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Thread: XSCAPE - Fan Reviews

  1. #31
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    Nes is right. Dig the music. Mainly the oldies but goodies stuff nowadays.
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  3. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Nesboy43 View Post
    On that other MJ board I see much more people quoting those who hate the songs and saying "Get out of here and stop being so negative" or "Why are you so ungrateful", and when they write that stuff to those who don't like the album they get tons of likes. A lot of people on there view not liking aspects of the projects or certain songs as anti MJ.
    You basically discovered how that board works.

    By the way, this may interest you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing
    Last edited by Neverland Valley; 05-09-2014 at 08:48 PM.

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  5. #33
    Picked up the deluxe and standard albums today. I have to wait for another two weeks for my vinyl. dude said its not out for anotherx2 weeks, that true? I think he just failed to order it. I've got to say the deluxe version is phenomenal! Of the new versions, the only tracks I can't really get into are STTR & DYKWYCA, but after that dip it picks back up.Although, I'm listening to STTR again and it's possibly growing on me. I'm only on my second listen but it is fantastic! Most of the demos are great due to the absolute clarity and quality of MJ's vocals. You can defitinely understand why some of the demos didn't make any of the albums but can hear so much potential in others and the demo of Escape is just off the chain incredible in such quality. I've not watched the DVD or checked if it contains subtitles and wondering if anyone has clarified this? I think most fans who get the deluxe will not be disappointed. It is incredible and completely blows the Michael album out of the water. The booklet comes with the backstory of each track followed by that tracks lyrics. I can hear 4 or 5 of the new versions being played in clubs everywhere. It f...ing rocks!

    Of the demos, tracks such as LNFSG and Loving You absolutely soar due to MJ's incredible and melodic vocals. They are filled with charm. Finally we get APWNN Blue Gangsta in stunning quality and the original demos to STTR and DYKWYCA. Again the demo for Escape is a sure fire hit that never was. Wait until you hear MJs vocals on this thing. People are going to have their minds blown.
    Last edited by MrBrightside; 05-09-2014 at 10:54 PM.

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  7. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBrightside View Post
    Picked up the deluxe and standard albums today. I have to wait for another two weeks for my vinyl. dude said its not out for anotherx2 weeks, that true? I think he just failed to order it. I've got to say the deluxe version is phenomenal! Of the new versions, the only tracks I can't really get into are STTR & DYKWYCA, but after that dip it picks back up.Although, I'm listening to STTR again and it's possibly growing on me. I'm only on my second listen but it is fantastic! Most of the demos are great due to the absolute clarity and quality of MJ's vocals. You can defitinely understand why some of the demos didn't make any of the albums but can hear so much potential in others and the demo of Escape is just off the chain incredible in such quality. I've not watched the DVD or checked if it contains subtitles and wondering if anyone has clarified this? I think most fans who get the deluxe will not be disappointed. It is incredible and completely blows the Michael album out of the water. The booklet comes with the backstory of each track followed by that tracks lyrics. I can hear 4 or 5 of the new versions being played in clubs everywhere. It f...ing rocks!

    Of the demos, tracks such as LNFSG and Loving You absolutely soar due to MJ's incredible and melodic vocals. They are filled with charm. Finally we get APWNN Blue Gangsta in stunning quality and the original demos to STTR and DYKWYCA. Again the demo for Escape is a sure fire hit that never was. Wait until you hear MJs vocals on this thing. People are going to have their minds blown.
    Thanks for the review, very informative. What did you think of Chicago? The vinyl was initially slated for May 27, and now everywhere is saying June 10. I've mentioned before that Bad 25's kept getting pushed back from September 2012 into February 2013. Is the back story about the new producers or the demos?

  8. #35
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    There's a 'new' Michael Jackson album out. Well, to be more specific, it's the second posthumous album released after 2010's absolute trainwreck 'Michael'. A few new producers feature on this one called 'Xscape', namely Timbaland, Stargate and some other folks. The album mixes a whole bunch of old and relatively new songs - though nothing past 2003.



    The album opens with the song 'Love Never Felt So Good'. Co-written by Paul Anka and Michael Jackson back in 1983, this was described as a 'vintage 1983 disco groove'. It shows. Most of the vocals from the original demo have been kept and fuses a heavy sample of the strings and other sounds from 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough'. It's pleasant enough - given the 'disco sound' is making a comeback as of late, what with Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories' album. LNFSG may well be the best song here, given the original demo was nothing too special.



    'Chicago' is the second track. I've never heard the original demo of this one - but it is included on the Deluxe Edition. 'Chicago' was produced by Timbaland and his 'signature' beats are all over this and an apparent 808 drum loop and some 80s synth strings every so often. I don't know what this one is about, but it's pleasant enough not to give me too much of a headache.



    'Lovin' You' is third, opening with a sweet little piano intro. Another cut produced by Timbaland and again, minus the heavy beats (a part of most of Timbaland's work), it's a decent listen. Not much more than that. Again, this is one of two songs that I've not heard the demo. The piano is at the back of the track. From listening to the lyrics, it seems to be something of a relationship lyric. Haven't really got much more to say than that.



    Fourth track is 'A Place With No Name' aka Michael Jackson's re-written 'Horse With No Name', dating from 1998, this time produced by Stargate and Dr. Freeze (who was responsible for the ballad 'Heaven Can Wait' from 'Invincible'. From the very start of this, you think the synth horns and synth bass might give this one a nice 80s groove to it. Then an utterly painful beat comes in and throws away all hope of that. The original demo was a happy little demo that was one of the better things about the overly prolonged recording of Michael's last album 'Invincible' all the way back in 2001. Not happy with this one. I'll stick with the demo.



    'Slave To The Rhythm' is not a Grace Jones re-recording but an original Michael Jackson song, originally from either the 'Bad' or 'Dangerous' sessions. I've heard this one before - and one word to say about this 'new version': terrible. Too many dry 808 drums and a headache-inducing synth pattern all over. Yuck. A typical Timbaland production; which should say ALL you need to know.



    'Do You Know Where Your Children Are' is another cut from the 'Bad' sessions, produced by Timbaland. This one, before the album's release was criticised by supposed critics for 'bad taste in the way of Jackson's past history', alluding to obvious reasons. The beat puts the terrible production at the forefront and the message at the back. Michael himself left a note about this track:

    '...is about kids being raised in a broken family where the father comes home drunk and the mother is out prostituting and the kids run away from home and they become victims of rape, prostitution and the hunter becomes the hunted. So they are out on the street. Do you know where your children are? It’s twelve o’clock. They are somewhere out on the street. Just imagine how scared they are. It’s about the runaway problem we have in America'.

    I'm disappointed the original guitar solo seems to have been turned into some synth garbage too. Overall, this is NOT the way to play with a serious message. Although, this isn't the first posthumous track to deal with strong social commentary; 'Abortion Papers' from the Bad 25 re-release dealt with that issue and again, was seen as controversial; and showed his strengths as a songwriter.



    Track seven, leaking back in 2010 is one called 'Blue Gangster' with EIGHT production credits. Again, this has typical Timbaland drums over multitudes of strings and other synth sounds - yet removing the spoken vocals at some points which is a disappointment - then again, these are 'contemporary sounds for today's audiences'. There really isn't much more to say about it than that.



    Finally with the title track, this album comes to a close with the two-credit production of Rodney Jerkins who produced 2001's 'Invincible' and Michael himself. It's not that bad, considering what I've heard so far. Then again, I haven't much else to say about it either. Like most of the other songs, it has some synth strings and up-front drums with MOST of the vocals kept as they were. Not a patch on the demo but then none of these songs are. At least the demos are included.



    Overall: a mixed sound. Least they gave it a shot. I'll be off to listen to the demos now. 5 / 10.
    Last edited by if.it.aint.broke.break.it; 05-10-2014 at 12:46 AM.
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  10. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Nesboy43 View Post
    Thanks for the review, very informative. What did you think of Chicago? The vinyl was initially slated for May 27, and now everywhere is saying June 10. I've mentioned before that Bad 25's kept getting pushed back from September 2012 into February 2013. Is the back story about the new producers or the demos?
    Hey Nes, what actually slightly made me give the guy in the record store the benifit of the doubt was I recalled you saying that about Bad25 actually, but what made me doubt him slightly also was he only ordered in 10 copies of the deluxe and they all sold out and he was very surprised by this as if he didn't really think it would sell a whole lot, which is fair enough given the guy specialises in rock albums and wouldn't be MJ fan I guess. I did keep my vinyl order and he said he'd ring me as soon as it was in and I guess he wouldn't have just made up two weeks I guess.

    The back stories talk about the original and how the new versions came to be. Some just talk about the originals. There quite good. You'll enjoy them.

    I watched the dvd, it's about 21minutes and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately there are no subtitles which I was disappointed about for fans and people like Gary. Perhaps some one will put a version on YouTube with subtitles, but in this day & age it is ridiculous there not on everything.

    Whatever you'll feel about the contemperized versions, your going to LOVE every single inch of the original demos. Michael's vocals take center stage and the quality (at least to me) is brilliant. Just keep holding out until Monday when you have the album, I promise you it's worth the wait.

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  12. #37
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    As someone who was born within the last 16 years (not going to give a year) , and was not a fan of Michael when he was alive, some of you who were might find my perspective on this album interesting.
    1. Love Never Felt So Good
    New: It did it's job, and that was to take a rough demo and make it releasable. Kinda plain though. 7/10

    Old: Just Mike and his piano, wither that's a good thing or not is up to interpretation. But for me, it's not enough. 5/10

    2. Chicago
    New: WOW, I fell in love with this song the second I heard it. Despite what is believed to be autotune in the first verse, the vocals blow my mind, the chorus in particular. Very happy with Tim did with this song. 9/10

    Old: Way too slow for my tastes, like it sounds they slowed down the vocals; but to it's credit it has a darker sound that fits the theme and feeling the song is going for. 7/10

    3. Loving You
    New: One of the albums highlights imo, very smooth and flowing sound that does that great vocals justice. And proves my belief that you can take vocals from any era and make it sound modern without ruining the material. 8/10

    Old: Definitely a product of the 80's, It sounds very dated and was not pleasurable to listen to. 6/10

    4. A Place With No Name

    New: This mix bears a striking resemblance (rips off) to Leave Me Alone, but addresses the problems listed below. When this song premiered on Music Unlimited I was reading things about people canceling their pre-orders over this mix, but I like it. Plus it fixes the potential copyright problem in that the song itself is a complete rip-off of America's "A Horse With No Name". 7/10

    Old: Here's where many MJ fan's will call foul, in my entirely honest opinion this version is boring. The music does nothing for me, I love acoustic guitar when it's done right (ex. Whatever Happens) but here it is repetitive and dull. 4/10

    5. Slave To The Rythm
    New: Surprisingly good, the instruments on this are great! Keeps the song's message intact while making me wanna dance 8/10

    Old: To my shock this song was recorded for "Bad". Those vocals sound like at least History era to me. But the song sound kinda like most songs made during the 80's.....and that's dated. 5/10

    6. Do You Know Where Your Children Are (or as it should have been called "12 O'Clock")
    *Just a personal note: I'm kinda shocked they released this song, seeing as they have been trying to make sure the public is not reminded of the 1993,2005 and 2013 accusations of molestation ex. censoring the line "She's only 15" on Hollywood Tonight. That title they chose definitely does not help.*

    New: The absolute worst of the new mixes, very uninspired. If you want a good mix hunt down the 2010 ft. Jay-Z mix being considered for the Michael album. 3/10

    Old: A great demo! It sounds like a primitive version of the 2010 mix. Like the 2010 mix was just this demo with new instruments (and Jay-Z). Very great. 8/10

    7. Blue Gangsta

    New: This mix despite being kinda basic, I love for letting me hear MJ's voice very clearly during the verses. Then the chorus rears its ugly head with all it's dubstep-y crappyniess. The chorus almost ruins the whole mix for me But hearing the bridge with the new background music is nothing short of beautiful. 7/10

    Old: Nothing short of amazing!!!! It is basically the leaked version, but a new or older revision. With only a few differences. 9/10

    8. Xscape
    New: Despite the first 4 seconds making me cringe everytime I hear it. This mix I great especially like the horns and drums But they kinda distract from the point of the song. 8/10

    Old: Absolute bliss for my ears, this demo fits the tone of the song perfectly. Plus we can finally understand what he is saying during the chorus. 9/10

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  14. #38
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    I had the chance to listen to the entire deluxe edition on You Tube tonight. Here's my thoughts on each song. My reviews include ratings from 1 to 5 stars for new version and demo version. Some songs will include a rank of their 2010 leaked version as well.

    1. Love Never Felt So Good
    New- 4
    Duet- 2
    Original- 3


    The original was never one of my favorites. Far too dated and boring. The new version brought it to life. I like it. I like the sound of the duet version with Justin, but I think it sucks they had to bring Justin in. It's like Sony can't rely on MJ by himself to get to number 1 on his own. They could easily have left this off the album and added it as a B side to LNFSG if it was released as a stand alone cd single release.

    2. She Was Loving Me (Chicago)
    New- 3
    Original- 3


    Let's face it, we all know the REAL name of the song is She Was Loving Me. This is one of very few negatives I have for this track. The producers should NEVER have changed the song name to Chicago. MJ only says Chicago once in the entire track. That said, I like both versions....however I felt the new version was too "Michael" albumish. At first listen, I thought some of the vocals were questionable. Upon listening to the track again, I'm convinced it's 100% Michael, just badly autotuned. A new bylaw should be made...DO NOT AUTOTUNE A Fing MICHAEL JACKSON ALBUM OR SONG!

    Also, who's idea was it to add duck sounds to the new version? DUMB!

    3. Loving You
    New- 4
    Original- 4


    I love both versions. Not much more to say.

    4. A Place Without No Name
    New- 1
    Original- 5


    Wow...where to begin. 1st again the song title. MJ clearly sings A Place WITHOUT No Name...not A Place With No Name...get it right estate/Sony! 2nd....the original that leaked in full earlier this year after waiting almost 5 years for it was amazing. I love the fact that the band America gave their blessing to MJ to let him sample their hit song. The rift at the beginning and throughout the song is fantastic. MJ turned a classic rock song into his own.

    Fast Forward to 2014 and this once proud gem hidden in Michael's music vault was take into a record studio and stripped of any and all of it's energy. The song is a complete rape job of MJ's vision, and I for one am outraged by it. After a great start to the album, the album takes a serious bad hit.

    5. Slave To The Rhythm
    New- 4
    2010 Version- 4 & 1/2
    Original- 3


    This is one where the 2010 version that Tricky Stewart did, and the new 2014 version beats MJ's original. MJ's was ok....but it's clearly dated as a late 80's /early 90's track. I liked the intro but the song just felt like a rejected video game track from the golden days of Sega Genesis & Nintendo.

    The new version was great. Love the intro. Gave me a "Whatever Happens" vibe with the chains and big movie premiere climax. If anyone saw the fan made video to "Whatever Happens" with the whole Cowboy/Indians theme, you know what I'm talking about.

    However, the 2010 version is my favorite..but not by much. I think Tricky did a great job, and unlike MJ's version and the 2014 version, this version actually has a kick ass bridge to the song. The tempo on Tricky's version match MJ's vocals to perfection.

    6. Do You Know Where Your Children Are
    New- 2
    2010 Version- 4
    Original- 3


    Like A Place Without No Name, the new version of this once proud gem was raped and destroyed. The new mix completely sucks. I prefer this over APWNN, but not by very much.

    The original is good...but I prefer the 2010 version. The added guitars and beats brought the track to life. This version is the one they should have used on track 6 instead of the 2014 version.

    7. Blue Gangsta
    New- 3
    2010 Version- 4 & 1/2
    Original- 4


    I don't mind the new version. It's growing on me. It will never top the 2010 version though. MJ's original and the 2010 version aren't that much different. Some more bells and whistles were added to the 2010 version, which made this one the best version. The "good, bad & ugly" sound effects in this version was the perfect touch. I like how all 3 versions end the same way. Nice way to end this MJ gem.

    8. Xscape
    New-4
    Original-4 & 1/2


    New mix is good...but I prefer the original. Only thing I would change about the original is drop that prison break part, and just start the track where the music starts. Maybe get rid of the girl talking too. I always felt it was out of place.

    Final review- compared to the Michael album debacle, Bad25, and This Is It, this is by far the best release we've had since Michael's passing. Some parts are great, other's...people need to be held accountable.
    Last edited by Prince Of Pop; 05-10-2014 at 04:43 AM. Reason: because I can

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  16. Love Never Felt So Good

    Original- 8.5/10

    Remixes-8/10

    Chicago

    Original-8/10
    Remix-8/10

    Loving You

    Original-8/10
    Remix-8.5/10

    A Place with No Name

    Original-8.5/10
    Remix-7.5/10

    Slave To the Rhythm

    Original-7.5/10
    Tricky '10 Mix- 10/10


    Do You Know Where Your Children Are

    Original-8/10
    2010 mix-10/10

    Blue Gangsta

    Original-7/10

    Xscape
    Original-9.5/10
    Remix-6.5/10

  17. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBrightside View Post
    Hey Nes, what actually slightly made me give the guy in the record store the benifit of the doubt was I recalled you saying that about Bad25 actually, but what made me doubt him slightly also was he only ordered in 10 copies of the deluxe and they all sold out and he was very surprised by this as if he didn't really think it would sell a whole lot, which is fair enough given the guy specialises in rock albums and wouldn't be MJ fan I guess. I did keep my vinyl order and he said he'd ring me as soon as it was in and I guess he wouldn't have just made up two weeks I guess.

    The back stories talk about the original and how the new versions came to be. Some just talk about the originals. There quite good. You'll enjoy them.

    I watched the dvd, it's about 21minutes and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately there are no subtitles which I was disappointed about for fans and people like Gary. Perhaps some one will put a version on YouTube with subtitles, but in this day & age it is ridiculous there not on everything.

    Whatever you'll feel about the contemperized versions, your going to LOVE every single inch of the original demos. Michael's vocals take center stage and the quality (at least to me) is brilliant. Just keep holding out until Monday when you have the album, I promise you it's worth the wait.
    Yes, the vinyl thing is a real delay. Thanks so much buddy for the information. Glad to hear the backstory has some focus on the originals. Is the DVD about the producers making the new album or is it about the old versions? Or is it a mix? Any studio footage? Really messed up about the subtitles. Michael put subtitles on the DVDs for History on Film volume 1 and 2, and the Vision DVD has subtitles. Not sure what happened there, maybe a sign of a rushed project? Not acceptable.

    Really really glad to hear what you have to say about the demo. I will keep holding out until I get it on Tuesday. I was in Walmart today and they had an Xscape display by the front, but unfortunately it only had Thriller, Bad, and The Essential in it. When I saw that promo display I was hoping they maybe put some copies out early.

    I'm really looking forward to this, I just will ignore the stuff and don't like and dig in and love the things I am looking forward to.

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