Xscape (LP)


Michael Jackson

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$19.98
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Also available in: CD , CD

Amoeba Review

05/12/2014

That’s right—there’s a new Michael Jackson album, and it’s amazing. Culled from songs left off of previous albums, these eight songs have been lovingly reworked by some of the best producers alive—Timbaland, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon and Rodney Jerkins, among others. The result is the proper follow-up to 2001’s Invincible, and an album that surpasses that one (and thankfully doesn’t come off as a sloppy posthumous cash-in, thanks to the effort involved and brisk run-time), capping off a brilliant career that sadly ended tragically, before Jackson could give us the comeback he was prepping for. By now, you have to have heard “Love Never Felt So Good.” It’s like something out of a time capsule in the best possible way, having been written by Jackson and Paul Anka in the early ’80s but only having been released by Johnny Mathis. This version is a lost classic that we’re lucky to have, unearthed and polished to perfection by Timbaland and co., whose tasteful synth strings, piano and moving bassline give the perfect backdrop for Jackson and Anka’s stirring arrangement and Jackson’s heartfelt vocal. The production crew gives similar love to the rest of the tracks, placing Jackson’s voice front-and-center on “Chicago,” whose squelching synth bass and sparkling keys recall classic Timbaland tracks of the ’90s. “Loving You” has a stately, ’70s Motown feel, boosted by drums that crack loudly through the mix. Occasionally the production tricks can threaten to mask Jackson himself—“Slave to the Rhythm” is as Britney-ish as its title would suggest. But on “A Place With No Name,” it’s a perfect marriage between Jackson’s vocals and the new production, creating a new banger that Jackson no doubt would have been thrilled to perform. And “Do You Know Where Your Children” is breathtaking, shooting into the stratosphere on a throwback electro production and a particularly spirited performance from Jackson, whose harmonized choruses have never sounded better. Rather than tarnish Jackson’s legacy, Xscape serves as a terrific final statement. No Jackson fan should miss hearing it.



Track Listing



Side A Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Love Never Felt So Good
Michael Jackson 03:56
2.
Chicago
Michael Jackson 04:05
3.
Loving You
Michael Jackson 03:16
4.
A Place With No Name
Michael Jackson 05:35


Side B Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Slave to the Rhythm
Michael Jackson 04:14
2.
Do You Know Where Your Children Are
Michael Jackson 04:37
3.
Blue Gangsta
Michael Jackson 04:15
4.
Xscape
Michael Jackson 04:07

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SHIPS FREE in U.S.
Also available in: CD , CD
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