Friday, July 12, 2024

Michael Jackson: There Is Concrete Proof He Sang the New Songs


The fans are worried that Michael Jackson‘s new songs–recorded in 2007 at the New Jersey home studio of family friends–aren’t his.

The “Cascio tracks” have caused an uproar. On the planned “Michael” album set for December 14th release, there will be three: “Breaking News,” “Monster,” and “Keep Your Head Up.” (I’ve heard the latter song, and it’s quite wonderful.)

I am told that in addition to forensic tests on the songs to make sure the vocals are Michael’s, Sony sources say Eddie Cascio has provided notes written on lyric sheets in Michael’s unmistakable handwriting. (Of course, they can always call in Helena Bonham Carter’s aunt–see yesterday’s column.)

Sources tell me there’s plenty of proof left behind by Michael that he provided the vocals on 12 tracks. Michael wasn’t just sitting around that whole time in the studio. He worked on the songs, and there’s evidence of it in the notations.

Some of the confusion on the currently streaming “Breaking News” may exist because Michael provided “guide” vocals on the tracks. He didn’t record back up vocals or anything else that would embellish a regular recording. Producers have added back up singing and instrumentals to flesh the records out.

Michael also never finished or polished up the tracks. What’s been done to them is similar to what was applied to the song “This Is It.” Jackson had left just a one track vocal with a piano playing in the background. John McClain added background vocals from Michael’s brothers and other musical elements to give the track life.

Also included on the new album: three songs produced by a hot new producer-writer named Nephew. One of them, which I’ve heard, is called “Best of Joy.” It’s a lovely ballad. And ironic–that Michael’s nephews are causing so much dissent over the album because their songs weren’t used, but three by someone actually named Nephew were. Weird.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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