Michael Jackson’s new posthumous album has been slated by critics.
The record, simply called Michael, is made up of unfinished songs recorded by the King of Pop before his death 18 months ago, completed by producers and collaborators, including Akon, 50 Cent and Lenny Kravitz.
The album – which is released on Monday December 6 and is already top of all the digital charts on iTunes, Amazon, HMV and Play.com on pre-orders alone – was previewed to the media on December 1 and has received poor reviews across the board.
Jackson’s voice is apparently more prominent on some of the ten tracks than others, but The Independent claimed some of the tracks are “so over-produced that, with all the backing vocals, you can barely hear him”.
Only one of the tracks on the album was fully completed by Jackson, back in the Thriller era of the 80s. This ballad, Much Too Soon, is the closing track on the album and is said to be reminiscent of the late star’s former hits.
Upbeat track Hollywood Tonight, produced by 80s R&B producer Teddy Riley, features beatboxing from Jacko and is considered the highlight of the album in the majority of reviews.
Greg Cochrane of BBC Radio One said: “What this isn’t, is a new Michael Jackson album, but a jigsaw collection of previously unheard material.”
Gordon Smart wrote in The Sun: “Overall it’s pretty disappointing and not a patch on his era-defining albums Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad.”
The Jackson family estate reportedly signed a £128million deal with Sony Music in March this year.
It is believed the label will now release 10 different Michael Jackson albums over seven years, although most will be collections of material already available.