The Anticipation of “Xscape” Part 2

11 Apr

Mysterious invitations to listening parties for Michael Jackson’s “Xscape” arrived, sometimes only a few hours before and in various geographic locations in the US and UK. Invitations were extended to music journalists and fans, hosted by Epic Records. Security was tight with cell phones confiscated and attendees not even told the titles of the eight tracks on the album.

A few music journalists weigh in on their experiences:

Michael Jackson’s New Album: How Good Is It? –Digital Spy

“So, is Xscape any good? There’s been a concerted effort to recapture Jackson during his imperial phase in the ’80s; the music god who effortlessly rolled soul, R&B, electronica, rock and pop into soundscapes of brilliance. No, it’s not as good as Michael at his very best, but then again, it never was going to be.

That said, it’s a considered and worthy collection of reworked gems that remind you of just how important Michael Jackson was – and let’s face it, not many other artists can release their cutting room floor cast-offs and it can still sound this good.”

-Lewis Corner, Digital Spy

Michael Jackson’s “Xscape”: Lovingly Restored Material Brings Back the King of Pop – Mirror UK

“And, as the album concludes with title track “Xscape,” a sonic slice of noughties electro-pop, I’m left satisfied that Michael’s legacy will endure thanks to a collection of carefully selected material, lovingly re-engineered for millions of fans and new fans alike.

There’s a reason he was called The King of Pop after all. And deserves another worldwide No.1.”

-Kevin Hughes, UK Mirror

“A first listen of Michael Jackson’s “Xscape” — A Labour Of Love With Eight Songs. It’s a judiciously edited and cohesive album.”

-Bernadette McNulty, Telegraph

Newsflash: The Michael Jackson Album “Xscape” Does Not Suck

“Forget what you heard; we actually heard the music.”

“Happily, the “contemporized” production on Xscape not so over-the-top that it distracts from the main attraction here, Michael’s superior songwriting and one-of-a-kind vocals.”

“Up high on one of the windows was a quote in bold letters that speaks to MJ’s creative process. “It’s an adventure, it’s a great adventure,” he said. “They just love wonderful experiences, they want escapism. We wanna take them places that they’ve never been before.” How many recording artists today even aspire to do as much for their listeners? Contrary to what Kanye West said on “All of the Lights,” MJ isn’t exactly dead—not as long as he still can make your pulse race by hitting a note with just the right touch of grit in his voice. Almost five years after his outrageously untimely death, the King of Pop’s ability to move the crowd endures. He’s still a thrilla.”

-Rob Kenner, Complex Music

Though the track list has not been shared and will only shown by the track number on your Itunes preorder screen, there has been a lot of speculation about what the eight songs might be based on media articles by those who attended the listening parties. Damien Shields has done some great research that might shed some light on what those tracks could be in his blog, XSCAPE: Reviewing the reviews and analysing the clues regarding the new Michael Jackson album.

There has been quite a bit of discussion regarding the term, “contemporize”, that LA Reid, Chairman and CEO of Epic Records, has used to describe the eight tracks on the album. There will be two versions of the album. The standard version will contain the eight “contemporized” songs while the deluxe edition will contain two CD’s. One CD will have the “contemporized” tracks,the second CD will contain the original demos of the eight songs plus a bonus track, and there will also be a DVD with two videos.

“Contemporize” is really just another term to describe a remix. There are already thousands of remixes of Michael’s music, by both professionals and fans. Some of us even collect them. It can never be said that they are better than the originals that Michael approved himself but can truly lead you back to loving the originals even more. Think of it as buying Michael’s songs with eight additional remixes similar to “Blood On The Dance Floor” or “Thriller 25.” MJVibe has put together a great blog regarding the “contemporize” terminology. Remember, even “Billie Jean” was remixed over 90 times until they came back to the second mix and picked that one. Wouldn’t you like to hear the other 89 plus remixes? The MJ Truth Now administrative team agrees with MJVibe’s position on this.

‘Contemporize’ – A Word That’s Ruffled a Few Feathers

There will always be controversy regarding posthumous releases by any beloved artist. Michael Jackson’s career spanned over 40 years and was a prolific artist during those years. He created so much music, it could not possibly all be released on his albums. There are many of us that want to hear that music in the best way possible and we do not believe in leaking the music and stealing it. Michael Jackson’s posthumous album releases join those of Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Tupac Shakur, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, and Johnny Cash and even Frank Sinatra. Please find more information about their posthumous releases in 7 Artists Who Had Music Released After They Passed.

The Michael Jackson Family Trust was formed to not only take care of Michael’s children, but to continue his musical legacy. Since the Trust is not public, we don’t know exactly what is in it, but we are betting it doesn’t say anything about not releasing his music for future generations to enjoy, as long as it is done respectfully.

And, finally, Michael Jackson’s “Xscape” is predicted to be the best-selling album of 2014. Bookmakers William Hill are offering odds of 1/10 to sell a million by the end of 2014 and ¼ that it will become the biggest selling album of the year.

We already have our copies of “Xscape” the deluxe edition preordered in both digital and physical CD form? And, we probably won’t stop at just one copy.



One Response to “The Anticipation of “Xscape” Part 2”

  1. sunsetdriver2013 April 12, 2014 at 12:09 am #

    Great job on both parts, Theresa!

    Sent from Windows Mail

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