that off, ever.
Have you heard every artist to determine that? There's Miles Davis & David Bowie off the top of my head. Miles released a lot more albums than Mike too.
 

Hiker

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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.
I am both sides of this. When I first heard Invincible, I did not like it at all. My reaction was similar to earlier comments, I don't see much of Michael in it, not his best work, etc. etc. But after listening to it 10 times I realized that when I first heard it, I was in Thriller/Bad/Dangerous mode, so I was expecting the same type of songs. But this was different era, Michael was at a different place in his life, he did not even write most of the songs. This was not a album that you start playing and start dancing, this was much more sit down and listen type of album. I can also Invincible not appealing to the 20 year old me, it has so much emotion that my younger immature self would not have appreciated it. Now I LOVE Invincible and listen to it way more than others.
 

zinniabooklover

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I am both sides of this. When I first heard Invincible, I did not like it at all. My reaction was similar to earlier comments, I don't see much of Michael in it, not his best work, etc. etc. But after listening to it 10 times I realized that when I first heard it, I was in Thriller/Bad/Dangerous mode, so I was expecting the same type of songs. But this was different era, Michael was at a different place in his life, he did not even write most of the songs. This was not a album that you start playing and start dancing, this was much more sit down and listen type of album. I can also Invincible not appealing to the 20 year old me, it has so much emotion that my younger immature self would not have appreciated it. Now I LOVE Invincible and listen to it way more than others.
This is just one of the things I love about Michael. Not just different songs for different moods or emotions but different songs (or whole albums) for different phases of your life. Which reminds me, I just finally read Moonwalk at the weekend and am pretty sure I would not have loved it as much back in the day as I do now.

Sidenote: re Michael describing himself as an old soul, it's on P.11. I'm sure you've read the book but just thought I'd flag it up, anyway.
 

Hiker

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This is just one of the things I love about Michael. Not just different songs for different moods or emotions but different songs (or whole albums) for different phases of your life. Which reminds me, I just finally read Moonwalk at the weekend and am pretty sure I would not have loved it as much back in the day as I do now.

Sidenote: re Michael describing himself as an old soul, it's on P.11. I'm sure you've read the book but just thought I'd flag it up, anyway.
He put so much of himself into his work that his stages of life are bound to affect. HIStory already starts to show that. So to answer the original question - IMHO, no. I don't think doing the same type of songs he did in his 20s would have suited him in his later career. They would not have been authentic to his self at that time and that would have shown in quality of the work.


PS: Actually I have not read Moonwalker yet, I just started. I am still digesting Dancing the Dream. I read your review though, so more determined to finish it now. I will reply on the other thread about my theory.
 

SmoothCriminal1995

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I think Mike shifted away from pop generally after 1990, time moved on and he had to stay relevant. I think he wanted be known as more than a pop artist and I think that was what cemented his greatness and versatility

Perhaps had Mike written more of his own material solely after 95, it would have strayed more into the Pop/funk genre, who knows.

I wish Mike would have done more of R'n'B after HIStory, his voice was phenomenal and sometimes it was buried under the weight of huge productions
 

83magic

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just to add to the comments about song writing.

the albums don't tell the full story. michael wrote and produced whole songs for diana ross ('muscles'), and his sisters latoya ('night time lover') and rebbie ('centipede').

co writing credits should not be overlooked either. there are multiple sources that state that michael wrote the majority of 'we are the world' himself. yet he shared a credit with lionel richie. michael was an equal collaborator on the paul mccartney duets 'say say say' and 'the man'. remember, michael also wrote the original demo of 'p.y.t' with greg phillinganes. 'got the hots' was another composition with quincy jones that didn't make the final cut. there's 'love never felt so good' - the posthumous classic that michael received top billing over paul anka. a song that michael originally intended for johnny manthis.

one can just listen to the demos to hear how involved he was with the creative process. the four self written songs on 'thriller', don't represent the entirety of what he was capable of. they're certainly not an indication of laziness on michael's part either. quality is more important than quantity. it's about letting go of ego, and doing what's best for the album. some songs simply didn't fit in with the overall flow.
 

mj_frenzy

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@DuranDuran, dated music is a bad thing for many people because it means that the artist/band (at that time) just conveniently followed the established trends, instead of creating music (in terms of production) that would better suit the songs themselves.

Dated music can also imply insufficient musical creativity (or lack thereof) on the part of the artist/band at that time.

@SilkySnare, the 'Invincible' album with its countless number of song-writers and producers cannot be considered Michael Jackson's true return to creative form.

Actually, with his 'Invincible' album Michael Jackson touched bottom in terms of his creativity.
 

Hiker

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Actually, with his 'Invincible' album Michael Jackson touched bottom in terms of his creativity.
Or it was a choice. He had unreleased songs in his vault that he could have redone, or written new stuff. Perhaps he decided it was time to get other song writers and producers to create something different. Just because the album did not sell like his previous albums does not mean it was not creatively done. Its still different from everything he did before, perhaps still ahead of its time (I can't say for sure). The fact that its not considered a commercial success depends on so many other factors too.
 

DuranDuran

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the 'Invincible' album with its countless number of song-writers and producers cannot be considered Michael Jackson's true return to creative form.
But the Justin Bieber song Peaches was recently nominated for a song of the year Grammy and it has 11 songwriters. That's only 1 song and not an entire album. The average modern mainstream album have lots of songwriters & producers and also collabos with other acts, usually a rapper. There aren't many popular albums today that are only the artist with no features.
 

SmoothGangsta

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MJ's input for the majority of Invincible tracks was covering the original demos and changing one lyric. It's been pretty well documented how uninterested he was in the project at this point.
 
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Spaceship

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But the Justin Bieber song Peaches was recently nominated for a song of the year Grammy and it has 11 songwriters. That's only 1 song and not an entire album. The average modern mainstream album have lots of songwriters & producers and also collabos with other acts, usually a rapper. There aren't many popular albums today that are only the artist with no features.

Justin Bieber isn't a good example; lol why are you comparing MJ to that loose kid? The average, run-of-the-mill pop-star may have a lot of producers and songwriters on their album, but I think a true king of the genre should know better. It made sense for MJ to have multiple songwriters and producers when he was younger, but he gradually became independent and it culminated with writing and co-producing most of Bad.
 

mj_frenzy

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But the Justin Bieber song Peaches was recently nominated for a song of the year Grammy and it has 11 songwriters. That's only 1 song and not an entire album. The average modern mainstream album have lots of songwriters & producers and also collabos with other acts, usually a rapper. There aren't many popular albums today that are only the artist with no features.
This formula may appear successful, but lacks authenticity or creativity on the part of the artist.

Having so many song-writers, producers and collaborations with other acts on your song or on your album also feels like you are a guest artist on your own music.

The 'Invincible' album has exactly this problem, and it understandably came under fire because it does not feel like a Michael Jackson album.

It has also a lot of similar elements to Brandy's 'Full Moon' album (2002), which basically had the same Rodney Jerkins team that at the same time was working also on her album.

These similarities are also so strong to the point where her 'Full Moon' album was described as the female version of the 'Invincible' album.
 

DuranDuran

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This formula may appear successful, but lacks authenticity or creativity on the part of the artist.
I don't think the average listener of Top 40 cares about that. Like they used to say on American Bandstand "It has a good beat and I can dance to it". 🤣 Milli Vanilli is still played on the radio and their videos have millions of views on Youtube. This is long after Rob & Fab were exposed as not having sung on their records. There's even a biopic in the works about Milli Vanilli. During the entire time the recording business has existed, a very small percentage of singers & bands have written their own songs. On some Led Zeppelin songs, they copied old blues songs and claimed they wrote them. They've been sued about it several times too. Led Zeppelin is considered one of the best bands of all time by the rock magazines.

Most people today don't buy albums anyway, they stream music or buy individual song downloads and put them in a playlist. They don't even put CD players in cars anymore as a default.
 

rolerprod

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i ofc wish he revived the 70's sound in his late career like Bruno did this year but tbh i don't think mike had the pipes to pull that off as an adult so maybe its for the best
 
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