My friend Mike hipped me to this article from Idolator which contains a statement from Michael Jackson’s estate regarding the current “Breaking News” furor and tries to put a closing stamp on the argument about whether the vocals on the track really belong to Michael.

Apparently, a sea of Michael’s former associates, including multi-instrumentalist/producer Greg Phillinganes (who had worked with MJ since the Seventies) and Teddy Riley (who co-produced the track) all verified the King of Pop’s involvement in the track. Maybe I’m just a sap or easily swayed, but I took a couple of closer listens to “Breaking News”, and parts of it do, in fact, sound like Michael Jackson. I still think the vocal track might be blended, because even though the tenor of MJ’s voice changed to an extent in the last 10-15 years of his life, it was still quite recognizable. However, the one person that would know for sure isn’t here, so…what can we do?

I will say (and I’m not sure how clear I was about that originally) that the track is far from his best work, nor is it Riley’s. Teddy’s a genius of a producer, and I remember him going on a radio station disavowing “Blood on the Dance Floor”, a song he worked on that was 50 times better than “Breaking News”. This sounds like it was a throwaway track, and it was meant to be just that.

At any rate, the saga continues and people are talking, and I would imagine that it’s exactly what MJ’s people want in anticipation of the new album release.

As this song proves, Michael was something of a master of vocal disguise techniques.

There’s also news about the tracklisting for the “Michael” album, which you can find after the jump…

I’ve got to say, the tracklisting makes me a little bit queasy. About half of these songs have already popped up in other places. “Hold My Hand”, the project’s “official” first single, surfaced a couple of years ago, while the Lenny Kravitz collaboration “Another Day” leaked earlier this year. “(I Love) The Way You Love Me” at the very least shares a title with a song that appeared on his “Ultimate Collection” box set, while “Behind the Mask” was co-written with Michael’s longtime sideman Greg Phillinganes and Ryuichi Sakamoto and appeared on not only Phillinganes’ debut solo effort from the mid-Eighties, but was also covered by Eric Clapton around the same time. This track listing is interesting/traumatic enough, that I almost don’t care that there’s a track on the album featuring 50 Cent. Sigh.

“Michael”‘s track listing

1. Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon)
2. Hollywood Tonight
3. Keep Your Head Up
4. (I Like) The Way You Love Me
5. Monster (Featuring 50 Cent)
6. Best Of Joy
7. Breaking News
8. (I Can’t Make It) Another Day (Featuring Lenny Kravitz)
9. Behind The Mask
10. Much Too Soon

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