Why was everything out of place/wrong with Invincible?

SmoothCriminal1995

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I wish there were unreleased tracks either from the Dr Freeze sessions or from 1998, were Mike's voice was flawless. His voice sounds more mature, but still clear and strong.

In those Dr Freeze sessions he sounds like a vocalist at the very peak of his powers. I think Invincible would be more enjoyable for me, if Mike's voice was more like that throughout the record, it was phenomenal.

It's like the song Monkey Business, it's not one of my absolute favourites, but I love it because Michael's voice is perfect on it
 

mj_frenzy

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If being more famous was a criteria for having more pride about them, then Whitney would not have been booed at the awards show.
Nobody represents an entire race.
So, your two above sentences contradict each other.

If these black people at that Awards Show do not represent an entire race, then that incident means nothing.

This is actually my point about that.
Yeah.

I'm not saying he didn't have his own sound. Any good musician or band will get their own sound, usually quite early on. His songs definitely sound like 'Prince'. But they don't sound particularly innovative to me. I never heard a song by him that made me think I'd never heard *anything* like that before. If that's a definition of 'innovative' that's being used. Synth - pop was already a thing. Guitar / synth / drum machine was already happening. Prince was good but to me he just sounds like decent pop rock.

I would always wanna give a special shout-out to Sign O' The Times (the song) bc that is a towering achievement. That's his legacy right there.
Prince's music can offer some stuff that one has never heard anything like that before.

Like, his 'Cutz' song (1997) in which he uses the sound of scissors as a musical instrument (although this falls into the experimental category of his music).
 

zinniabooklover

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Prince's music can offer some stuff that one has never heard anything like that before.

Like, his 'Cutz' song (1997) in which he uses the sound of scissors as a musical instrument (although this falls into the experimental category of his music).
Indeed it does and that is not at all what I was talking about.

Using unusual sounds which are 'found' or creating new ones has been happening for a long time. Kraftwerk did it back in the 1970's, Gary Numan is still doing it - and Gary Numan was a big influence on Prince, let's not forget.

The 'Little Red Corvette' song, from Prince's '1999' album, is one characteristic example of the Minneapolis sound that he created (guitars, drum machines, synthesizers).
This is the original point you made and I responded thus:

'LRC' always just sounded like lightweight pop rock. He doesn't sound that innovative to me.
So at that point the conversation wasn't about what Prince might have been doing in the late 90's but what he was doing at his commercial peak.

Prince was good, his overall signature sound is unmistakeable and I'm sure he has lots of interesting, individual sounds on many of his songs. All of that said, I just don't see him as wildly innovative.
 
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DuranDuran

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So, your two above sentences contradict each other.

If these black people at that Awards Show do not represent an entire race, then that incident means nothing.

This is actually my point about that.

Your point was that Black people should be really happy with pride that white people make some Black artists more famous by buying their records to make them sell more. That white validation gives them an "elevated status" which implies it makes Black artists more important. That still doesn't change the fact that in general, white audiences bought more records of white artists doing the same thing Black artists are doing and Black artists had to "crossover" from the R&B radio "ghetto". Now that doesn't mean anything. Especially if they are only seeing Black people as entertaining them like singers, dancers, or playing basketball/football. You also said that rock music (considered to be "white music" although it was originally developed by Black artists) should be rated above R&B (considered to be "Black music") because rock takes more talent to do. Which is saying the music of KISS is more complex than the productions of Charles Stepney. You've also said in other threads that Mike shouldn't have done New Jack Swing, like it was beneath him to do that.

If R&B is an inferior music, then why do all of those white artists get influenced by it? How are a lot of people in the UK big fans of what they call "Northern Soul" and spend hundreds of dollars on rare soul music 45s. How do you explain the music of many European artists (Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, The Beatles, Loose Ends, 5 Star, Jamiroquai, Brand New Heavies, The Who, Soul II Soul, George Michael, Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac, Eric Claption, Sade, Lisa Stansfield, Swing Out Sister, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, etc).

it is not necessarily a bad thing when a black artist achieves wider commercial and chart success via crossover music (to a white audience).

Besides, this would make that black artist even more famous, meaning also it would give that artist an elevated status among black, African-American people.
 

Hiker

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Hi folks, your (un)friendly moderator here! We have drifted quite a bit from original topic. There is no intention of curbing any discussion or people's style or opinions. Let the discussion flow the way it wants to. Just a friendly reminder to stay respectful to each other especially when disagreeing.
 

mj_frenzy

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You've also said in other threads that Mike shouldn't have done New Jack Swing, like it was beneath him to do that.
Here is my exact statement about that:
Certain music critics and even many of his (older) fans opined that the vocal style in the new jack swing songs did not suit him at all, and that he should have stayed away from it.
Generally speaking, not all vocal styles have to suit a singer.

Michael Jackson sang and released new jack swing songs, and one can easily understand that he vocally did not feel comfortable with that vocal style.

Also, American music critic Jon Pareles remarked that Michael Jackson sounds anxious and out of place with that vocal style, which is true.

The same thing can be also said for certain up-tempo tracks from the 'Invincible' album (such as, the first three songs of the album, 'Threatened', 'Privacy').
 

DuranDuran

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Also, American music critic Jon Pareles remarked that Michael Jackson sounds anxious and out of place with that vocal style, which is true.
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David Lee Roth: Music journalists like Elvis Costello because music journalists look like Elvis Costello.
 

AlwaysThere

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Here is my exact statement about that:

Generally speaking, not all vocal styles have to suit a singer.

Michael Jackson sang and released new jack swing songs, and one can easily understand that he vocally did not feel comfortable with that vocal style.

Also, American music critic Jon Pareles remarked that Michael Jackson sounds anxious and out of place with that vocal style, which is true.

The same thing can be also said for certain up-tempo tracks from the 'Invincible' album (such as, the first three songs of the album, 'Threatened', 'Privacy').
“Jon Pareles, who routinely criticized everything MJ released after Thriller, had an opinion, which makes it a fact.”

You cannot be serious.

I know I’m biased, but I can’t think of a single artist who could slink into any genre (including new jack) as well as MJ. Not every song he recorded was great, but he never once felt out of place in my opinion.
 

Toxic34

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I wish Michael could've made it a double album, to get the best of the older tracks with the more recent ones. But of course, he didn't have that power or influence at Sony anymore. But if it had been done that way, the album would feel a lot better.
 

R1chard

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I think you're being a bit harsh. The quality of the music on the album was ok. Only issue being that there were too many producers, so it wasn't very coherent.

I'd also say the order of the tracks wasn't too bad. Another issue is simply that the album is too long. Instead of trying to add the highest number of tracks possible, you're normally better with the best 12, for a runtime of around 50 minutes, so there's a higher average quality throughout.
 

mj_frenzy

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I think you're being a bit harsh. The quality of the music on the album was ok. Only issue being that there were too many producers, so it wasn't very coherent.

I'd also say the order of the tracks wasn't too bad. Another issue is simply that the album is too long. Instead of trying to add the highest number of tracks possible, you're normally better with the best 12, for a runtime of around 50 minutes, so there's a higher average quality throughout.
The order of the tracks was extremely bad, especially in the second half because it makes the album sound that it drags on unnecessarily.

It was an unwise move on their part to put 5 ballads in the second half because the listener gets the feel that the album never ends.

Also, considering that these ballads are one-dimensional, unexciting and boring makes the situation even worse because it makes the pace of the second half also too sluggish.
 

DuranDuran

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It was an unwise move on their part to put 5 ballads in the second half because the listener gets the feel that the album never ends.
If this is the case, how did singers like Johnny Mathis even have a career? He released entire albums of ballads. 🙂 There's also some R&B albums where one side is all uptempo songs and the other is ballads. There's even a R&B radio program called the Quiet Storm, where they only play slow jams.
 

filmandmusic

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If this is the case, how did singers like Johnny Mathis even have a career? He released entire albums of ballads. 🙂 There's also some R&B albums where one side is all uptempo songs and the other is ballads. There's even a R&B radio program called the Quiet Storm, where they only play slow jams.
I love quiet storm music!
 

Give_into_Steve

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I loved this album when it was released. Loved listening to it on my old bad ass Stereo system. Unbreakable was so damn funky. Such a great way to open the album. You rock my world and butterflies are in my top 10 favourite Michael songs of all time. He nailed the vocals. I loved the RnB throwback on songs like Break of dawn, heaven can wait etc. Threatened is such a Jam too. My appreciation for that song has grown over the years. Is it Michaels best album ? No. Does it have to be? No. Does it have some kick ass musical moments and vocal delivery. Absolutely.
 

zinniabooklover

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Is it Michaels best album ? No. Does it have to be? No. Does it have some kick ass musical moments and vocal delivery. Absolutely.
This.

I don't think I'm ever going to claim that Invincible is Michael's magnum opus and yet it's the one I listen to the most. And the only one where I consistently listen to all of the tracks.

I love it. 🥰
 

filmandmusic

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People would probably love it more if it had 7 or 8 single releases, videos and a tour.
 

Muchos

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My short opinion is that MJ initially wanted to go a specific direction, with songs close or similar to his style before. Hollywood, Xcape, Weve Had Enough, Chicago and so on. These are all MJ style songs IMO. And right before completion he panicked and tried to predict the sound of the 2000 being electric futuristic and machine sounds. And then 2000s came and the sound was Rnb and thats why its sounds so out place given the time and music scene. But as a stand alone album if you present it to someone not knowing when the album was released i think most people would agree that it is a good album.
 

mj_frenzy

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You completely misinterpreted what I said. No where did I say there were too many producers for songs. I was talking about the album as a whole. For the 1st 4 albums, he had 3 or 4 people (himself included) tops to arranging an entire album. With HIStory and especially Invincible, it's like he had a football team working on the album.

Less is more. When he brought Rodney into the fold for Invincible, and he started shooting his mouth off to the press about how good his stuff was for Michael, that's when I knew early on shit was gonna hit the fan (and not in a good way). By that time, Michael stopped making trends, and just followed it.
@Prince Of Pop, the 'Invincible' album lacked that family feel, and according to Brad Sundberg that was the main reason for the overall, substandard quality of that album.

"I really tried to like Invincible, but here's my take on it. The previous 5 or 6 projects had a family of people working on them: Quincy, Rod, Bruce, Billy, Teddy, Matt, Brad B, Eddie, me, etc. Sure, there were changes in team players, etc., but there was this core group for many years. There was laughter, food, jokes, fun. I spoke to a couple of the guys that worked on Invincible, and that "family feel" was gone. It was just Rodney, who (I am told) was not terribly easy to work with. It might sound crazy, but when people enjoy working, eating and being together, you can hear it in the music. Invincible lacked a family" (Brad Sundberg)

Brad Sundberg made that statement to Gary Crocker (who was one of the moderators of the now-defunct MaxJax: HIStory Continues fan forum)

Gary Crocker later publicly shared that statement to that fan forum.
 

Dorian

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Brad sounds salty he didn’t catch a spot on Vince lol.
 

thiron

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I think I get what Brad means. On all albums prior to Invinclible you could feel the passion of everyone involved. You can hear the musicians (including MJ) having fun creating the album. They sound organic, alive. Invincible though feels static, synthetic, artificial.
 

AlwaysThere

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MJ was barely present during Invincible; he would produce over the phone or miss studio sessions entirely, and the producers and engineers had to pick up the slack. To me, it seems like he just didn’t want to make an album and put in the bare minimum to get it done.
 

Themidwestcowboy

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MJ was barely present during Invincible; he would produce over the phone or miss studio sessions entirely, and the producers and engineers had to pick up the slack. To me, it seems like he just didn’t want to make an album and put in the bare minimum to get it done.
The bare minimum? I think that’s unfair to say. MJ recorded dozens of songs from 1998-2001 and on top of that reworked his old songs as well. He sang his heart out on every song, doing takes after takes and never once phoned it in. He was also a father this time around which most likely involved a change in priority.

I do agree that the album is not Michaels finest work but to say he did the bare minimum is ridiculous.
 

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You guys have no idea what you're talking about.
Invincible is incredible and perfect just the way it is.
All songs are awesome and unique. Maybe You Are my Life is a bit weak, but that's it.
His voice has progressed to a point where it's becoming something completely new.
The music was and still is years ahead of competition.
Lyrics are the best and most complex ever, from all albums. The way he's putting words together is pure magic.

I'm getting tired of explaining why this album is a masterpiece, especially to MJ fans. Either you are not listening to it (takes a while to "get" it), or the album is still too modern for you, even after all these years. I just can't understand why would anyone who likes his music not like Invincible. It's baffling to me and getting annoying.
You are my life is NOT weak! 🤬
 

Licinus

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Invincible would be the magnum opus for any other artist. But since it came from the man who gave five absolute masterclasses of production, songwriting, and creativity, it falls short. I don’t think there’s anything terrible on it, but about half the album is just okay, whereas the other half is brilliant.

Also, I won’t tolerate any “Don’t Walk Away” slander. It’s gorgeous top to bottom. Direct the hate to the song that truly deserves it: “Heaven Can Wait.”
Oh, I was so with you when you praised Don’t Walk Away, but then you said bad things about Heaven Can Wait! 🤬
 

Mister_Jay_Tee

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It seems like every Invincible thread is literally copy pasted takes the whole way down, which basically usually amounts to, "I don't like 2000s Hip-Hop/R&B.

If you want a truly hot take, here's mine: MJ should've scrapped everything and gone straight to Pharrell. MJ + The Neptune's would've been the greatest of this era. All of Justin Timberlake, his sound, steal and crib. He would've been okay with just Cry my River, but that's another story.
 

Mister_Jay_Tee

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[Edit: seems I've repeated myself. Oh well]

Every invincible thread is like the same copy pasted replies. It is quite tired. This one dabbled in subtle racism. That's at least different.

Anyway, if you want a real hot take, here's mine; MJ should've scrapped almost everything and gone straight to Pharrell. MJ + The Neptune's would've been The sound, the reinvention. JT would've been fine with just Timbaland.
 
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Dorian

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[Edit: seems I've repeated myself. Oh well]

Every invincible thread is like the same copy pasted replies. It is quite tired. This one dabbled in subtle racism. That's at least different.

Anyway, if you want a real hot take, here's mine; MJ should've scrapped almost everything and gone straight to Pharrell. MJ + The Neptune's would've been The sound, the reinvention. JT would've been fine with just Timbaland.
It would still be the same sound MJ had with Pharrell. Meh
 

mj_frenzy

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It seems like every Invincible thread is literally copy pasted takes the whole way down, which basically usually amounts to, "I don't like 2000s Hip-Hop/R&B.

If you want a truly hot take, here's mine: MJ should've scrapped everything and gone straight to Pharrell. MJ + The Neptune's would've been the greatest of this era. All of Justin Timberlake, his sound, steal and crib. He would've been okay with just Cry my River, but that's another story.
Michael Jackson's managers binned these Pharrell Williams' songs, unbeknownst to Michael Jackson.

Pharrell Williams had sent these songs to Michael Jackson's managers (one of them was John McClain), but they did not pass these songs later to Michael Jackson in order for him to hear them and evaluate them for his new album.

Pharrell Williams publicly spoke about that in his interviews.

Just for the story, Michael Jackson wanted (for his new album) a sound similar to the 'Superthug' song:

 

filmandmusic

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All I can say is I miss the days of albums having 8 to 10 songs brimming with quality (12 in the 60s as songs were shorter). There was no fat in the 70s to 80s in albums, mostly all quality.
 
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