Why was everything out of place/wrong with Invincible?

mj_frenzy

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At the time I was gutted with the lame video for 'Cry'. The whole album may not be his best work, but it did have so much potential.
I watched the video one single time and that was it.

But apparently MJ decided the video was better without him, and, thinking on it, it's not so bad. The concept is cool. But If he had appeared it definitely would've validated the whole thing.
It seems that Michael Jackson did not want to appear on his music videos that had strong social themes in order for the viewer not to be distracted by his presence.

This did not happen only in 'Cry', but also in 'Heal The World', and in 'Man In The Mirror' (although in that he appears for a few seconds towards the end).
 

DuranDuran

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- it is very long in duration
It's pretty short compared to Love To Love You Baby by Donna Summer & Supper's Ready by Genesis. 🤣 Unbreakable also came out in the era when house/techno remixes were often over 10 minutes long (eg. Mariah Carey).
it has an unnecessary intro before the actual start of the song
Janet's albums after Control are full of intros and her albums were generally praised. Although she wasn't the first to have them, Janet was probably the person who really popularized having intros & skits and she had them as a separate track (on a CD) unlike most of the ones before her.
 

john13th

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Well according to these two articles back in June 2001 the tracklist back then had the 14 tracks at least that were in the final tracklist when the album came out at last in end of October 2001. With Shout being replaced by You Are My Life and Whatever Happens being included.
So Michael must have been very clear on since almost half year back which tracks should wound on the album. It was very fortunate that Michael included Whatever Happens because it lifts up the album enormously from being very disappointing. Neither Shout or You Are My Life are particularly good as I find them to be the weakest tracks he has ever done. Shout lacks melody and you can barely hear what he is rapping in the verse and You Are My Life is so sappy and lullable:

Michael Jackson Previews 15 Invincible Tracks​


14/06/2001 INVINCIBLE
After the premiere of Michael Jackson's new album to Sony Music last Tuesday, several leaks occured and rumors started to appear in the media all over the world.
Although Michael Jackson wished to keep details on his album secret a few more weeks, it has now become impossible to stop the leak of information.
In order to prevent baseless rumors from spreading, Planet Jackson will now release the official information on Michael Jackson's new album.
The title of the album is: INVINCIBLE
Tracklisting:
-Invincible
-Unbreakable
-Heartbreaker
-Break Of Dawn
-Heaven Can Wait
-Rock My World
-Butterflies
-2000 Watts
-Speechless
-Cry
-Shout
-The Lost Children
-Don't Walk Away
-Privacy
-Threatens

(titles in random order)
As previously stated, Michael Jackson is still undecided about four songs from this selection which might be replaced.

Source: Planet Jackson


 

wendijane

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In my opinion,the Invincible album was nearly pure chaos. Here's why I think that:
A. Is it me ,or some outtakes are better than most of the songs that actually made it on the album?
Like for real, Michael decided not to include:
1. Hollywood Tonight. This song is classic Michael(along with classic Brad may I add lol),and only from hearing its demo it is obvious that Hollywood Tonight was a great song with the potential of becoming ,,the Billie Jean of the 2000's,,. This song was just as strong as Billie Jean and Who is it in my opinion,and not including it on the album was pure madness.
2.Blue Gangsta. This song is so damn catchy and Michael's vocal delivery is awesome. It also is like a mix between Who is it and Smooth Criminal, and it clearly had the potential of becoming Michael's sequel to Smooth Criminal.(if a proper music video would have been done, that maybe would have been even better than the short-film for You Rock My World).
3.Chicago. She was loving me/Chicago was too great of a song/ballad to just not be included in the final tracklist of the album. Michael's vocal delivery is again very great ,and the track would have been maybe his big ,,comeback,, hit if only it would have been relesead (in my opinion).
4. (I can't make it ) Another Day. This song is again classic Michael(even if it's not written by Mike) :the powerful/aggresive vocal delivery during the chorus along with the guitar would have made this song like the 2000's version of Give into me/Dirty Diana.
5. Seeing Voices. This song would have been Michael's chance of doing something different(he even wanted to release a full classical music album at one point). This song would have showed the versatility of his singing voice,and it would have proved that he fits nearly all genres (even classical music).
6.Shout. Again,this song would have been something different and it could have showcased some rap skills from Mike.
B.Why is the tracklist of the album so bad/disoriented?
For example,the album opens with 3 nearly identical tracks : Unbreakable/Heartbreaker/Invincible. Not only the songs are too similar,but they are also very repetitive(well maybe with the exception of Heartbreaker). And not only Unbreakable and Invincible sound way too similar and can be confused,but they are also very long as particular songs,maybe too long. Compared to his previous albums,this is a very weak opening. It is soo ordinary ,nothing like stuff you would expect from Michael Jackson.
And not to mention that songs like :Unbreakable/Heartbreaker/Invincible/Privacy are all on the same album.All of them sound nearly the same and happen to be on the same record 0-0. Same for Don't walk away/Heaven Can Wait/The Lost Children/You are my life. Those ballads sound so similar yet are on the same album.And not to mention that You are my life,Privacy and Don't walk away are anything but strong songs (and anything but written by Michael).This is Michael at his most repetitive and may I say Mike at his absolute worst (really now,stuff like the entirety of You are my life or the too robotic/autotuned vocals from Privacy are ridiculous)
The album had a couple of highlights(Break of Dawn/Butterflies/You Rock My World and its video) ,but out of a 16 tracks long album ,that doesn't help anything .
All in all,the title of this album was ,in my opinion,inappropriately chosen as ,,Invincible,, . It should have been something like ,,Vulnerable,,...that would have suited better.
Vulnerable is terrible. i agree with your points 3., and 5
 

ChanceToDance

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I always praised the first 7 songs of the Invincible album but if I were to choose I'd remove Invincible (the song) from the tracklist, it sounds the same as Unbreakable but weaker. Afterwards rename the album Unbreakable as the name sounds more catchy this way lol.
 

ChanceToDance

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It seems that Michael Jackson did not want to appear on his music videos that had strong social themes in order for the viewer not to be distracted by his presence.
Wasn't it because of some beef with Sony and that's why he didn't show up? I remember the MJCast talking about it briefly on the Invincible roundtable but my memory is pretty vague, maybe someone else can clear this up.
 

Mister_Jay_Tee

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I always praised the first 7 songs of the Invincible album but if I were to choose I'd remove Invincible (the song) from the tracklist, it sounds the same as Unbreakable but weaker. Afterwards rename the album Unbreakable as the name sounds more catchy this way lol.
The name invincible is pretty perfect. Maybe just combine unbreakable and invincible together in the hypothetical world of changing this man's art?
 

Mister_Jay_Tee

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Wasn't it because of some beef with Sony and that's why he didn't show up? I remember the MJCast talking about it briefly on the Invincible roundtable but my memory is pretty vague, maybe someone else can clear this up.
No, but he didn't want it to be a single before Unbreakable. He just didn't wanna show up to the shoot according to Wikipedia (lol). It was post 9/11 and he was scared to fly, as he should be.
 

mj_frenzy

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It's pretty short compared to Love To Love You Baby by Donna Summer & Supper's Ready by Genesis. 🤣 Unbreakable also came out in the era when house/techno remixes were often over 10 minutes long (eg. Mariah Carey).

Janet's albums after Control are full of intros and her albums were generally praised. Although she wasn't the first to have them, Janet was probably the person who really popularized having intros & skits and she had them as a separate track (on a CD) unlike most of the ones before her.
Her actual songs are generally praised, not her skits/intros/interludes.

Also, her fans do not seem to like her skits/intros/interludes.

This is especially apparent on her digital sales, where these skits/intros/interludes (as separate tracks) have considerably fewer digital downloads compared to the digital downloads of her actual songs.
Wasn't it because of some beef with Sony and that's why he didn't show up? I remember the MJCast talking about it briefly on the Invincible roundtable but my memory is pretty vague, maybe someone else can clear this up.
English photographer Nick Brandt stated (in one of his interviews) that it was an artistic decision on the part of Michael Jackson, and not because of some beef with Sony.
 

kreen

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English photographer Nick Brandt stated (in one of his interviews) that it was an artistic decision on the part of Michael Jackson, and not because of some beef with Sony.
Sure, and MJ's "artistic decision" just happened to allow him not to do any work when he clearly didn't want to do any.
 

DuranDuran

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This is especially apparent on her digital sales, where these skits/intros/interludes (as separate tracks) have considerably fewer digital downloads compared to the digital downloads of her actual songs.
Maybe people don't want to pay full price for something that lasts a few seconds, some of Janet's intros/interludes are only 3 seconds long. Also unless they are buying the entire album, the songs in a playlist might be in a shuffle, and the intro doesn't make much sense by itself. At least it's not like that Lovesexy CD by Prince where all of the songs are not separated and it's one long track, lol. On the record version you can see where each song starts though. Some CDs in the 1990s had a hidden song at the end. There would be a lot of blank space after the last song on the album and then another unlisted song would start.

People don't seem to have a problem with all of those extended music videos that were common in the 1980s (eg. David Bowie's Blue Jean). Thriller takes a song that is around 5 minutes and makes it 13 minutes long. In more recent years Beyoncé has released an entire video album that was popular. A lot of people today binge watch TV show episodes too.
 

mj_frenzy

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@DuranDuran, Janet Jackson was one of the first artists who really popularized having skits/intros/interludes, but this does not necessarily mean that her albums are praised because of that.

Note also that Janet Jackson has been criticized for using so many skits/intros/interludes and many listeners tune them out while listening to her physical albums.

Besides, these skits/intros/interludes are more suitable for rap and hip-hop albums because they make these albums sound even more narrative and poetic, rather than for RnB albums (like Janet Jackson's albums).
 

DuranDuran

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@DuranDuran, Janet Jackson was one of the first artists who really popularized having skits/intros/interludes, but this does not necessarily mean that her albums are praised because of that.

Note also that Janet Jackson has been criticized for using so many skits/intros/interludes and many listeners tune them out while listening to her physical albums.

Besides, these skits/intros/interludes are more suitable for rap and hip-hop albums because they make these albums sound even more narrative and poetic, rather than for RnB albums (like Janet Jackson's albums).
Janet's intros are not really much different from 1970s artists like Isaac Hayes & Bobby Womack who would talk at the beginning of a song for 3 to 5 minutes before they started singing. Those were not a separate track. Janet's intros are much shorter than those. Others would have talking in the middle of a song, which was also common on old soul music & 1950s doo wop. The musical intro on the album version of Papa Was A Rolling Stone by The Temptations is close to 4 minutes before any vocals come in. Funk songs often had skits in them like Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins, The Gap Band, or the entire songs Chili Sauce by The Time & Tee Nine Chee Bit by Earth Wind & Fire. These came out before there was recorded hip hop. The Beatles has Revolution 9 which is just a bunch of tape loops of dialogue. I Am The Walrus has a radio broadcast that was playing that George Martin recorded live while the radio was on in the studio.
 

thiron

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I hate it too when songs have intro shits, it takes me out completely.
Having them as a special version (like on the single of IJCSLY 2012) is nice. But on the album I also often find them annoying (esp YRMW).
But there are exceptions: I love the intro to Meatloafs You Took the Words Right Out Of My Mouth.
 

Richard76

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In my opinion,the Invincible album was nearly pure chaos. Here's why I think that:
A. Is it me ,or some outtakes are better than most of the songs that actually made it on the album?
Like for real, Michael decided not to include:
1. Hollywood Tonight. This song is classic Michael(along with classic Brad may I add lol),and only from hearing its demo it is obvious that Hollywood Tonight was a great song with the potential of becoming ,,the Billie Jean of the 2000's,,. This song was just as strong as Billie Jean and Who is it in my opinion,and not including it on the album was pure madness.
2.Blue Gangsta. This song is so damn catchy and Michael's vocal delivery is awesome. It also is like a mix between Who is it and Smooth Criminal, and it clearly had the potential of becoming Michael's sequel to Smooth Criminal.(if a proper music video would have been done, that maybe would have been even better than the short-film for You Rock My World).
3.Chicago. She was loving me/Chicago was too great of a song/ballad to just not be included in the final tracklist of the album. Michael's vocal delivery is again very great ,and the track would have been maybe his big ,,comeback,, hit if only it would have been relesead (in my opinion).
4. (I can't make it ) Another Day. This song is again classic Michael(even if it's not written by Mike) :the powerful/aggresive vocal delivery during the chorus along with the guitar would have made this song like the 2000's version of Give into me/Dirty Diana.
5. Seeing Voices. This song would have been Michael's chance of doing something different(he even wanted to release a full classical music album at one point). This song would have showed the versatility of his singing voice,and it would have proved that he fits nearly all genres (even classical music).
6.Shout. Again,this song would have been something different and it could have showcased some rap skills from Mike.
B.Why is the tracklist of the album so bad/disoriented?
For example,the album opens with 3 nearly identical tracks : Unbreakable/Heartbreaker/Invincible. Not only the songs are too similar,but they are also very repetitive(well maybe with the exception of Heartbreaker). And not only Unbreakable and Invincible sound way too similar and can be confused,but they are also very long as particular songs,maybe too long. Compared to his previous albums,this is a very weak opening. It is soo ordinary ,nothing like stuff you would expect from Michael Jackson.
And not to mention that songs like :Unbreakable/Heartbreaker/Invincible/Privacy are all on the same album.All of them sound nearly the same and happen to be on the same record 0-0. Same for Don't walk away/Heaven Can Wait/The Lost Children/You are my life. Those ballads sound so similar yet are on the same album.And not to mention that You are my life,Privacy and Don't walk away are anything but strong songs (and anything but written by Michael).This is Michael at his most repetitive and may I say Mike at his absolute worst (really now,stuff like the entirety of You are my life or the too robotic/autotuned vocals from Privacy are ridiculous)
The album had a couple of highlights(Break of Dawn/Butterflies/You Rock My World and its video) ,but out of a 16 tracks long album ,that doesn't help anything .
All in all,the title of this album was ,in my opinion,inappropriately chosen as ,,Invincible,, . It should have been something like ,,Vulnerable,,...that would have suited better.
Exactly!!! I think that HT is a modern version of Billie Jean too! Just like BG is modern version of SC! And it could get a cool video clip with YRMW style
 
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