Feature: "Xscape" To a New Classic From Michael Jackson
Wed, 14 May 2014 11:00:46
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Xscape expands on Michael Jackson's immortal legacy once again. In many ways, it satisfies every urge that an MJ fan could possibly have. There's the soulful and smooth "Love Never Felt So Good", originally cut in demo form way back in 1983, and there's also the undeniably danceable and seductively slick title track.
At the same time, this collection brilliantly curated and executive produced by L.A. Reid tells a story. The sequencing follows a cohesive arc from the synth swell and resounding piano of the opener through the dreamy "Chicago", punctuated by Jackson's fast hook and lilting harmonies to "Loving You", which borders on cinematic. In essence, it becomes a complete vision in the same spirit of Jackson's best output.
"A Place With No Name" skips forward at full speed between those signature vocal breaths and a funky bass gallop, culminating on an indisputably massive hook. Across the set, MJ tells a story urging, "Take me to a place without no name", and you want to go with him because the delivery remains so potent. After a dubstep-style break on "Do You Know Where Your Children Are", "Blue Gangsta" delves into entrancing territory as Jackson announces, "I'm the blue gangsta" over a sputtering horn section and stilted off-time beat. It's focused, fiery, and fascinating fare.
In many ways, "Xscape" says it all. Listening to his voice so vibrant and vital as he slips from the falsetto to the whispers, it's mind-blowing just how versatile Jackson was. You can hear almost every side of the record in that one song. That's why Jackson is one of the most important entertainers ever. Any bit of his work should be treasured, and Xscape belongs alongside his most celebrated fare. It's just as catchy and cathartic. Listeners worldwide need to take a closer look though. Put on headphones and experience it from top to bottom. Xscape with Michael Jackson once again. You won't be disappointed.
What's your favorite song from Xscape?