Michael Jackson’s newest album exhibits freshness and modernity


Press release photo from hypetrak.com

Michael Jackson’s “Xscape” debuted at No.2 on the billboards on March 14

The King of Pop continues to release hits, even after his death. “XSCAPE,” a modernized mix of songs that did not make the cut on Jackson’s previous albums, is one of many albums to be released during the posthumous Michael Jackson era.

Timbaland executive-produced the album with assistance from other big name producers Rodney Jerkins, Jerome Harmon, Stargate, and John McClane, providing a fresh sound to the old recordings. Their works stuns, as the album maintains a true Michael Jackson vibe throughout, excluding “Blue Gangsta,” a beatboxed tune that screams Timbaland. Despite the lack of vintage Jackson on the track, “Blue Gangsta” appeals to young music fans, delivering a upbeat tempo sure to have listeners dancing.

The deluxe edition of “XSCAPE” features eight original tracks chosen from 1983 to 1999, in addition to nine renovated versions of the identical singles. “Love Never Felt So Good,” originally recorded over thirty years ago, sees two interpretations both produced by Timbaland. Michael Jackson meets Justin Timberlake in the second copy, making for a radio-friendly and likable hymn.

This is the fourth post-death album released by Epic Records and MJJ Productions. The previous records include “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” Soundtrack, “Immortal,” and “Michael.” “Michael” is the first posthumous compilation album of unpolished Jackson tracks, shedding light on the King of Pop’s impact on the music industry.

The producers manage to construct an album not entirely focused on reminiscing in Jackson’s past, introducing fresh sounds and tracks unlike his most popular anthems; however, there are several songs resting on nostalgia. The funk number “Chicago” bumps in a similar manner to Jackson’s smash hit, “Billie Jean,” in sound and overall bulk.

Outside of the controversy behind releasing the posthumous album, “XSCAPE” held a position on iTunes top ten albums for multiple weeks following its release. “Slave to the Rhythm,” once featuring Justin Bieber, has a techno sound and catchy chorus sure to have music listeners from any decade grooving to the rhythm of the beat. The album maintains a familiar sound, while experimenting with popular music of today, thus, ensuring a wide range of appeal to music enthusiasts across the globe.