wow. I went feeling very sceptical, as I always am about posthumous albums but bloody hell I was surprised.
It's the album that Michael would've released in 2014 if he was still around. Some brilliant tracks and standout tracks were:
Do You Know Where Your Children Are
Place With No Name - samples Way You Make Me Feel
but all eight tracks were great…
I was going to write almost the exact same post - it's a very strong album and much better than a posthumous release gets to be. You can definitely hear the Timbaland influences in some of the tracks, but they've definitely done a good job of retaining the authentic feel while making it modern. Some similarities to the 20/20 Experience and Bruno Mars, etc,. but then you remember quickly that these songs are what inspired those albums and not vice versa.
Do You Know... is one of the strongest choruses on the album, and Xscape feels very fresh. Slave To The Rhythm is a huge tune, but could have used a bit more oomph - some upcoming remixes should take care of that.
Impressed and pleasantly surprised!
Two other tracks were Blue Gangster and Loving You… both were great. Some people said the tracks sounded similar to each other at times but I would call it cohesiveness rather than repetitive. There is only 8 tracks - but you knew that already, right?
Shame they're not just dropping it on iTunes tomorrow, it would get a lot of press especially with it being April Fools Day. Perhaps they know how good it is and are expecting rave reviews.
There was an air of surprise at the quality but I think that's because of the previous album and also the fact people like Timbaland were involved who can be quite hit and miss.
I am not a Bruno Mars fan AT ALL but I could easily imagine him releasing some of these tracks and having huge success, just a shame Michael's unlikely to get much airplay.
I imagine these tracks will be brand new to the wider public though. The production and overall sound is so different to the demos too.
Also was delighted that there doesn't seem to be many parts with 'extra vocals' from impersonators or session singers apart from one or two small parts.
Always thought if they needed extra vocals they should've got a sister, brother or even 3T.
The first track on the album was Love Never Felt So Good, very breezy production.
I agree that there was definitely surprise in the room at the quality of the songs, and the enthusiasm went crescendo after the first couple songs - the latter half of the album seemed more modern and punchy. Couldn't single out a bad track, but I would say track 2 (forgot the name) and maybe 3 were the weaker ones.
No tracklist coming for a little while either! But I'm sure it will be all but clear from the inevitable blog reviews over the coming week. Slave to the Rhythm sounds exactly like the snippet in that Xperia ad - wish it had a bit more of a kick to it as the backing track is pretty much constant the whole way through, but it's still a massive jam.
This album SHOULD sell by the bucketload but i'm not sure if it actually will, especially as only eight tracks.
I do agree it should sell very well, and seems the plan is really to go full blitz with the album across several platforms, so I think it has a decent chance of doing so.
Michael Jackson's Xscape: Lovingly restored material brings back the King Of Pop
Largely comprised of songs recorded in the 90s and early 2000s, Xscape is a more cohesive album in comparison to 2010 offering "Michael."
Eight previously unreleased songs have been (in the words of Executive Producer L.A Reid) 'contemporized' by the likes of Timbaland, Stargate and Rodney Jerkins. And whilst the fresh 2014 production enhances that trademark MJ vocal, it doesn't detract from the original song and the genius of Michael's songwriting vision.
As the album begins, you're immediately transported back to the Thriller era, thanks to an amazing 1983 disco groove called "Love Never Felt So Good". With its soulful vocal, infectious baseline and orchestral strings, it's a song that screams 'Jackson classic' and it says a lot about influence when you consider that it wouldn't sound out of place on the latest Pharrell album.
I challenge anyone not to experience goosebumps after hearing "A Place With No Name" a song layered with lush harmonies believed to have been recorded in 1998 and a song that deserves to played by radio stations worldwide.
Potential single "Slave To The Rhythm" is a floor-filler for a new generation whilst 1999's RnB soaked "She Was Lovin' Me" (originally considered for the 2001 Invincible album) has echoes of "The Way You Make Me Feel."
Two other songs, "Chicago" and "Blue Gangster" will also remind you of previous Jackson offerings but both tracks benefit from newly enhanced production and remind us of the fact that Michael was keen to remain relevant to the emerging hip-hop generation.
But one of the outstanding cuts on the "Xscape" album is a song called "12 O'Clock" or "Do You Know Where Your Children Are" in which an emphatic Jackson discusses family values and child abuse over a pulsating bass line and guitar riff. Whilst I'm not convinced the new production has added anything to the original, it's still a song that will get everyone talking.
And as the album concludes with title track "Xscape" a sonic slice of noughties electro-pop, I'm left satisfied that Michael's legacy will endure thanks to a collection of carefully selected material, lovingly re-engineered for millions of fans and new fans alike. There's a reason he was called The King of Pop after all.
As an administrator and sometime contributor to MJ Truth Now posts, I want to share my recent experience…a listening session for the much anticipated Sony/Estate album release, “Xscape.”
It was exciting to be invited to this event and to share it with other fans who traveled from Spain, Germany, Japan, UK and the Netherlands. I must say the surprise of the invite stopped me a bit cold…it wasn’t expected, but oh, so appreciated. We gathered in the studio where “We Are The World” was recorded and we immediately attempted to determine exactly where Michael stood during that historic recording. LA Reid was to be our guide through the music and he offered a few remarks beforehand. He spoke about meeting with Michael early in 2009 and about Michael’s desire to work with him on new music. He talked about his experiences with Michael as a father and it was very obvious how much affection and respect he feels for him. LA Reid really liked Michael and emphatically states that “he is innocent.”
He told us that his journey through the master recordings brought focus to his vision of cohesiveness for the album and his track choices reflect that. LA explained that he chose selections with the caveat that Michael sang the full song, with background, more than once….that it informed him that Michael had deep interest in the song and dedicated much time and energy to it. My impression was of a man excited and honored to be gifted with the opportunity to finally fulfill his own, and Michael’s, stated desire to create something new, special and exciting for the fans and the world.
We listened to the album twice and it was priceless to see everyone present dancing and loving the music. Michael’s voice is front and center throughout and the music compliments and supports that wonderful, unique, emotive voice. I have my favorites, as did everyone, and I can’t wait to hear them again. To be honest, I am not particularly fond of most remixes but these offerings have changed my mind. They are that good.
The next day we found ourselves at Sony in Los Angeles and our input was requested regarding the album, as well as, questions, comments and concerns. Fan desires are taken to heart, as well as, suggestions for promotion on a global scale. We were asked to pick one or two tracks that we particularly favored and our consensus matched the previously selected first single. I think anyone excited for this release will agree that this single is awesome and so very Michael.
The promotion planned will bring surprises and Sony is going all out on this part of the project. Sony President, Sylvia Rhone, was present, as well as, John Branca and Karen Langford. I will say that there is a solid commitment to do this right and we can expect world-wide promotion…big time!
I read a review recently that mentioned how this music holds the integrity and spirit of the original tracks as Michael left them. I found this to be most definitely the case and freely suggest the reader be prepared for an excursion into Michael’s music that is lovingly and respectfully presented by dedicated supporters of the man we all miss so much.
Bubs;3994154 said:Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake’s “Love Never Felt So Good”
At last night’s truly abysmal iHeartRadio Music Awards, we heard part of Michael Jackson‘s previously unreleased and now updated song “Love Never Felt So Good” as Usher danced to it during an MJ tribute. Shortly after the show, the studio version of the Xscape single featuring Justin Timberlake was released. And fans of the King of Pop can rest easy, because it’s very solid!
The duet has a soulful disco feel, which makes sense since Jackson wrote the song with Paul Anka back in 1983. This final version was produced by John McClain, and one of the highlights of the resuscitated track is hearing MJ and JT join up on the chorus, where their voices make for an uncannily natural combination (which may have more to do with how it was mixed to bolster MJ’s unfinished vocal track, but still, well done everyone). The other great thing is that it’s not trying to be an Event, it’s just a breezy dance floor strut that wouldn’t feel out of place on Off The Wall or The 20/20 Experience.
Hiya Bubs I feel the same that's why I love it I said the exact same thing in the " I heart awards discussion thread" last night, it totally makes me think of off the wall , which is my Fav album ( even though I love them all) it has got such a soulful disco feel your right it's Awesome !!!!!!!!!!
Michael Jackson thrills in 'Love Never Felt So Good'
Mikael Wood May 2, 2014, 10:57 a.m.
Here's something unexpected: The new Michael Jackson single rules.
When Epic Records announced in March that it would release a posthumous album from the pop superstar who died in 2009 -- another posthumous album, that is -- Pop & Hiss saw little reason to get excited.
In 2010, the label's disappointing "Michael" collection suggested there wasn't much of value in the Epic vaults; if anything, the album boosted your sense of Jackson's genius as a recordmaker, in that he appeared to know exactly what was worth putting out (and what wasn't) during his lifetime.
But the release Thursday night of "Love Never Felt So Good" -- the first single from "Xscape," due out May 13 -- complicates that impression. Simply put, Jackson was sitting on a piece of disco-soul gold.
With its buoyant keyboards and effervescent groove -- not to mention Jackson's typically sumptuous vocal melody -- "Love Never Felt So Good" would have fit right in on 1979's "Off the Wall" or its world-changing 1982 follow-up, "Thriller."
According to a press release, Jackson wrote the tune in 1983 with Paul Anka, "around the time they recorded 'This Is It,'" featured in the 2009 concert film of the same title. The new version was produced by John McClain, co-executor of Jackson's estate.
Epic also issued a remix of the song featuring duet vocals by Justin Timberlake and a muscled-up beat from Timberlake, Timbaland and Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon; they're among the producers whom Epic chief L.A. Reid selected to help with "contemporizing" the archived recordings slated for release on "Xscape."
But their additions to "Love Never Felt So Good" -- a song that reminds us how peerless Jackson could be -- hardly represent an improvement. Listen to the original above.
"It’s trending, but is it good? The Jackson-only version is terrific. It’s airy, sweet, funky and pretty much impossible to dislike. But the Timberlake replica surfaces all the grody feelings that came rushing in 2010 with Jackson’s first posthumous album, “Michael"
Michael Jackson’s ‘Love Never Felt So Good’ Is So Good!
May 2, 2014 Leave a comment
Source: USA Today – Ann OldenburgNeed a little Friday afternoon pick-me-up? Seems a lot of us do.
Trending big now on Facebook is the new Michael Jackson song, Love Never Felt So Good. There are two versions — one is just Jackson and one’s a duet with Justin Timberlake. The track was written and originally recorded and produced by Jackson and Paul Anka in 1983, with new production by John McClain.
Usher debuted the song on Thursday night’s iHeartRadio awards show.
The catchy tune, which USA TODAY’s Elysa Gardner says “has an old-school snap and tingle, with warm, leaping strings,” is earning raves ’round the Web.
Slate says the “mid-tempo dance track is surprisingly good.”
Defamer says, “The new Michael Jackson song is actually really good.”
MTV calls it “kind of amazing, actually.”
The Los Angeles Times says: “Michael Jackson thrills in ‘Love Never Felt So Good.’”
Here’s the version that features a duet with Timberlake.
Take your pick — and start dancing.