Unreleased Material Tragedy: Michael Jackson’s Rubbish Offcuts of Offal Pop Anyone?
WHAT happens when a musician dies? They get a TV special and a ‘Best Of’. Eventually, they’ll get a musical too, possibly written by Ben Elton or Jennifer Saunders.
Between those, they’ll have their crypt ransacked by music industry CEOs with white ponytails sticking out of the back of their thinning heads. That’s right. Pop deaths mean Unreleased Material Time!
UMT sees tracks that weren’t finished or deemed too poor to be issued in the artist’s lifetime, stuck onto albums that no-one pays for anymore, possibly with a guest rap from Pitbull or something involving a children’s choir. Failing that, just get a load of no-marks to remix a load of stuff you like into something you like considerably less.
And since Michael Jackson died, he’s been reasonably prolific, with a whole load of dreck stuck out with his name on it. Now, we’re all looking at a new album with EIGHT previously unheard songs featuring on it.
MJ’s music has been “contemporized” by a number of producers who Epic Chairman – L.A. Reid – reckons will have the “gravitas, depth and range to creatively engage with Jackson’s work,” according to an announcement. The album is called ‘Xscape’, which is something ears will try to do from your head at this inevitably awful and definitely exploito LP.
“Michael left behind some musical performances that we take great pride in presenting through the vision of music producers that he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with,” Reid said.
So who is on the album? Surprisingly, Timbaland is the lead producer. Once upon a time, Timbaland could do no wrong. Now, clearly, the mortgage payments are getting tight on his third house. There will also be contributions from Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, J-Roc and Jackson estate executor John McClain.
Reid “was granted unlimited access to the treasures representing four decades of material on which Jackson had completed his vocals,” the announcement said.
Hopefully, one song will have the decency to include a sample of Michael Jackson spinning in his lavish grave.