The famous get no respite,even in death.


Sony Music

Rs 499,rating: ***

The famous get no respite,even in death. Much like his life,news about Michael Jackson’s posthumous album Michael is more about the controversy than the music. Critics worldwide are conflicted – some have denounced it as a disrespectful cash grab,while others are clinging on to the last shreds of the King of Pop and his work. There’s also the question of authenticity of vocals. Either way,there are too many jarring elements about the album released 17 months after MJ’s death.

Thankfully,the songs are wholesome and not just excerpts of discarded tracks. Michael opens with a prophetic “this life don’t last forever,” in Hold my Hand with Akon,geared to become the anthem track and an instant radio hit. (I like) The way you love me begins with a recording of how Jackson wanted to begin the track and makes you nostalgic for his gospel choir style. The clarity of the vocals and mid-tempo beats of the ’90s combine to create a good slow dance number.

Breaking News seems more like a plea to be left alone by the media,much like Britney Spears’ Piece of Me,but layered with several vocal variations. I can’t make it another day,with Lenny Kravitz and Dave Grohl,has an upbeat new-age composition,and is true to MJ’s angry rock vocals,but 50 Cent’s abrupt rap is obtrusive in Monster,which has been produced with too many sound effects and less vocal quality. The real Michael,is however,hidden in Behind the mask,where he howls and asks,“Who do you love,is it me,is it him?” deepika.nath@expressindia.com