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MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW




Big 'ol press release posted:

It was announced today that on May 13th Epic Records, in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson, will release XSCAPE, an album of new music by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. XSCAPE is executive produced by Epic Records Chairman and CEO L.A. Reid. After mining by the Estate of Jackson’s archives, Reid was granted unlimited access to the treasures spanning four decades of material on which Jackson had completed his vocals. Reid then teamed up top producers to “contemporize” the songs while retaining Jackson’s essence and integrity, creating the best music you’ve never heard.

The list of producers include global hitmakers Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate and John McClain.

The new album will feature eight brand new recordings. A Deluxe Edition of XSCAPE will include a selection of the recordings in their original form. Both the standard and Deluxe Editions are available April 1st for pre-order on iTunes and elsewhere.

The title of this album honors Michael’s album naming process. He always chose a song from the album to name his projects and, beginning with THRILLER, used only one word titles, each with an edgy quality to them. This is true of the new project.

John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson said, “Michael was always on the cutting edge and was constantly reaching out to new producers, looking for new sounds. He was always relevant and current. These tracks, in many ways, capture that spirit. We thank L.A. Reid for his vision.”

Full press release below and more news about Michael Jackson’s upcoming album will be revealed in the coming weeks. Keep visiting https://www.michaeljackson.com for new details.

First single:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NIXlRBWevo



Tracklist:

1. Love Never Felt So Good
2. Chicago
3. Loving You
4. A Place With No Name
5. Slave To The Rhythm
6. Do You Know Where Your Children Are
7. Blue Gangsta
8. Xscape


A deluxe edition of the album will include a second disc containing the original unaltered versions, plus a bonus track and making-of dvd.

MarioTeachesWiping fucked around with this message at 05:03 on May 4, 2014

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MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


Rageaholic Monkey posted:

And this was announced on April 1st, was it? :v:

Yesterday, actually. Sorry to disappoint.

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


cubicle gangster posted:

Production on those clips sounds way over done. it's a mess, there's no space for anything to breathe - the second one especially.

I was hoping it would be good but now i'm pretty much 99% certain it's going to have had too many cooks and end up poo poo.

Good news then, the deluxe edition will include all the tracks in their original untouched form.

Confirmed tracks so far:

Xscape
A Place with No Name
Do You Know Where Your Children Are
Slave to the Rythm
Chicago (She Was Lovin' Me)
Blue Gangsta
Love Never Felt So Good


These are all really solid outtakes and should make for a very tight little album. I'm glad they're going to get a proper release. There's two other unconfirmed tracks, totalling eight tracks on the standard edition and an extra ninth on the deluxe edition, plus the unaltered versions of the tracks that comes with it.

MarioTeachesWiping fucked around with this message at 02:07 on Apr 6, 2014

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


I mean sure, a cash-in is one way of looking at it. They're finishing unreleased material and then making money off of the name attached to it. But at the same time, I really want to hear this stuff.

Think about it. When Prince dies, do you really just not want them to start releasing the stuff from his vault?

Like on the one hand, yeah it's kind of a bullshit move because if the artist didn't want to release it, what right do other people have doing it. On the other hand, it's preserving their legacy and giving joy to the people who want to hear it, which there's something to be said for as well. Record labels are gonna make money off an artist whether they're dead or alive. Whether it's in a respectful way or not is another story. Thus far, I'd say most of the posthomous MJ stuff has been handled with a pretty palpable amount of reverence.

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


Certainly there was a lot of ill will towards the Michael album, most of which was just false rumors and some fairly vocally upset fans. The project itself I thought was handled quite well, with the producers/collaborators of the various songs or other's from back in MJ's career coming on to finish the work. The results hit more than they miss for my money; I'd certainly rather it exist than it not. In addition to the tracks you mentioned, I thought Monster and Another Day were standouts.

Then there's This Is It, which I don't think anyone would dispute was successful as both a concert documentary and a tribute to the man himself. I was certainly grateful to see what those shows might have been, as well as how MJ as a person worked with his craft and his peers. It was a fascinating piece handled with exactly the right amount of reverence without going into navel gazing territory.

Bad 25 was handled expertly. Long sought after pro-shot footage of the Wembley show, plus a live album of said show? Hell, the whole package was worth it for Al Capone alone. It makes Thriller 25 look embarrassing, which it already was; even more ironic when you consider that MJ was alive and involved for that particular project.

Anyway, I didn't particularly buy in to all the grumblings about Michael. Having followed the project since its earliest whisperings, I was completely satisfied with how it was handled and the end result.

Frankly I'm surprised it took them this long to mine the outtakes for another album. They certainly picked the right ones though.


As an aside: I'm not a fan of what Teddy Riley did with Hollywood Tonight. Listen to the haunting loving bridge in the original demo (2:14)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZc623lidSk

Why would you replace that with Teddy Riley saying some stupid poo poo. Also, the omission of the "she's only 15" line in the Michael version is completely unnecessary and further dilutes the song. Such a shame. I'd trade any song off of Invincible for this song done right. Hell, I can't believe it came from the same sessions as that album and didn't make the cut. Something closer to this would've absolutely killed it:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG2-570D6eM


Behind the Mask, on the other hand, would've been loving dire with its original instrumentation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOFOalCHdb0

Yet on the Michael album it becomes arguably one of his best songs. Ultimately what I'm saying is with posthumous material like this, you take the good with the bad. Case in point, the Michael album. I'm just glad there's something to take in the first place.

MarioTeachesWiping fucked around with this message at 10:20 on Apr 6, 2014

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


crankdatbatman posted:

Sorry the fact the album has a song called 'Do You Know Where Your Children Are' is kind of an interesting coincidence.

The album art also conveniently covers his hosed up nose!

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


Leinadi posted:

Was it confirmed either way that some of those 'Michael' tracks were actually his voice or not? I heard something that Teddy Riley eventually said something that he regretted being involved with those particular tracks and that he didn't really know himself if they were Michael's real vocals or not.
Ugh, I guess everything involving MJ, even after his death, have to be involved in some huge drama/scandal type of thing.

I've been kinda discovering his music these last few weeks. Always enjoyed some of his more popular music but I never really dove deep into his catalogue. There's some really good stuff that is not as known, such as 'Morphine'. Much darker than one would expect from him usually, really powerful song.

Especially eerie song given his death.

Fairly certain all the Michael tracks are his vocals. There's substantial proof and testimony to the fact. And I mean come the gently caress on, who else is that supposed to be singing? Fans just got in an uproar about the handling of his material so soon after his death.

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW



This is the original demo of the song which has been circulating for years, not the updated version for the album.

Great song though. One of my favorites.

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


The official tracklist is:

1. Love Never Felt So Good
2. Chicago
3. Loving You
4. A Place With No Name
5. Slave To The Rhythm
6. Do You Know Where Your Children Are
7. Blue Gangsta
8. Xscape


Love Never Felt So Good is the first single off of the album, launching tomorrow. Very weak choice in my opinion.


And the bonus track on the deluxe edition is...! a remix of Love Never Felt So Good featuring Justin Timberlake :suicide:

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


Wow, they did make that into a nice little number. Very pleased. Still, out of all the outtakes they selected for the album, that's definitely one of the weaker ones, hence my excitement about this album. If nothing else, just to have the original demos in CD quality.

I also like how they left in Michael talking at the end. That's a nice touch. Kind of like how they started I Like The Way You Love Me on the Michael album with audio of him beatboxing the components of the song over the telephone. Shows a certain respect towards his craftsmanship of the song, allowing the production to seem more complimentary than overriding.

MarioTeachesWiping fucked around with this message at 17:22 on May 2, 2014

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


DominoDancing posted:

Just saw on Popjustice that Chicago as leaked as well: https://www.facebook.com/mjbeats/posts/756904141021077?stream_ref=10

I'm not gonna pretend that this is a "classic" but it's good in a strong album track kind of way. I can't believe that this is shaping up to be so much better than Michael.

I can, the selection of outtakes really is stellar.

I'm a little disappointed it's not Chicago 1945, but we did get Al Capone with Bad 25 which completely loving owns anyway, so I guess it's nice that it's an entirely new song. Interested to hear the original version of it.

gently caress, it's just awesome to hear MJ's voice in some new material.

MarioTeachesWiping fucked around with this message at 07:55 on May 6, 2014

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


Kid Gloves posted:

this seems like a poor naming decision

It was written during the Dangerous sessions, before any of the allegations. And it's actually a pretty badass demo.


Here, have the original (ignore the poorly transcribed lyrics and weird jay-z insert, the real bridge is that sick guitar solo):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TgdZSGD9MM

MarioTeachesWiping fucked around with this message at 08:11 on May 6, 2014

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


Here's Loving You. Sounds slick as all hell.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oKV0Epad1M

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PmleSERWxo


This is pretty dire. Real disappointing. The original is far and away the better one. Thank god for the deluxe edition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7cuRi05Pzw

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


Blue Gangsta

http://www.mtv.com/artists/michael-jackson/

The original was a really awesome track, not sure I like this remix, as it were, but it's solid, if a little too sparse like A Place With No Name. I feel like some of these lose a great deal of the original song's intent or feel.

Overall it feels like more of a remix album than a realization of Michael's songwriting, which the Michael album at least attempted and partially succeeded at. I'll probably end up spinning the disc with the original versions more than the album proper.

MarioTeachesWiping fucked around with this message at 17:29 on May 8, 2014

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


Leinadi posted:

As much as some of the production can annoy me in places, I must say that I'm really happy about MJs vocals. They're up-front, easy to hear... And the performances are *great*.

Which really says something about MJ as a performer, considering these are all sourced from demos.

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


I love how haunting and mysterious the original version of Chicago is. And Bad era is my favorite, so the demo of Loving You is just fantastic in that vintage 80s way.

I never realized the original versions of Do You Know Where Your Children Are and Slave to the Rythm were so different to the ones that leaked, either. This whole thing is awesome.

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


The Walking Dad posted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHd1rLurxNk

Listen to him rap about purchasing his dream sound equipment and testing it out while he worries about his relationship.

Basically my life.

MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


So, a Michael Jackson hologram is going to perform Slave to the Rythm at the Billboard Awards. MJ always did try to be at the cutting edge of things and loved to innovate, as well as wishing to escape death by becoming immortal through his music, so it seems oddly fitting. I'm curious to see it, I guess.

What a time we live in. Wonder what else we'll see in our lifetimes.


oh, this happened already

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql2tEO68QVc


radical

MarioTeachesWiping fucked around with this message at 03:23 on May 19, 2014

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MarioTeachesWiping
Nov 1, 2006

by XyloJW


The new version of Blue Gangsta has grown on me. The production on the bridge really brings his vocals to another level. Sends chills down my spine.

I'd say of the new mixes, Slave to the Rythm is the definite highlight, with my overall favorite track being Chicago, old and new versions. The only new mix that doesn't really sit right with me is Do You Know Where Your Children Are, it's just super repetitive and forgettable. The 2010 mix was far superior. The new version of Xscape is also really bland compared to the original, but it's also my favorite unreleased MJ song, so maybe I'm biased.

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