Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Paris Jackson, Willed Into Celebrity as the King of Pop’s Daughter, Releases First Album, And It Charts!


Paris Jackson. To me, she’s quite a story. She lost her father, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, when she was 11. It wasn’t too long after that she was standing down her greedy aunts and uncles after they “kidnapped” her grandmother. Remember all that? Paris was in charge at an early age.

Her Twitter feed always revealed she was bright, and a quick study. She was burning through her music education, which didn’t include R&B but focused on grunge, folk, and metal. She didn’t go to college, but you can tell the world of music was her university. She wanted it. And she wanted to be a celebrity. She didn’t know it at first, but Paris had a lot of confidence. That’s what she got from Michael Jackson.

A few months ago Paris released an EP with her boyfriend, called The Soundflowers. It wasn’t very good but she believed in it. Now she’s released today her first solo album, “Wilted,” after signing with the very hot Republic Records. Somehow she found Andy Hull and the Manchester Orchestra. I don’t think many people had heard of them. But the collaboration works, however unlikely it would seem. They’ve made a very listenable, terrific moody pop album. It’s already number 56 on iTunes. Republic should get a CD out fast. The audience will eat it up.

“Wilted” has an Enya feel to it, but it’s more than that. Paris’s vocals– she’s got a voice– glide over a gossamer cloud of electronics and acoustic guitar. What really helps is that the songs have melodies and hooks, they’re catchy. You want to play them again. The lead single, “Let Down,” is very good. But I liked a few others, the title track and the closing one, “Another Spring,” which could be her hit. It’s got a country folk feel perfect for Adult Contemporary radio, very Cranberries. You can hear her channeling Dolores O’Riordan. Paris should do a 23 and Me and see if there’s some Irish in her.

Paris and her brother Prince (we don’t know about Bigi, formerly Blanket, yet) really inherited a lot from Michael Jackson. They’ve got his determination, his interest in charity, and in film and music. They will be his legacy far more than moonwalking and dressing up from “Thriller.”


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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