Michael Jackson: Xscape - album review

MJ's second album from beyond the grave is better it's predecessor, at least

A second ‘new’ Michael Jackson album arrives from beyond the grave. Epic Records chairman LA Reid trawled through the leftover song scraps Jackson thought unfit for public ears, and employed super-producer Timbaland to pepper the late star’s raw vocal tracks with fresh productions. The result varies – lead single ‘Love Never Felt so Good’ is instantly catchy Off the Wall-style soul, in ‘Blue Gangsta’ Jackson’s vocals are lost in a meticulous assault of urban beats. While the arrangements shine, we can’t help wondering if more regard could have been paid to the artist’s original intentions. Surely, if the recordings were good enough, then they wouldn’t need tampering with. Reid’s drastic ‘contemporisation’ project feels an unnecessary beast at best, and pure sacrilege at worst.
Rob Garratt

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