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Xscape Image
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 90 Ratings

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  • Summary: The posthumously released eight-track album from the pop singer features unreleased songs completed between 1983 and 1999 with new production from executive producer L.A. Reid, as well as Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon, Rodney Jerkins, John McClain, StarGate, and Timbaland. A deluxe edition includesThe posthumously released eight-track album from the pop singer features unreleased songs completed between 1983 and 1999 with new production from executive producer L.A. Reid, as well as Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon, Rodney Jerkins, John McClain, StarGate, and Timbaland. A deluxe edition includes a disc of songs without the current producers input. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. May 13, 2014
    90
    Jackson's music mixed celebration and terror, as if he was unable to find, or maintain, the division between the two. His music offered a place to both explore and escape those tensions. On this album, it does again.
  2. There’s nothing here to quite match his finest moments, but nothing stinks and that, I suppose, is the best you can expect.
  3. Jun 4, 2014
    80
    For the most part, Xscape honors [Jackson's] legacy and should help to relieve some of the mistrust that some may have with those in charge of the icon’s estate.
  4. May 12, 2014
    70
    Timbaland and Reid evoke the Michael Jackson we all love and miss, finding songs that are worthy and giving them arrangements that are simultaneously nostalgic and modern. It's a difficult trick to pull off but they largely succeed, so XSCAPE is a worthy and memorable coda to Jackson's career.
  5. May 14, 2014
    60
    Although rejected by the singer in his lifetime, this is pop, not high art, and it has been handled with considerable care, giving us a glimpse, however illusory, of what this extraordinary talent might actually sound like had he lived.
  6. May 12, 2014
    60
    It's an understandably ad hoc collection that conjures up snatches of wonder from scraps of genius.
  7. 0
    Though the revamps are distractingly overwrought (this project could have been called The 20/20 Xperience), Jackson’s voice, pure and fierce as ever, cuts straight through Timbaland and company’s more-is-more fireworks display.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. May 15, 2014
    10
    Excellent MJ vocals (as always), fantastic songs! Producers contemporized the songs did a great job, with respect to Michael Jackson. Plus,Excellent MJ vocals (as always), fantastic songs! Producers contemporized the songs did a great job, with respect to Michael Jackson. Plus, the deluxe version includes the originals as Michael left them. This album is a true gem Expand
  2. May 20, 2014
    10
    The genius of Michael Jackson shines through on this album. Very refreshing to hear the pure vocal as the centerpiece of this album. The mixThe genius of Michael Jackson shines through on this album. Very refreshing to hear the pure vocal as the centerpiece of this album. The mix sounds like classic Michael without a bunch of studio hocus pocus. Hearing this album makes me appreciate the talent of this man and miss his presence in music today even more. Expand
  3. Jun 10, 2014
    10
    One of the best albums that Michael Jackson has released after Dangerous. This is what the modern MJ would sound like! I just can't believeOne of the best albums that Michael Jackson has released after Dangerous. This is what the modern MJ would sound like! I just can't believe how the producers have been able to create this miracle album! Expand
  4. May 14, 2014
    8
    its really v.enjoyale album , much much better than the previous one and maybe better than invincible
    all the tracks r very well but blue
    its really v.enjoyale album , much much better than the previous one and maybe better than invincible
    all the tracks r very well but blue gangsta is really silly song i didnt like it at all
    all the new versions r better than originals so really really thx to timbland
    Expand
  5. May 29, 2014
    8
    Yes, there's been a fair amount of controversy regarding this release of MJ material from the vaults; some question whether he wanted itYes, there's been a fair amount of controversy regarding this release of MJ material from the vaults; some question whether he wanted it released at all, that it wasn't up to his standards. Here's my take: even if it wasn't up to par, anything that Jackson discarded is probably better than 80% of pop music today; I also relish the opportunity at being able to see the inner workings of Jackson's musical mind. For the most part, this is a pretty decent set. "Love Never Felt So Good" (both the solo and JT duet) is a standout track, including "Slave to the Rhythm" and "Do You Know Where Your Children Are." The breezy, relaxed vibe of "Loving You" wouldn't sound out of place on today's Top 40, and "Chicago" makes use of present trends with the drum machine. While I wasn't thrilled about paying extra to purchase the deluxe version of the album (with the original demo tracks), I appreciate their inclusion, to hear what sort of musical adventure Jackson might have taken us on. Timbaland's production is strong without being smothering, and sounds relevant, reaching conclusions that Jackson himself might have reached. Expand
  6. Jan 11, 2015
    7
    An album quite normal, but thankfully respects the style and essence of Michael Jackson and give us his best of his career since his death inAn album quite normal, but thankfully respects the style and essence of Michael Jackson and give us his best of his career since his death in 2009. I hope the next album will outperform this. I give it a 7/10 because on the second disc there're the original versions of the songs of the first disc, and is something to be welcomed. Expand
  7. Oct 8, 2014
    2
    A timely reminder of how mundane and over-rated Jackson was.

    Bland, unchallenging, light-weight pop songs - over-produced (by an army of
    A timely reminder of how mundane and over-rated Jackson was.

    Bland, unchallenging, light-weight pop songs - over-produced (by an army of producers) to prop-up Jackson's mediocre talent.
    His relationship songs are unconvincing - precisely because he never had a normal one!
    All of his songs are inauthentic - as you'd expect from someone who was never "real".

    The usual mix of sickly ballads and harmless dance tracks.
    The usual limited vocal gimmicks.

    His initial fame I can understand - but his enduring fame is mystifying.
    A triumph of USA-style hype over content!

    The Emperor has no new clothes - and he's dead! But that will of course change nothing for the faithful...
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See all 22 User Reviews