Sunday, January 4, 2015

Every1Plays Music Review: Xscape

Every1Plays Music Review: Xscape

We first heard the new MJ record on the Kyrie Irving commercial with the track ((Love Never Felt So Good)).  In doing a soundtrack of my life (Big Brother Lee), my first cognizant music moment was MJ's Thriller.  It's my earliest music memory and where my love for music started.  In thinking about Thriller today, along with MJ I think of Quincy Jones.  During my time on radio, I'd go back to Q's previous work, digging & listening, especially everything Hip Hop sampled and stuff that was popping up on films like Austin Powers.  I have always been interested in Quincy Jones' life and how he survived through the times making history through something he was able to pick up as a youth. 

In thinking about a record like Xscape, a reason I wanted to get it was for me & my baby brother to listen to while we drove around town.  Noticing the CD at Sam's Club I decided to buy it.  It's been a long time since I've purchased an MJ record.  Most of my MJ collection dates back to Bad and everything before including his 70s solo records and the Jackson 5.  One of my youngest brother's favorite Michael Jackson records is Off the Wall.  Listening to the mixtape we made called the Early Weekend No School Mix you can hear my brother, then 12 years old, singing the lyrics to ((Off the Wall)) during the skits.

We enjoyed Xscape and listened to most of it on our way to Game Stop for the midnight release of the PS4 game Destiny.  Some of the songs on there made us think of how cool the record would sound on a video game or a film, especially a track like ((A Place With No Name)).  

In listening to Xscape and reflecting on the album for this blog, I was interested in knowing if Quincy Jones had any involvement or thoughts about the record.  I searched and found an interview where he not only shares his thoughts on the Xscape record, but some notes from his life, childhood and up.  He mentioned also that he felt the MJ record was more so about money, shaking his head in disapproval for what it was. I've got a lot of respect for Quincy Jones, and listening to Xscape could only imagine what a collaboration would've been beyond just Thriller and Bad.  Those were special times in music and something we can appreciate without having to wish or expect anything else.  Listening to what is used on Xscape though, you can't help but wonder under different circumstances and without all the controversy MJ dealt with, the what ifs.  He literally had the ear of the universe at his door step. 

Regardless, we appreciated the record for what it was or wasn't... if anything we appreciated the voice that will forever be familiar to our music memories.  Rest in peace MJ.

Below is the interview I reference with Quincy Jones.  

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