When it first appeared, there was some doubt that this 2007 "collaboration" — circulated in a rough but near-identical version after Michael Jackson's death — really happened. (Members of Jackson's family are among the skeptics.) Musically, the controversy is much ado about little. "Hold My Hand," the lead single from the forthcoming posthumous Michael LP, is a modestly anthemic ballad about sticking by loved ones in hard times, with a melody faintly echoing Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry." It certainly sounds like Jackson's voice, although the Auto-Tune-y veneer makes it hard to be certain. Akon, meanwhile, brings a pleasant Senegalese-reggae bounce to his duet parts. A decent song? Sure. An important addition to MJ's legacy? Hardly.
From The Archives Issue 1119: December 9, 2010