I’m sitting here trying to find the words to review the latest twist in the world of Michael Jackson. Earlier today I was sat in the offices at Sony, and had the pleasure of hearing the tracks that makes the album ‘Michael’…
Even though i had to rush out in order to catch my show which also was in London tonight, I wanted to make sure I did this before my flight in the early hour of today.
Where do I start with this….. this review is my opinion, based on solely how I felt hearing this album for the first time. I know many tried to hear snippets on the internet, I didn’t. For me, I didn’t want my appetite for the album diluted and it paid off. I sat there, firstly as a huge MJ fan, and secondly as someone who travels the UK and the world impersonating the greatest entertainer of ALL time.
If my opinion does upset/offend anyone, I’m sorry but I won’t change it. It’s my opinion
I rated each song according to how I would value it based on the 1-5* rating (5* being I’m loving this!)
HOLD MY HAND (4)
This track has had airplay and the fans/general public already know of this. My opinion has always been the same – I loved this song and the production from day one. It needed to be completed and as much as we all have what we consider the right track for first release, I’m personally glad it was this one. It has a great message, vibe and vocals that suits the season we are approaching.
HOLLYWOOD TONIGHT (5)
This had a strong production that rang the Invincible era, and considering it was written at that time, I’m surprised it didn’t make that album. Classic Teddy Riley had me swinging with a smile across my face. Considering I did 300 plus shows last yr alone, and some 75 in nightclubs across the country, this track would command the attention of everyone in the club scene. At to think the average age group is 18-21, it’s nice to know this album can accommodate all existing fans and the new ones. I absolutely love this song. ‘She’s going Hollywood, she’s going Hollywood tonight….’
KEEP YOUR HEAD UP (5*)
This is a slow ballad, that had a simple beautiful musical intro. The vocals reminded me of ‘Don’t Walk Away’. The way of describing this song was a cross roads between ‘Man In the Mirror’ and ‘You Are Not Alone’. Both those songs rank in my top 10 of all MJ songs, so this is one of those. I could replay this song several times without getting bored. It has a beautiful choir ending, and on a big stereo is pure magic. To me I feel a bit of ‘R.Kelly’ could so easily have influenced the great orchestral build-ups.
I seriously had to fight back the tears when listening to this song, was like a message from the man himself.
(I LIKE) THE WAY YOU LOVE ME (3)
This was originally on the Ultimate Collection, and it’s been finished now. I know that many fans already like this song in its demo stages, but it does already sound better. The intro of Michael on a crackly phone-line is quite a nice touch (one for the fans). It s personally not one of my favourites, but it’s a fan track. It is nice enough to leave playing but not a stand out song for me.
This song reminded me of a track that should have been on the ‘Blood on the Dancefloor’ album. Heavy, HEAVY vibe, with some serious sound effects. A fantastic chorus, and I can see this being a club hit. Wished this was released for a Halloween period next yr. It’s a 2010 thriller!! 50 cent to me brings a lot to the table with this track, I was surprised at the choice of rapper when I heard it was him, but it works so well.
BEST OF JOY (3)
A nice enough track, could leave it playing, but nothing that great for me to indulge in. It does hold beautiful vocals.
BREAKING NEWS (2)
A definite fan song, I like it a lot as a fan song, but as a commercial track I don’t feel it would have worked. We can all make our mind up about this track as it’s been out now. Also if I gave this a (2) and Hold my Hand (4)…. you’ll get an idea about how I see this album.
(I CANT MAKE IT)ANOTHER DAY (3)
This is the Lenny Kravitz track, to be honest it’s not my type of music, but a brilliant song in itself. Very rock feel, and would love to hear this track several times before I could honestly say.
BEHIND THE MASK (5*)
Classic Michael. Vocally this takes me back to late 70s to mid 80s. His vocals are silky smooth, the range he sings in will have many playing this over and over. I cannot fault this track, and even though it will remind many of Eric Clapton , apparently the lyrics were written by Michael originally. Michael has taken a classic song, and what would normally make the radio stations of magic and radio2…. I can imagine this being played on Kiss & Radio1.
MUCH TOO SOON (3)
Definitely a nice song, again an album track. For me it was like ‘The Lost Children’, I really loved the song and would play it often, but never as one of my must hear tracks. It’s still quality and was fitting to end this album. No heavy music, his vocals and his character shines through.
On reflection of hearing this album for the first, and only time so far, I found myself leaving Sony beaming. Excited to feel the King was still here in music past present and to come. His fans I’m sure will love this when they finally get to put speculation and controversy aside, and make their own minds up.
I feel this album will also bring a new audience to the world of Jackson. My favourite album of all time has always been ‘Bad’. By that , so many tracks were true hits, classic songs and not album fillers. I find myself wanting to put this in my top 2 albums of all time, maybe to say 2 isn’t fair to ‘Off the Wall’ or ‘Thriller’, but I can easily say that this album is my favourite since ‘Bad’.
I don’t want to get into the politics or dirt throwing that is overshadowing what really matters here – MICHAEL JACKSON. I do want to take this opportunity to actually thank both Sony & MJJ s estate for giving Michael the credit he s due by such a quality release. Finally an album of all new tracks, not another greatest hits, or remixes.
Obviously I am an impersonator, so when I heard the rumours that this album was not solely that of Michael s, I was surprised. I have being performing in the MJ tribute scene for the best part of 23yrs, so obviously anyone looking/dancing/sounding like MJ I WOULD know of. Rest assure that this album is PURELY Michael, his vocals is one thing that cannot be replicated.
We are all Michael fans, and if you read this, it’s because you, like me, love Michael. Let’s gives him what he deserves and unite to fly his flag once again. We don’t need to be divided or diluted, because the only person that pays the price is Michael.