Michael Jackson album: press views
Critics from UK newspapers and elsewhere review Michael Jackson's posthumously released album Michael, featuring artists such as Akon and 50 Cent.
Simon Price, The Independent
The schmaltzy Keep Your Head Up is described in the blurb as "inspirational", which I suppose is true if you find lines such as "Give me your wings so we can fly" inspiring.
Suddenly, on track four, something amazing happens. The summery (I Like) The Way You Love Me begins with a snatch of Jackson humming and beatboxing into a Dictaphone: "This is the tempo and this is the melody..."
Those few seconds are the most thrilling of the whole record.
Jem Aswad, Rolling Stone
Michael, the first collection of unreleased Michael Jackson studio recordings to be released since his death, is the most frustrating kind of posthumous release.
It's a patchwork of mostly unfinished songs, recorded over decades and tidied up after the artist's death, without a single theme or collaborator - let alone the vision of their creator - to hold them together.
Kitty Empire, The Guardian
The most recent track is Best Of Joy, a weedy weepie the singer apparently intended to tinker with in London during the summer of 2009. It certainly needed it.
In the middle are a hotchpotch of odds and sods that often make plain their co-authors. Hold My Hand is a ghastly Akon track with some tokenistic 'Woo!'s on it.
Two tracks raise the bar: (I Like) The Way You Love Me, a breezy bit of froth on which Jackson sounds genuinely carefree, and the pugnacious Hollywood Tonight.
Adrian Thrills - Daily Mail
Rather than a studio album to rival Thriller, the King of Pop's trustees have come up with an intriguing but patchy compilation.
This album would have undoubtedly packed more punch had the singer been able to polish up the less engaged vocal performances here, while the fact that these songs span 28 years inevitably leads to a lack of continuity.
Oh, it isn't really very good, don't be under illusions of that.
But compared with the unnecessary, inauthentic and insulting mess it could have been, and judged against the level at which, say, Tupac Shakur and Freddie Mercury's graves have been danced on, Michael can actually be considered something of a win.
How much input Jackson had into the new material that he'd been working on since 2001's Invincible is questionable.
The 10 strongest works-in-progress have been seen through to completion by his collaborators and the result, Michael, sounds plausibly Jackson-esque.
The album's most obvious weakness is incoherence. We'll never know how close these tracks came to meeting Jackson's quality control, but the album is a less naked cash-in than fans might fear.