While the king of pop may have passed, his music will continue to live on.
“Xscape,” a new Michael Jackson album that will be released May 13, will consist of eight unheard tracks recorded by Jackson prior to his death in 2009.
A statement released by Epic Records said that the music of Jackson has been “contemporized” for this album.
“After mining by the Estate of Jackson’s archives, L.A. Reid was granted unlimited access to the treasures spanning four decades of material on which Jackson had completed his vocals,” the statement said. “Reid then teamed up top producers to ‘contemporize’ the songs while retaining Jackson’s essence and integrity, creating the best music you’ve never heard.”
Aside from Reid, other producers of this album include Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, who wrote and produced the title track with Jackson, Stargate, Jerome “Jroc” Harmon and John McClain.
“Xscape” will also release a deluxe album that will include all eight recordings in original form.
The album title comes from a long tradition of Jackson’s. Since “Thriller,” he had chosen a song with a one-word title to be the album title. Producers will continue that tradition with “Xscape.”
“The title of this album honors Michael’s album naming process,” said the statement released by Epic. “He always chose a song from the album to name his projects and, beginning with ‘THRILLER’, used only one word titles, each with an edgy quality to them. This is true of the new project.”
For fans who are worried that the new album will not feature the voice of Jackson himself, fear not: the Michael Jackson Estate and Epic Records came out with a statement saying sound experts verified Jackson’s voice for the new album.
Reid said in an interview with CNN that he believes that Jackson would not have been disappointed with the final cut.
“Modern music and artistry would look and sound completely different if not for the groundbreaking contributions Michael Jackson gifted to the world,” Reid said. “Michael left behind some musical performances that we take great pride in presenting through the vision of music producers that he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with.”
John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Jackson Estate, thanked Reid for his vision to bring back the music of Jackson.
“Michael was always on the cutting edge and was constantly reaching out to new producers, looking for new sounds,” said the co-executives in a statement. “He was always relevant and current. These tracks, in many ways, capture that spirit. We thank L.A. Reid for his vision.”
Fans can either pre-order the album now on iTunes or buy it in stores starting May 13.