……For a posthumous release, Xscape is actually worth the ends, giving us the chance to contrast the unvarnished versions of eight songs that were completed during multiple Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Bad, Dangerous and Invincible recording sessions that, for one reason or another, failed to make the final track lists. Some of those song omissions were probably more about changing tastes or whims, as Michael was (in)famous for, because most of them are enjoyable even in their minimalist demo-type form.
Producer and Executive producers Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Timbaland, respectively, do a commendable job with the material at hand: the original recordings preserve his analog essence and the updated versions, while they may or may not have met Jackson’s exacting standards, will not disappoint the majority of his loyal fans. The highlights among them are the songs that work both as demos and modern reconfigurations; theInvincible-era title track, a fervent and ferocious rant against a manipulative ex, the fork-tongued media and the erosion of his privacy (masterminded by Rodney Jerkins): in a delivery that’s all but seething, Michael lashes out…… (click here for the full-length review at soultracks.com)
Columnist, The Dallas Morning News/Briefing
Senior Lead Writer, soultracks.com (as Melody Charles)
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