New, Depressing Michael Jackson Music Coming Your Way

Epic Records

Have you been clamoring for a new, posthumous, vaguely-depressing-for-reasons-of-unnecessariness/exploitativeness Michael Jackson album? No? Well, here comes one anyway!

As Billboard reports, Xscape, an eight-track album of unreleased material, will be out May 13. Executive producer L.A. Reid “took the lead in cultivating recordings from Jackson in which his vocals were completed, and went about ‘contemporizing’ each.” Actual production was done by Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome “Jroc” Harmon, and John McClain. (Never heard of that last dude, but rest assured it is not the same fellow who saved Nakatomi Plaza.)

If you’re keeping track, the list of posthumous MJ projects now includes:

Michael Jackson’s This Is It, both the concert film and the corresponding soundtrack

Michael, the first proper posthumous release, and the one with the lead single the Jackson family claimed wasn’t actually MJ singing

Michael Jackson: The Experience, a video game

• Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, along with its corresponding soundtrack, Immortal

Bad 25, a 25th anniversary rerelease of Bad

• And Live at Wembley July 16, 1988, a concert DVD.

As to why we now need one more release, Reid says, “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. We are extremely proud and honored to present this music to the world.” Reid did not add: “Also: We will continue draining the well until the only thing left in the vaults to ‘contemporize’ is recordings of Michael Jackson clearing his throat, or until the sun burns out, whichever comes first.”

Filed Under: Music, Michael Jackson

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Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad