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SI: Michael Jackson’s Upcoming Album Michael Already Available

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Michael Jackson’s upcoming posthumous album, Michael, which are collected works from the past, is set for release on December 14th. Internet savages have already ripped the album and put it on file sharing networks. I was easily able to go to the popular torrent site thepiratebay.org and see many people sharing Michael. It’s unfortunate, but all popular music that comes out now faces this unavoidable reality.

Despite whatever piracy does to possible sales, it’s easily promised that troves of fans will purchase the album anyways. The release has been played in grand fashion with song premieres all over the place.

“Breaking News” was the first song from the album to be unveiled. On November 5, a video teaser for the song was released on Jackson’s official website. It opens with a montage of various television journalists reporting breaking news about Jackson, followed by the musical introduction of a song. The video refers to the tabloid stories and legal troubles that plagued Jackson in the years leading up to his death. On November 8, 2010, the full length version of the song was released, and made available on MichaelJackson.com for one week.

The album’s first single, “Hold My Hand”, was released on November 15, 2010. The filming for the official video of Hold My Hand began on Saturday, November 20 in Tustin, California. There was a casting call posted up on Jackson’s official website, saying that they were “looking for his fans of all ages who want to be a part of this iconic event.”

On November 30, the final version of “Much Too Soon” was unveiled (a mix without the accordion had leaked out in mid-November). It was announced that it would play on iTunes Ping for one week. On December 3, 2010, talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres premiered the song “Hollywood Tonight” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show while dancing throughout the audience. This is the first time this song has been featured on television. On December 6, talk show host Oprah Winfrey premiered songs “Keep Your Head Up”, and and “Monster” during her talk show. On December 7, the final version of “(I Can’t Make It) Another Day” was unveiled on iTunes Ping for one week.

The first few reviews that have popped up have been mixed.

Dan Martin of NME called the album “kind of enjoyable” but commented that “if this decent-enough album is the best of the bunch, things are going to get ugly from here on in.”

Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone thought the album was “not a Michael Jackson album“, and Jackson “would not have released anything like this compilation, a grab bag of outtakes and outlines,” but “it’s a testament to the man’s charisma that Michael can be compelling.” RS gave Michael 3 out of 5 stars.

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