Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Breaking New

Song: Breaking News
Artist: Michael Jackson
Album: Michael

Tupac ended up releasing more album after his death than he did alive, he was always recording, and while the results were certainly spotty...  it was profitable.  All of that despite his estate coming under fire for "finishing" tracks, creating duets where they didn't exist... basically blood from a stone.

Not that his legacy wasn't confused enough, but Michael Jackson, the former self-proclaimed King of Pop who was arguably the most famous person to ever walk the planet, but segued into a troubled (and strange) tragic figure who while still influential, couldn't reclaim the success he'd had years prior.  Marred by a molestation trial that handicapped both his aforementioned legacy, and sales of his last album, everything changed after his untimely death... as it was time to celebrate the legend he was, not the man he'd become.

And now SONY is releasing (after the smash success of the "This is It" concert documentary and album) "Michael," the first of ten (!!) planned posthumous albums as part of the biggest music deal given to one artist, let alone one that is no longer living.  $250 million was paid to his estate for the rights to all of his unreleased material, extended to 2017.  So yes... be prepared for "new" Michael Jackson music for years to come.

But it wouldn't be a Michael Jackson project without some kind of strange drama, and low and behold... just released new single "Breaking News" is being challenged, by the singers own mother and kids no less, that it isn't Michael singing... but a sound-a-like.  Oy.

Regardless of all that... how is "Breaking News?"  Well, it certainly sounds like late-era Michael, very "Dangerous"/"You Rock My World" but a song about how slandered by the press the singer is has a) been already done back in 1989 when it was called "Leave Me Alone" and b) only really relatable to one particular person (who is no longer alive) and/or the Charlie Sheen/Lindsay Lohen's of the world.  It doesn't scream hit to me.

In the past I'd been critical of those that suddenly were praising the man as a legend post-death that was no longer paying attention to him, or worse lambasting him while he was still alive... but the man is a legend.  And the music he leaves behind is true American history.  I'm shrugging at "Breaking News," and have little to say about it possibly not being his 100% vocals.  Taking incomplete song fragments and doing something with them can only partially be held up to the music he himself signed off on, but what does interest me is the rumored songs that were written and recorded during the "Off the Wall," "Thriller," even "Bad" era that didn't make the album... and have never been heard.

Those will speak to his actual legacy.

What do you think of "Breaking News?"  Sacrileg?


Breaking News

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