The upcoming Michael Jackson album, Michael, will be available on December 14, just in time for the holidays. The album’s lead single, “Breaking News,” is out now and begins with static-infused soundbites about Jackson’s controversial life and death. “Everybody wanting a piece of Michael Jackson…,” it begins. Maybe the entire project is some sort of meta-commentary, because now some are claiming that the song is a sham and features vocals that were not performed by Jackson himself. Sony claims the song is legit, while Michael’s nephew, sister and much of the internet think otherwise.
From the official press release:
The creative process never stopped for the King of Pop who was always planning for his next album; unbeknownst to many fans around the world Michael Jackson was writing and recording songs continuously everywhere from a friend’s home in New Jersey to studios in Las Vegas and Los Angeles with a small group of handpicked collaborators. Now, through the unique stories that will be told about the songs that comprise MICHAEL, fans will get mind-blowing insight into how this artist worked and a chance to hear the songs he most recently created along with tracks that Michael had a desire to bring to fruition.
“Breaking News,” a never heard before song by Michael that appears on the new album was recorded in New Jersey in 2007 and recently brought to completion. Fans can begin pre-ordering the album on www.michaeljackson.com in the next 24 hours.
To some, “brought to completion” means manipulated in a shady way. TJ Jackson, one of Michael’s newphews and the son of the Tito Jackson, wrote on Twitter: “Deceptively merging shady vocals with MJ samples – from prior MJ records – will never fool me,” claiming the song uses “sampled breaths after sampled breaths mixed in with fake vocals to try to fool you.” He continued: “Sounds like Jason Malachi to me too. The vibrato is a dead give away that it’s not my uncle. Fans, I am so sorry you were put through this.”
“I listened to it … It doesn’t sound like him,” Michael’s sister La Toya reportedly told TMZ.
Jackson’s mother Katherine has also expressed doubts about “Breaking News,” and so over the weekend, JacksonSecretVault.com, in which Katherine is a partner, released their own “new” Michael Jackson song, entitled “Opis None.”
“In an effort to overcome the confusion as to the authenticity of the track the estate has recently released we want to give an actual authentic Michael Jackson track to the world … for free,” said Katherine Jackson’s business partner Howard Mann. Except that track isn’t new either. It’s just a remix of “Destiny,” from the 1978 Jacksons’ album of the same name. Mann apologized and insisted Katherine Jackson had nothing to do with the song’s release. Opportunism abounds.
But the label is not budging on the validity of “Breaking News,” via the BBC:
Sony said in its statement that it had “complete confidence in the results of our extensive research, as well as the accounts of those who were in the studio with Michael, that the vocals on the new album are his own”.