Ah, Friday. You’re here! I’ve been anxiously awaiting your return since Sunday night. I welcome you with open arms and a song that will surely put a pep in your step. For those of you who know me, you know that I am a bit of a Michael Jackson junkie. For those of you who don’t know me, hello! I’m a bit of a Michael Jackson junkie. When my sister and I were growing up, one of our most played VHS tapes was a collection of Michael Jackson videos. We don’t watch it anymore…because we now own it on DVD and, well, YouTube happened. I remember exactly where I was standing when I got a text on June 25, 2009, saying that Michael Jackson had died and I remember that I cried big, fat tears while watching his memorial service on TV. (I’m sorry, if you didn’t cry during Usher’s rendition of Gone Too Soon you best check to make sure you have a soul ASAP.)
I had a bit of a Sybil-esque moment when I first heard that Xscape, a new Michael Jackson album, was being released. Yes, another posthumous album by the King of Pop himself. Part of me felt like a kid on Christmas Eve: giddy with anticipation and intoxicated by the urge to jump up and down while clapping with anyone who would join me. I had a conflicting thought while mid-jump. There’s a reason Michael Jackson didn’t choose to release these songs. While I am not privy to the reason, I do know there must be one. It’s not like the man was ever short on music. And, how awful is it that the Jackson family is still trying to make money off of his death? Surely his other albums still sell well, right? Surely the movie “This Is It” helped the family financially. Surely this, surely that – morally I don’t agree with it.
Yet still, curiosity got the best of me when the Michael Jackson Facebook page posted that a version of Love Never Felt So Good featuring both Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake had been released. MJ and JT? My two favorite sets of initials together on one song? I had to check it out. I’m not going to say that I’m okay with the release of the song or the album as a whole, but I will say that I’m bouncing around as I type this and I’m pretty upset I wasn’t asked to be a dancer in the video. The song oozes pure joy. Absolutely oozes it. I’m talking Pharrell’s Happy level of happiness here. I challenge even the grumpiest of grumps to watch this video and not feel the urge to smile. Jackson and Timberlake compliment each other and approach the song with a matching level of enthusiasm. It’s contagious and a nice homage to vintage MJ, and the addition of Timberlake doesn’t hurt. It’s a song with the King of Pop and his successor.
I certainly don’t think this is Jackson’s best work, but I would have to assume that even at his worst, the man would still come across as a musical genius and genuine artist. That said, I’m not opposed to listening to this song on repeat if I ever need a pick me up or a quick dance session, but I won’t be purchasing the album, strictly due to my principles. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for the aforementioned quick dance session and inevitable mental battle over this song.