“Breaking News,” the first release from the forthcoming posthumous Michael Jackson album “Michael,” made its debut on the King of Pop’s website this morning.
Unfortunately, the song, recorded in New Jersey in 2007 and completed after his death last year, isn’t quite up to Jackson’s exacting standards. It opens like “Tabloid Junkie” from 1995’s “HIStory” collection, with news snippets and then complaints about the creators and consumers of gossip laid over sleek ‘90s-era soul, but it’s not even as good as that sometimes-maligned song.
“Breaking News” sounds like Jackson had probably polished the chorus, which has a potent hook in his lines “Why is it strange that I would fall in love? Who is the bogey man you’re thinking of?” and a nice touch of beatboxing. But the verses sound cobbled together, at times, even seeming to offer proof of his mother Katherine Jackson’s claims [which she will apparently repeat on “Oprah” today] that several of the songs on “Michael” are recorded by sound-alikes.
Sony Music tells TMZ that it has done voice authentications and that it’s convinced the tracks are real.
However, having Jackson referring to himself in the third person doesn’t help matters. (“Everybody wanting a piece of Michael Jackson,” the song opens. “Reporters stalking the moves of Michael Jackson.”)
Sony Music is quick to point out that “Breaking News” will not be the first single from “Michael,” which hits stores on Dec. 14. That’s a relief, because this underwhelming effort would simply have fans wondering, “Is this it?”
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