Now, I understand the skepticism you may have about posthumous tracks and the energy that comes with using unreleased vocals to fabricate songs for profit. That may have come across more on the first MJ posthumous album, Michael, but I can look past that on Xscape because the 8 tracks are in good hands with frequent MJ collaborators Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and John McClain at the helm, in addition to a couple of big-time producers in Timbaland and StarGate. The bonus to Xscape is that the deluxe version contains the original versions of all 8 tracks. Those should appeal to any MJ fan no matter your feelings on posthumous albums.
As you run through the album, keep note of my *Tibs Favs. In fact, every preview in the last week earned my approval — the JT-featured “Love Never Felt So Good”, “Chicago”, “Blue Gangsta”, and the title track “Xscape” — and joining that top tier of records is “A Place With No Name”. I particularly love the melody of the hook and the StarGate production grew on me to make that song the one I’ve had on repeat the most this weekend.
In general, the album impressively boasts a Michael Jackson whose rhythms, melodies, and layered vocals (see: “Chicago”) are all on point. These aren’t just throwaway tracks; rather, Xscape is a collection that brings MJ to the forefront and a contemporary yet throwback sound that matches the time period of the recorded vocals (said to be pre-1999). I applaud the efforts from all parties involved and would highly suggest Xscape to even the most skeptical MJ fan. Enjoy!