New Michael Jackson song debuts on MJ's official website
When Michael Jackson recorded "This Is It" in 1991, he couldn't possibly have known that he was singing his own death mass. But listening to it today from its stream on Jacko's website, that's exactly how it feels.
The song is a slow jam that recalls his uber-produced ballads from the Dangerous era, which is fitting. Rumors about the song's exact date of origin is up for debate--some claim that it was rejected from the Off The Wall sessions, some claim it was a reject from the Dangerous sessions. Either way, it's a strong showing in Jackson's weakest genre--the lilting, overly composed ballad.
MJ's musical seams didn't show in very many places. But his slow numbers have always seemed to find Jacko at his most achingly saccharine. Even his voice seems to fail him in these touchy feely asides, going from that piercing, garrulous, pitch perfect upper register to a feeble, breathy rasp.
But "This Is It" feels different, and it feels different in part because it has been colored by history. We know, for example, that MJ had already predicted (and, as some sources, say, wished for) his own death by the time he recorded it. And though the tune is uplifting and sunny, its bright outlook in such a sharp contrast to the future awaiting him that it's almost gruesome to listen to.
The album is a companion to the forthcoming film of the same title, which documents Jackson's exhaustive rehearsal process for his farewell shows in the weeks prior to his death. The film drops on the world on October 28th with an album release to match it. The album (also of the same title, natch) will be yet another anthology of Jackson's previous high points.