UPDATE (5/12): Listen to every song on Michael Jackson's Xscape album now
UPDATE (4/2): According to famous funk guitarist Jesse Johnson—a former member of the Prince-assembled band The Time and a Janet Jackson songwriter—Xscape features a track with D'Angelo, Mary J. Blige and Questlove. Johnson teased that MJ will duet with D'Angelo and Blige while the Roots star handles drums. Curiously, Johnson also notes that D'Angelo plays a sitar on the track. We can't wait.
Original Story: The King has not yet left the building. Michael Jackson's estate and Epic Records have announced a brand new MJ album, Xscape, set to feature eight previously unreleased songs from the late singer. Listen to a snippet of the title track above.
The album's lead producer is Timbaland, with additional work by hitmakers like Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Stargate and more. Not much else is known about the music other than details about the title track, which was written and produced by Jackson and Jerkins, the man behind recent hits like Justin Bieber's "As Long As You Love Me" and Lady Gaga's "Telephone." The track was originally intended for MJ's 2001 album Invincible, but failed to make the final tracklist.
So how'd they make new Michael music from beyond the grave? According to a press release, L.A. Reid—Epic CEO and the LP's executive producer—acquired recordings featuring completed Jackson vocals and went about "contemporizing" each track. "Michael left behind some musical performances that we take great pride in presenting through the vision of music producers that he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with," Reid said. "We are extremely proud and honored to present this music to the world."
There will be a standard and deluxe version of Xscape, the latter featuring all the sourced recordings in their original form... aka a must-have for MJ fans.
Xscape drops May 13 while pre-orders begin April 1. Check out the album art below.