Michael Jackson’s posthumous album “Xscape” is on target to sell 140,000-150,000 copies in its first week, landing the project at #2 on the Billboard charts, just shy of the #1 spot.
We have to admit, we were quite skeptical of the album when it was first announced. It wasn’t so much that we didn’t have faith in Michael’s ability to produce another rave-worthy album…come on, he’s the greatest entertainer of all time, but we thought it might have been a ploy by record execs to squeeze whatever money they could out of the MJ estate. (Forgive our cynical mentality). But, you know the tricks…dubbed-over “never-before-heard” vocals on top of newly produced beats…
“This isn’t record company greed, it’s art,” L.A. Reid said when “Xscape” debuted. We can admit when we’re wrong.
We were pleasantly surprised when we hit play on “Xscape.” It instantly took us back to those “Remember The Time” days. The album of unreleased cuts from 1983 to 1999, especially picks up around the collaborations with Usher and Justin Timberlake. The disco tune “Love Never Felt So Good” feels natural.
We have executive producers Timbaland and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins to thank. They infused Michael’s signature pop sound with contemporary beats and created a much-desired and modern MJ album that isn’t over-produced.
“Xscape” garnered mostly positive reviews. Time Magazine wrote, “the material on Xscape seldom sounds gimmicky” and NPR said, “even in what sounds like a rehearsal situation, Jackson manages to convey the heart of a song.”
Though “Xscape” doesn’t stand up to it’s musical predecessors like “Off The Wall,” “Thriller,” or “Bad. It’s a great attempt a posthumous album if we’ve ever seen one.