.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/635151afae46bd9ce670d61a2a1035569ed6aa54.jpg Michael

Michael Jackson

Michael

Sony
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
December 14, 2010

This is not a Michael Jackson album. Jackson was one of pop's biggest fussbudgets: Even when his songs were half-baked, the production was pristine. He would not have released anything like this compilation, a grab bag of outtakes and outlines assembled by Jackson's label. And yet, it's a testament to the man's charisma that Michael can be compelling. Jackson gets songwriting credit on eight of 10 tracks, and they are recognizably Michael Jackson songs. "Behind the Mask" is a fiercely funky cousin to "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' "; the Lenny Kravitz-produced "(I Can't Make It) Another Day" is a "Dirty Diana"-esque dance-rock song that also features Kravitz on guitar. There are thrilling glimpses into MJ's creative process — check the snippet of him singing and beatboxing his idea for "(I Like) The Way You Love Me" — but Michael's most amazing moment is the Thriller-era ballad "Much Too Soon." The song is full of guitars and strings, but all you really hear is that voice — hovering between child and adult, between male and female, between mournful and ecstatic.

Photos: The Life and Career of Michael Jackson

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bird on a Wire”

    Leonard Cohen | 1969

    While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com