'Xscape' Review: Unreleased Michael Jackson Tracks Get A Modern Remix
Xscape is the second posthumous album of unreleased songs by the late Michael Jackson. The album is composed of eight remixed tracks, and the deluxe version includes original versions of the songs.
Anyone else starting to see a trend going on in the entertainment business? Not too long ago we had the late Paul Walker star in Brick Mansions, and while it did strike up some controversy after his tragic death, the film was a hit at the box office thanks to his loving fans that missed him. Can the same be said for Michael Jackson’s Xscape?
I’m happy to report that fans appear to be supporting the album, and not without reason. The remixed versions of the songs are surprisingly well done. You can hear a lot of modern influences in the added harmonies and beats, which I can’t help snapping my fingers to.
The down side of the deluxe album comes from the fact that these remixed songs are presented side-by-side with their original versions. When they are compared with each other, the differences in style sort of clash. Pop music from the 80’s had a very particular style, in that it was all mostly synthesized, so there are stark differences from then and now. Take “A Place With no Name” for example. It was heavily influenced by the song “A Horse With No Name” by America. When you compare the remixed version to the older, original version, you start feeling like the producers didn’t really honor MJ’s original style that we were all captivated by. But that isn’t to say the remixes aren’t refreshing.
The style of the songs remind me of the impressive 20/20 Experience Part One by Justin Timberlake because of it’s groovy, bumpy beats that make you believe you’re in a futuristic disco. The similarities come as no surprise: Timberlake was heavily involved in the production of this album. In fact, you can hear his voice in the duet “Love Never Felt So Good.”
Over all, each song has a revitalizing flare that successfully makes the album stand as its own creature rather than an MJ album.