XSCAPE - Appreciating The Outcome

Dangerous1991

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I don’t post too often on MJJ, I don’t post much since Michael was with us, it’s not that my loyalty level has decreased, or my interest in the man himself, it’s just that as 99.9% of you will understand, it just ISN’T the same without Michael.

I wanted to just post something to bring us all a little bit closer regarding the whole XSCAPE experience.

I am on the boards regularly, browsing and occasionally posting, but in the past week, it seems like we are failing to ENJOY what Michael left us.

Let’s take ourselves back to 2010’s ‘Michael’ album, which we were ALL desperate to hear what MJ had been working on, and also songs from the vault, it was never going to be the same as having the man here himself, but we wanted to hear it – the album was somewhat rushed, then came the controversy, the promotion (or complete lack of) the Cascio saga, the videos, the production, the cheesy “Billie Jean” adaptation of Hollywood Tonight, all in all, I think we can all admit that this was not a Michael album, there were/are some decent stuff on it, but its wasn’t what we needed and failed to fill the void left by Michaels passing, we weren’t afraid to show our disappointment, either on here, or directly to Michael’s estate and/or the record label in some cases.

What we have had over the years is the luxury of hearing Michael’s demo’s and unreleased tracks and so on, from Cheater to Slave To The Rhythm, from We’ve Had Enough to Monkey Business and Serious Effect, a luxury that, in my opinion, has come back to bite us on the a*re in some cases, especially with A Place With No Name, to which I will come too –

In my opinion, from what I have seen so far from XSCAPE, is that EVERYONE involved, was, or did try pull in the right direction to get something that Michael would have been proud of and something that us, as fans would be proud to call a Michael Jackson song or album. Now I know it will never be the same, it’s impossible, Michael isn’t here and nothing will recapture to magic of self promotion and so on, so we have to learn that things will always be different, and what can sometimes seem what is complete lack of promotion, is just what it can be like when an artist is no longer with us. I am from Kent/London and I haven’t seen a great magnitude of promotion if I am completely honest, BUT what I can see is a huge difference to 2010’s ‘Michael’ in terms of confidence, which tells me a lot, it seems like the Estate and the label have more confidence on XSCAPE being a success, which to me shows they have put more into it.

I like many others, I have heard ‘Love Never Felt So Good’ both versions, and about 2.30 of ‘Chicago’ (wow) and I have restrained myself to listening to ‘Slave To The Rhythm’, ‘ A Place With No Name’, ‘Loving You’ and any of the new leaks/streams as I really want to get the full experience Monday  (of course I have heard the demo’s etc from years gone by) - BUT I have been scouring the threads each time a track is streamed from Sony, and watching peoples reviews, and that is what this about really –

First of all before anyone says this, YES, I am completely aware that this is a forum and that means it is full of opinions, whether they are positive or negative, but what I have noticed is that it’s OK not to like a song, and on the other hand, its fine for someone to like a song that someone else doesn’t, its music and that’s what it does, if everyone liked the same the world would be a boring place – but the manner in which some people are displaying the negativity is not good, not good for the fan community. Briefly back to the demo’s, if we had never heard the demo of ‘APWNN’ a few months back then I would almost guarantee that half of the negative comments on it would be changed to positive on hearing something new and exciting from Michael Jackson (even though I haven’t heard it), Im just using an example, where we have previously been spoilt with leaked tracks etc we feel we have to criticise anything different on this album, who’s to say Michael would have kept the song the same, after all, Michael’s demo’s to final versions of songs have changed dramatically through the years – I love the original of APWNN, and I may or may not like the new version, but who cares, we STILL have the demo and we are getting it on this album! We literally as a fan community wanted Blue Gangster, APWNN, DYKWYCA, STTR, Xscape all on albums in the future and the fact of reality is that we are getting them all on the same album has worn off on some people, people are starting to knit pick, I have read people BLAMING producers “Stargate messed this whole album up”, “Timbaland ruined Xscape” etc and I think its damn right crazy considering they are ALL doing this without Michael’s expertise or finishing touch, it will never be the same.
For example, as much as I like 2000 Watts it is an MJ tune that has split reviews, IF they put this on the album and Michael never put it on Invincible, lots and lots of people would be saying “This isn’t a Michael track etc” sometimes different is good, especially when we get the originals still.

When the album was in the works we said we wanted an album of “Newish’ updated MJ, we got that with pretty much the entire album, we said we wanted upbeat tracks that make you want to dance and groove with typical Michael sounds, we have got that on the album, we said we wanted the original versions of the the reworks (I don’t like the term remix, I think of a remix as a finished version that has been adapted) and we got that, we got 8 tracks of NEW versions and 8 of how Michael left them, something we were kicking and screaming for after the ‘Michael’ album. We got undoubtedly one of the most sought after producers in the industry to work on it in Timbaland, I like Timbaland, he may not be every ones cup of tea, but I think it’s a slight upgrade on Cascio wouldn’t you say? lol

This isn’t a rant or a dig at anyone, it’s just for some people to take a step back, take a deep breath in, and realise this is pretty much what we asked for, what we wanted, and you are not going to like every track on XSCAPE or every track on any album that they continue to bring out.

Like I say, I understand that everyone has an opinion and I don’t expect everyone to like everything (myself included) but when we start getting our knickers in a twist over a 30 second piece of production on a Michael Jackson track that has been reworked, just think about what could have been. We could have been experiencing ‘Michael’ 2 - I also realise that we are all excited about it and the positivity is outweighing the negative comments and its not a personal post to anyone - Just to apprecite what we are getting when we think its not good enough

I for one will be completely behind the album like many, many others and will and just enjoy the piece of music presented too us, new and old, that Michael has left us and what the new producers have done for us – Lets all get behind XSCAPE, with our backing I really think this could be a successful Michael album.

L.O.V.E
 

athina_livadi

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Dangerous1991;3999886 said:
I don’t post too often on MJJ, I don’t post much since Michael was with us, it’s not that my loyalty level has decreased, or my interest in the man himself, it’s just that as 99.9% of you will understand, it just ISN’T the same without Michael.

I wanted to just post something to bring us all a little bit closer regarding the whole XSCAPE experience.

I am on the boards regularly, browsing and occasionally posting, but in the past week, it seems like we are failing to ENJOY what Michael left us.

Let’s take ourselves back to 2010’s ‘Michael’ album, which we were ALL desperate to hear what MJ had been working on, and also songs from the vault, it was never going to be the same as having the man here himself, but we wanted to hear it – the album was somewhat rushed, then came the controversy, the promotion (or complete lack of) the Cascio saga, the videos, the production, the cheesy “Billie Jean” adaptation of Hollywood Tonight, all in all, I think we can all admit that this was not a Michael album, there were/are some decent stuff on it, but its wasn’t what we needed and failed to fill the void left by Michaels passing, we weren’t afraid to show our disappointment, either on here, or directly to Michael’s estate and/or the record label in some cases.

What we have had over the years is the luxury of hearing Michael’s demo’s and unreleased tracks and so on, from Cheater to Slave To The Rhythm, from We’ve Had Enough to Monkey Business and Serious Effect, a luxury that, in my opinion, has come back to bite us on the a*re in some cases, especially with A Place With No Name, to which I will come too –

In my opinion, from what I have seen so far from XSCAPE, is that EVERYONE involved, was, or did try pull in the right direction to get something that Michael would have been proud of and something that us, as fans would be proud to call a Michael Jackson song or album. Now I know it will never be the same, it’s impossible, Michael isn’t here and nothing will recapture to magic of self promotion and so on, so we have to learn that things will always be different, and what can sometimes seem what is complete lack of promotion, is just what it can be like when an artist is no longer with us. I am from Kent/London and I haven’t seen a great magnitude of promotion if I am completely honest, BUT what I can see is a huge difference to 2010’s ‘Michael’ in terms of confidence, which tells me a lot, it seems like the Estate and the label have more confidence on XSCAPE being a success, which to me shows they have put more into it.

I like many others, I have heard ‘Love Never Felt So Good’ both versions, and about 2.30 of ‘Chicago’ (wow) and I have restrained myself to listening to ‘Slave To The Rhythm’, ‘ A Place With No Name’, ‘Loving You’ and any of the new leaks/streams as I really want to get the full experience Monday  (of course I have heard the demo’s etc from years gone by) - BUT I have been scouring the threads each time a track is streamed from Sony, and watching peoples reviews, and that is what this about really –

First of all before anyone says this, YES, I am completely aware that this is a forum and that means it is full of opinions, whether they are positive or negative, but what I have noticed is that it’s OK not to like a song, and on the other hand, its fine for someone to like a song that someone else doesn’t, its music and that’s what it does, if everyone liked the same the world would be a boring place – but the manner in which some people are displaying the negativity is not good, not good for the fan community. Briefly back to the demo’s, if we had never heard the demo of ‘APWNN’ a few months back then I would almost guarantee that half of the negative comments on it would be changed to positive on hearing something new and exciting from Michael Jackson (even though I haven’t heard it), Im just using an example, where we have previously been spoilt with leaked tracks etc we feel we have to criticise anything different on this album, who’s to say Michael would have kept the song the same, after all, Michael’s demo’s to final versions of songs have changed dramatically through the years – I love the original of APWNN, and I may or may not like the new version, but who cares, we STILL have the demo and we are getting it on this album! We literally as a fan community wanted Blue Gangster, APWNN, DYKWYCA, STTR, Xscape all on albums in the future and the fact of reality is that we are getting them all on the same album has worn off on some people, people are starting to knit pick, I have read people BLAMING producers “Stargate messed this whole album up”, “Timbaland ruined Xscape” etc and I think its damn right crazy considering they are ALL doing this without Michael’s expertise or finishing touch, it will never be the same.
For example, as much as I like 2000 Watts it is an MJ tune that has split reviews, IF they put this on the album and Michael never put it on Invincible, lots and lots of people would be saying “This isn’t a Michael track etc” sometimes different is good, especially when we get the originals still.

When the album was in the works we said we wanted an album of “Newish’ updated MJ, we got that with pretty much the entire album, we said we wanted upbeat tracks that make you want to dance and groove with typical Michael sounds, we have got that on the album, we said we wanted the original versions of the the reworks (I don’t like the term remix, I think of a remix as a finished version that has been adapted) and we got that, we got 8 tracks of NEW versions and 8 of how Michael left them, something we were kicking and screaming for after the ‘Michael’ album. We got undoubtedly one of the most sought after producers in the industry to work on it in Timbaland, I like Timbaland, he may not be every ones cup of tea, but I think it’s a slight upgrade on Cascio wouldn’t you say? lol

This isn’t a rant or a dig at anyone, it’s just for some people to take a step back, take a deep breath in, and realise this is pretty much what we asked for, what we wanted, and you are not going to like every track on XSCAPE or every track on any album that they continue to bring out.

Like I say, I understand that everyone has an opinion and I don’t expect everyone to like everything (myself included) but when we start getting our knickers in a twist over a 30 second piece of production on a Michael Jackson track that has been reworked, just think about what could have been. We could have been experiencing ‘Michael’ 2

I for one will be completely behind the album like many, many others and will and just enjoy the piece of music presented too us, new and old, that Michael has left us and what the new producers have done for us – Lets all get behind XSCAPE, with our backing I really think this could be a successful Michael album.

L.O.V.E

:bow:
 

Skywatcher

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Thank you very much for this post. It is true that it seems in some cases people have forgotten actually how TRULY LUCKY we are. We are lucky there are even tracks left that are complete enough to be released.

Imagine if there was NOTHING finished in the vaults.

Imagine if the Estate and Sony had NOT learnt from their mistakes with "Michael".

Imagine if they had JUST released all of the unfinished demos for the general public.

We are so, so lucky with every new song or version of a song that we get to hear because, one day, there will not be any left. We should really treasure these moments because they are precious. That is what Michael would want us all to do. And that doesn't mean you have to like everything you hear...just be thankful that Michael left enough for us to actually be able to hear anything new at all.
 
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AngelMJ136

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Dangerous1991;3999886 said:
Briefly back to the demo’s, if we had never heard the demo of ‘APWNN’ a few months back then I would almost guarantee that half of the negative comments on it would be changed to positive on hearing something new and exciting from Michael Jackson

I love the original of APWNN, and I may or may not like the new version, but who cares, we STILL have the demo and we are getting it on this album!

For example, as much as I like 2000 Watts it is an MJ tune that has split reviews, IF they put this on the album and Michael never put it on Invincible, lots and lots of people would be saying “This isn’t a Michael track etc” sometimes different is good, especially when we get the originals still.


We got undoubtedly one of the most sought after producers in the industry to work on it in Timbaland, I like Timbaland, he may not be every ones cup of tea, but I think it’s a slight upgrade on Cascio wouldn’t you say? lol

I hear you.

I feel the producers have given all they got and have outperformed themselves with this album in terms of sounding unique and GOOD at the same time. Well, that is what I feel.
I mean you don't hear this kind of music from any other artists. And they are all watching out for the album because they know the BEST producers are involved and they've made it keeping MJ in mind.
This album has a potential to be a HUGE success because its got songs with DIFFERENT versions for everyone!

Edit :- Oh and btw, for the record I love 2000 watts. :D
 

SmoothMJ

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Agree 100 % with this thread.

You are not on your own with these thoughts and opinions. It's just that we have a very vocal minority, who like to express their negative opinions, over and over and over again. These makes it seem as though we have a lot of fans who don't like or appreciate the post 2009 releases when, in reality when you look at the same names on these posts, there are very few.

I don't expect everyone to like everything, but when words like "hate", "crap" and "disgusting" are used, I normaly take no notice. These words are normaly used by those that want to flame, and have no intention of ever liking post 2009 MJ releases.

That's my experience, in any case.

To finish on a positive note - it's great to see Michael back at the top end of the charts, and to see so much positivity, from outside the MJ community as well as inside.
 

HIStoric

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Thank you for that post, I really don't think anyone could've said it any better.

I, for one, am loving the Xscape project so far and haven't been this crazy for an album's release in a solid year or two! It's all for Michael, It's all for L.O.V.E.

It's an adventure... it's a great adventure ^_^ :heart:
 

Chris_Jones

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For some, nothing less than perfection will do. Problem is, we don't live in a perfect world. We have to accept that things will never be like they used to be and just be grateful we are presented with these awesome reminders of Michaels work.
 

HIStory

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I do not like everything done with these songs, but overall I think it's a great project and a great album and a HUGE improvement compared to the Michael album both artistically and in terms of marketing. I appreciate that effort a lot by both the Estate and Sony and also by these producers who worked on the album.

As long as they include the demos/originals it's alright with me and these remixes are a bonus. And I think most of them are good to great.
 

Tina Marie Alltop

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I agree completely...thank you for expressing what I and so many others feel who are so excited for this album.
 

APOM

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Now I know it will never be the same, it’s impossible, Michael isn’t here and nothing will recapture to magic of self promotion and so on, so we have to learn that things will always be different, and what can sometimes seem what is complete lack of promotion, is just what it can be like when an artist is no longer with us.
This is what I struggle with most, I think. And I don't mean in terms of feeling sad that he is no longer with us (although there are of course times when I do) but in terms of none of the music that is released now, after his death, "feeling" the same or being on the same level as the material he released during his lifetime.

To me, there is just such a massive emotional gap between OTW through Invincible material and the posthumous releases that, at times, I just don't know what to do with those songs or how I should approach them, mentally. There is some kind of inherent magic to the work MJ released when he was alive. After he passed someone (I don't remember who) said that they felt as if, when he came to the pearly gates, Michael told St. Peter "okay, I'll accept my fate, but I'd like you to send a small part of me back down to live on in my songs" ... I'm not necessarily a religious person but to me that perfectly describes the way I feel about everything he released during his life. There is that *something*, that magic, that just can't be recreated.

So, after establishing that, there is of course a difference between demos and new / contemporized productions. I love demos because they are like a peek behind the curtain -- an intimate look at the artist at work -- and at times you can feel the potential of a song or the direction he was aiming for. It's like a study of his artistic process, and I love that. They still lack that polish though and we'll never know what they would have turned into if he'd had the time to complete his vision. They're like an unfinished book that you'll never know the ending of -- you can speculate and imagine, but you'll never be sure... And, in a way, I like that. More often than not I actually like it better than having someone come in and try to finish what MJ started because it (almost) never feels right.

In that way I think XSCAPE is taking a smarter approach than the Michael album did -- don't try to complete MJ's work on production but put in something completely new and fresh. Being one of the "Old Schoolers" I haven't heard anything yet beyond LNFSG but I like the idea of that concept. It also makes it much easier to distinguish (and decide preference) between the original and the contemporized versions. Either way, I know it will ever be the same, so I'll just have to try to enjoy and appreciate whatever we get for what it is. Even if I'm sometimes unsure about what exactly it is we got...

Thanks for your post Dangerous1991 -- very insightful :)
 

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windy09

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Dangerous1991;3999886 said:
I don’t post too often on MJJ, I don’t post much since Michael was with us, it’s not that my loyalty level has decreased, or my interest in the man himself, it’s just that as 99.9% of you will understand, it just ISN’T the same without Michael.

I wanted to just post something to bring us all a little bit closer regarding the whole XSCAPE experience.

I am on the boards regularly, browsing and occasionally posting, but in the past week, it seems like we are failing to ENJOY what Michael left us.

Let’s take ourselves back to 2010’s ‘Michael’ album, which we were ALL desperate to hear what MJ had been working on, and also songs from the vault, it was never going to be the same as having the man here himself, but we wanted to hear it – the album was somewhat rushed, then came the controversy, the promotion (or complete lack of) the Cascio saga, the videos, the production, the cheesy “Billie Jean” adaptation of Hollywood Tonight, all in all, I think we can all admit that this was not a Michael album, there were/are some decent stuff on it, but its wasn’t what we needed and failed to fill the void left by Michaels passing, we weren’t afraid to show our disappointment, either on here, or directly to Michael’s estate and/or the record label in some cases.

What we have had over the years is the luxury of hearing Michael’s demo’s and unreleased tracks and so on, from Cheater to Slave To The Rhythm, from We’ve Had Enough to Monkey Business and Serious Effect, a luxury that, in my opinion, has come back to bite us on the a*re in some cases, especially with A Place With No Name, to which I will come too –

In my opinion, from what I have seen so far from XSCAPE, is that EVERYONE involved, was, or did try pull in the right direction to get something that Michael would have been proud of and something that us, as fans would be proud to call a Michael Jackson song or album. Now I know it will never be the same, it’s impossible, Michael isn’t here and nothing will recapture to magic of self promotion and so on, so we have to learn that things will always be different, and what can sometimes seem what is complete lack of promotion, is just what it can be like when an artist is no longer with us. I am from Kent/London and I haven’t seen a great magnitude of promotion if I am completely honest, BUT what I can see is a huge difference to 2010’s ‘Michael’ in terms of confidence, which tells me a lot, it seems like the Estate and the label have more confidence on XSCAPE being a success, which to me shows they have put more into it.

I like many others, I have heard ‘Love Never Felt So Good’ both versions, and about 2.30 of ‘Chicago’ (wow) and I have restrained myself to listening to ‘Slave To The Rhythm’, ‘ A Place With No Name’, ‘Loving You’ and any of the new leaks/streams as I really want to get the full experience Monday  (of course I have heard the demo’s etc from years gone by) - BUT I have been scouring the threads each time a track is streamed from Sony, and watching peoples reviews, and that is what this about really –

First of all before anyone says this, YES, I am completely aware that this is a forum and that means it is full of opinions, whether they are positive or negative, but what I have noticed is that it’s OK not to like a song, and on the other hand, its fine for someone to like a song that someone else doesn’t, its music and that’s what it does, if everyone liked the same the world would be a boring place – but the manner in which some people are displaying the negativity is not good, not good for the fan community. Briefly back to the demo’s, if we had never heard the demo of ‘APWNN’ a few months back then I would almost guarantee that half of the negative comments on it would be changed to positive on hearing something new and exciting from Michael Jackson (even though I haven’t heard it), Im just using an example, where we have previously been spoilt with leaked tracks etc we feel we have to criticise anything different on this album, who’s to say Michael would have kept the song the same, after all, Michael’s demo’s to final versions of songs have changed dramatically through the years – I love the original of APWNN, and I may or may not like the new version, but who cares, we STILL have the demo and we are getting it on this album! We literally as a fan community wanted Blue Gangster, APWNN, DYKWYCA, STTR, Xscape all on albums in the future and the fact of reality is that we are getting them all on the same album has worn off on some people, people are starting to knit pick, I have read people BLAMING producers “Stargate messed this whole album up”, “Timbaland ruined Xscape” etc and I think its damn right crazy considering they are ALL doing this without Michael’s expertise or finishing touch, it will never be the same.
For example, as much as I like 2000 Watts it is an MJ tune that has split reviews, IF they put this on the album and Michael never put it on Invincible, lots and lots of people would be saying “This isn’t a Michael track etc” sometimes different is good, especially when we get the originals still.

When the album was in the works we said we wanted an album of “Newish’ updated MJ, we got that with pretty much the entire album, we said we wanted upbeat tracks that make you want to dance and groove with typical Michael sounds, we have got that on the album, we said we wanted the original versions of the the reworks (I don’t like the term remix, I think of a remix as a finished version that has been adapted) and we got that, we got 8 tracks of NEW versions and 8 of how Michael left them, something we were kicking and screaming for after the ‘Michael’ album. We got undoubtedly one of the most sought after producers in the industry to work on it in Timbaland, I like Timbaland, he may not be every ones cup of tea, but I think it’s a slight upgrade on Cascio wouldn’t you say? lol

This isn’t a rant or a dig at anyone, it’s just for some people to take a step back, take a deep breath in, and realise this is pretty much what we asked for, what we wanted, and you are not going to like every track on XSCAPE or every track on any album that they continue to bring out.

Like I say, I understand that everyone has an opinion and I don’t expect everyone to like everything (myself included) but when we start getting our knickers in a twist over a 30 second piece of production on a Michael Jackson track that has been reworked, just think about what could have been. We could have been experiencing ‘Michael’ 2 - I also realise that we are all excited about it and the positivity is outweighing the negative comments and its not a personal post to anyone - Just to apprecite what we are getting when we think its not good enough

I for one will be completely behind the album like many, many others and will and just enjoy the piece of music presented too us, new and old, that Michael has left us and what the new producers have done for us – Lets all get behind XSCAPE, with our backing I really think this could be a successful Michael album.

L.O.V.E

Well stated, thank you!
 

ShipOfFools

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I think people should just appreciate what we're given.

Look at Amy Winehouse. She only had one album released posthumously, and most of that was rehashed. Michael has tons of stuff that hasn't been out there, and we've already had Michael, Bad 25, and Xscape...all in 5 years. 3 albums of new material in 5 years, imagine. Michael didn't give us practically anything new in 9 years, from Invincible till his death.

I wish Michael was here to complete these tracks. We would have had something even more amazing by now. But he isn't, and the Estate has to work with what they have. A lot of these original demos wouldn't be album cuts, because they sound so dated. Yes, they needed a remix. The typical person isn't going to buy something that sounds like it's 30 years old.
 
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