Michael Jackson’s newest posthumous album, entitled Xscape, is set to be officially released on May 13. The new album is available for pre-order on iTunes on April 1. The album, produced by Timbaland, Stargate, Rodney Jerkins, and John McClain and part of Columbia’s Sony Epic Records, contains eight brand new songs as well as some original recordings. Jackson’s album has been hinted at since 2010. Jackson himself is responsible for co-writing and co-producing the album’s title track. The album will be available in both standard and deluxe editions, with the deluxe edition containing additional songs in their original form and demo songs. A preview of Michael Jackson’s new album is available on YouTube.
Jackson’s official website reminds fans that the title of Jackson’s new album follows a pattern in the way MJ’s albums have almost always been named. Jackson always chose a one-word title for his albums beginning with Thriller. The same press release on the website also indicates that the new album should be a hit with old fans as well as young people just now discovering his music for the first time.
A review of the new album can be read on The Telegraph’s website where writer Bernadette McNulty described the album after hearing it at a playing party in the UK. McNulty voiced review of the sneak preview of Michael Jackson’s new album in positive terms, noting that it is unlike contemporary pop albums which can consist of a disappointing “collage of chants and breakdowns.” The writer notes that the album is cohesive and well-edited and that it provokes the same wonder at Jackson’s “man-woman” voice and “inimitable yelps and shrieks” as always. The UK-based website Pop Justice also received favorable reviews from those who had attended the London listening party. Due to its high quality and the authenticity of the singer’s voice, the album surprised listeners who originally had “no expectations” for the album, although some tracks were described as weaker than the other ones. Others expressed concern that the album would not sell as well as expected since there are only eight songs that are completely new to the public.
Michael Jackson died in 2009 at the age of 50 of an apparent overdose on medications. His daughter, Paris Jackson, has recently been in the news due to her issues with grief and depression stemming from the death of her father as well as false reports of her suicide that circulated online. At this time, Paris does not seem to have made any public comments about her father’s new album, although she reportedly claimed that his 2010 posthumous release entitled Michael was a fake because she claimed the voice used for the album was that of an impostor and was not in fact her father’s own. Later she denied having made this claim.
The new album is expected to be the bestselling record of 2014. In addition to pre-ordering the album on iTunes, fans can also pre-order it on Michael Jackson’s website. It should be noted that Jackson’s estate supports the release of this new recording. Fans can read the entire sneak preview of the singer’s new album by checking out the Telegraph website.
By Amber Workman