Michael Jackson (Speculated) XSCAPE Track list
1. Love Never Felt So Good
2. A Place With No Name
3. Slave To The Rhythm
4. She Was Lovin' Me
6. Blue Gangster
7. Do You Know Where Your Children Are
Heart FM's showbiz reporter Kevin Hughes reviews Michael Jackson's Xscape
Michael Jackson's Xscape:
Lovingly restored material brings back the King Of Pop.
Michael Jackson. Front cover of new album Xscape.
Largely comprised of songs recorded in the 90s and early 2000s, Xscape is a more cohesive album in comparison to 2010 offering "Michael."
Eight previously unreleased songs have been (in the words of Executive Producer L.A Reid) 'contemporized' by the likes of Timbaland, Stargate and Rodney Jerkins.
And whilst the fresh 2014 production enhances that trademark MJ vocal, it doesn't detract from the original song and the genius of Michael's songwriting vision. As the album begins, you're immediately transported back to the Thriller era, thanks to an amazing 1983 disco groove called "Love Never Felt So Good."
With its soulful vocal, infectious baseline and orchestral strings, it's a song that screams 'Jackson classic' and it says a lot about influence when you consider that it wouldn't sound out of place on the latest Pharrell album.
I challenge anyone not to experience goosebumps after hearing "A Place With No Name" a song layered with lush harmonies believed to have been recorded in 1998 and a song that deserves to played by radio stations worldwide.
Potential single "Slave To The Rhythm" is a floor-filler for a new generation whilst 1999's RnB soaked "She Was Lovin' Me" (originally considered for the 2001 Invincible album) has echoes of "The Way You Make Me Feel."
Two other songs, "Chicago" and "Blue Gangster" will also remind you of previous Jackson offerings but both tracks benefit from newly enhanced production and remind us of the fact that Michael was keen to remain relevant to the emerging hip-hop generation.
But one of the outstanding cuts on the "Xscape" album is a song called "12 O'Clock" or "Do You Know Where Your Children Are" in which an emphatic Jackson discusses family values and child abuse over a pulsating bass line and guitar riff.
Whilst I'm not convinced the new production has added anything to the original, it's still a song that will get everyone talking. 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.
Source: kevin Hughes / Mirror.co.uk