Rare treats and musical surprises | Inquirer Entertainment

Rare treats and musical surprises

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:20 AM May 03, 2014

JACKSON. His legacy lives on.

The recording industry never runs out of rare treats, fortuitous collaborations and musical surprises: Like 2010’s “Michael,” Michael Jackson’s second posthumous album, “Xscape,” features some previously unreleased tunes that, while rough around the edges, are nonetheless far from disposable and may have, at one point or other, been part of “Off The Wall,” “Bad,” “Dangerous” and “Invincible.”

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing—because, other than Michael’s prodigious musicality, the King of Pop possessed a unique voice that didn’t require much polishing and technological “reinforcements.”


The finger-snapping carrier single, “Love Never Felt So Good,” which he cowrote with Paul Anka, moves to a leisurely groove that coaxes listeners to sing along with it.


“A Place With No Name” cleverly interpolates a sampling of America’s first and most successful tune, “A Horse With No Name.”

“Do You Know Where Your Children Are?,” about a 12-year-old runaway, is driven by pounding hooks that astutely convey the urgency of its theme, while “Slave to the Rhythm” benefits from the song’s electronica-tinged sensibility and “contemporized” groove.
By the time the performer wraps up the album’s standard-edition lineup via the title track, “Xscape,” Jackson’s performing gifts are already at full throttle, boosted further by carefully calibrated harmonies—and a cautionary theme that mirrors his aversion to the public’s prying eyes.

Old-school appeal

Other treats: Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” sings about “taking a shot in the dark” as vocalist Jess Glynne finds love in a foreign land, and craves for something more permanent in her romantic relationship. The No. 1 song charms with its pitter-patter tapping and old-school appeal—and is one of the year’s fastest-selling singles!

In “Sing,” the carrier track of Ed Sheeran’s upcoming second studio album, “X” (pronounced “multiply”), the 23-year-old British singer-songwriter temporarily veers away from his folk-rock croon and channels Justin Timberlake in the wickedly flirtatious tune.

VELASQUEZ. Sings musical theater-style duet with Russell Watson.

Sheeran sings about meeting an attractive girl in a bar who performs a small act of kindness that leads to a memorable smooch. The hit single is made more significant by guest singer Pharrell Williams’ cheerful vibe and infectious energy.

“Glee” celebrates a milestone with the release of its 16th compilation, “Glee: The Music Celebrating 100 Episodes.” The groundbreaking musical TV series gathers its old and new cast members to sing “I Am Changing” (by Amber Riley and Chris Colfer), “Just Give Me A Reason” (Dianna Agron and Mark Salling), “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (Matthew Morrison and Kristin Chenoweth) and “Happy,” beautifully rendered by Gwyneth Paltrow, Chenoweth, Morrison, Riley and Darren Criss.


Reason to be thankful

Russell Watson, the United Kingdom’s so-called People’s Tenor, has great reason to be thankful these days: He has won his second battle with cancer, and recently released his latest album, “Only One Man,” which compiles the compositions of musical theater’s legendary songwriting duo, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg (“Les Miserables,” “Miss Saigon”).

The collection has a delicious surprise for Filipino music lovers: Not only does it feature slinky and richly lyrical ballads, but it also showcases the Philippines’ premier songstress, Regine Velasquez, in the effusively dramatic, musical theater-style duet, “Live With Somebody You Love,” a rare treat that allows Asia’s Songbird to show off her exceptional technique and lung-busting vocal range!

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TAGS: Glee, Michael Jackson, Music, posthumous album, Regine Velasquez, Xscape

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