Michael Jackson’s second posthumous album, like Michael himself, wouldn’t be the same without controversy.
For example, Melbourne’s ‘Herald Sun’ made headlines itself recently for stating that ‘Xscape’ was a case of “musical necrophilia”.
Quite frankly, it’s easy to write this off as another cash-in (the less said about 2010’s ‘Michael’ the better) but it’s not so black and white (pun intended). But with every listen, it becomes clear that a lot of love and respect has gone into this collection.
‘Love Never Felt So Good’ is a brilliant start to proceedings, with lush orchestration filling out the original piano-led demo to turn it into a classy disco number that could easily belong on ‘Off The Wall’ or ‘Thriller’. The duet version with Justin Timberlake doesn’t really work though; it’s reminiscent of the awkward duets featured on ‘Thriller 25’.
‘A Place With No Name’ is quite charming in its original sample-heavy form but the Stargate remix is a bland misfire. On the other hand, ‘Loving You’ has been transformed from a dated demo into a sexy slow jam.
We also like ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ as it could easily work as a comeback single if the King of Pop was still with us. Timbaland has done really great work transforming the early 1990s demo into something current and unique. It’s even been used in ads for the new Sony Xperia Z2!
‘Do You Know Where Your Children Are’ is a classic MJ message song, similar to ‘Heal The World’ or ‘Man In The Mirror’ but with more jarring lyrics. The other tracks each have their flaws, but are still better than most of Michael’s self-indulgent final album, ‘Invincible’.
We know that many fans are upset that Michael’s music won’t be left alone, but ‘Xscape’ isn’t trying to damage his legacy. Think of it as further proof that Michael certainly knew his way around a melody. And hey, why would anyone resent more time with the King?
Download : Love Never Felt So Good, Slave To The Rhythm.