I finally got my copy of MICHAEL, and I am surprisingly impressed. For all the haters and doubters out there, I gotta say, give it a chance, really its a VERY good album! You would be missing out if you dont get this one. It would be hard for me to say it is better than Invincible, since MJ actually had final say on that one, but its a great collection of songs. I cant believe Im saying this, but I actually think the Estate did a good job of re-creating a Michael Jackson album. As a full product, it actually feels like an MJ album, not a conglomeration of sounds and remixes like what I was expecting.
HOLD MY HAND: good, not great. Tough song to like too much for me since it sounds more like an Akon song featuring a little MJ thrown in here and there. Michael only really sings lead on 30 seconds of the whole song. But its a great video!
HOLLYWOOD TONIGHT: Definitely a highlight! The way the track is built musically it has a very retro Billie Jean feel, smooth bass line built upon. Got a killer verse vocal. The bridge from Taj is a little obscure, but nice to see him on a track with his Uncle again. My second favorite song!
KEEP YOUR HEAD UP: This is a tough track for me. Not a highlight. Kinda has a Dont Walk Away or You are my Life feel to it, not great tracks but decent. Producer did a good job with backing track, but vocals are little questionable to me. Only way I can resolve the vocals is to decide that in his older age MJs vibrato changed, or else was trying new things. But then again, why did it not sound like that on This Is It?
(I Like) THE WAY YOU LOVE ME: I was really hoping for a much different version than the original from The Ultimate Collection. This seemed like a very odd addition to a new album. This felt like a remix, and at the end I think I like the original better. Its not bad, and the voice-mail is nice, but there are obviously more unreleased tracks that could have been chosen for an already dinky 10-track album.
MONSTER: My favorite song on the album. This is classic! Love the groove. I even like 50 Cents rap. This feels very complete with all the MJ adlibs at the end. Definitely a great addition to the Thriller/Ghosts/Threatened/Is It Scary legacy.
BEST OF JOY: Not overwhelmed by this track, but a great addition to get to hear MJs last song and recording.
BREAKING NEWS: This is the lowlight of this album. I still like the groove and backing track, but the vocals and even lyrics are both very odd for MJ. It takes quite a bit of stretching to think I can even hear MJ in there.
(I Cant Make It) ANOTHER DAY: Very good track. This song kicks butt. I think Lenny and Dave Grohl did a great job on the backing, and MJs vocals are striking, very Dirty Diana and Give In To Me, LOVE it! A great rock track.
BEHIND THE MASK: Heard great things about it, loved it as well. Sounded very updated for nowadays sounds vs. when it was recorded back in the 80s. Not sure about the crowd sounds addition, but didnt hinder it too bad. Very unique track. Couldnt see it as a single, but a VERY good album track.
MUCH TOO SOON: Very well done. Beautiful backing track. Awesome very clear Thriller-era vocals brought current again. I dont think an average listener would even know the last 2 songs were from the early 80s.
Overall I would probably put the MICHAEL album at 4 out of 5 stars. In comparison to Invincible at 4.5/5 and Dangerous at 5/5.