December 17, 2009


I wrote this words starting from a conversation i had with a dear friend of mine and wanted to share my thought son Michael Jackson's album Invincible which i believe it's his most underrated work.
Don't compare Michael Jackson albums - they are different in style and musical view. From the instrumental arrangements to the lyrical content.

Invincible is a great work and it shifted MJ’s lyrics from HIStory's angry and darker feeling to a more confident approach on the events that shook his life and were offered more insight into his person rather then his persona.

All of his album are great - and for me is impossible to say one is better than the other - it would have take the event to all be released within the same period of time to assess their impact in that way - but that is not possible.

Thriller sold so good because it came at a time when mainstream music was lacking a lot in creativity and many artists (especially black artists) were overlooked by the music industry and the general public. And it was revolutionary in that way - it had the power to break through the race barrier.

I believe that Invincible was intentionally overlooked by the record company, it was a bad luck it came out little time before the 9/11 attack in NY (and people were not focused on music buying and certainly not feeling invincible), still it was a success selling over 10 million copies with 3 singles released, of which one had a video, no promotion (not for real anyway) , no tour to support it - that says a lot about how was received by the public - but this didn't made the news - is not interesting that he managed to have success even without the promoting way that he help developed (videos and the whole thing). That was his power - he could do nothing to promote a song or an album and still reach millions - check out sales and charts. (Wikipedia) 

The album was voted by Billboard magazine readers's poll as the best of the decade In December 2009.

My friend wrote to me: “I think it's lucky for us fans to be able to learn more about MJ's world through his works, as he's gradually opening himself more and more since Dangerous through History to Invincible. This is the way MJ wanted us to know about him, rather than by reading tabloids. I find some lyrics in Invincible incredibly touching (as in most of his slow ballads). My current favourites from this album are Speechless, Heaven can wait, and You are my life.”

Personally i prefer Threatened - is funny and direct and cool. That is the first one that comes to mind followed at a very close range by all the others – Speechless, Whatever Happens, Cry, Unbreakable and so on.

Is also about the sound - I mean for me the best way to listen to his music is to plug in head phones and just enjoy the sound. Is like a multiple dimensions experience - there are the background vocals that he brought to perfection (one of the reason he was asked so many time to feature on other artists songs) there are the vocal and instrumental arrangements, there are the lyrics and so on and the sound effects - he pushed the limits of studio recording all the time.
I remember an interview with Rodney jerkins who was in the early 2000s the top producer who said he went into the studio with Michael and instead of doing the usual producing work he got to learn from the king new ways to record - like when everybody is eating the mic he would record from a corner and add a new effect on the recording and so on.

Sales of Michael’s albums have not kept at the level of thriller in terms of numbers (but here we must also take into consideration the overall shrinking of music industry, illegal CDs and internet P2P downloads) but that doesn't mean that his work was anything less than extraordinary.

It is impossible to recreate the time and social situation of the Thriller era, is hard to recreate the time and situation of the music industry back then, he opened the door and so many talented artist walked through and so is hard to now to get 50 million people to get focused on one album.

Invincible went against a lot of top competition much of which were MJ fans grown up and applying what they learn from him.

The music scene has changed so much from the 80's - back then the music industry was looking for the next sound and the generation leader and what we got was the number one of all time.

What I found most interesting about Invincible is that the selection of the songs had a different criterion - what he wanted to say to the world, to his children, to himself and other loved ones rather than wanting to put out another number one smashing album and that is why I believe is important and has a unique quality to it. Sometimes is important to do things that make you feel alright rather than trying to get everybody to like what you are doing. And what is most important is that he did that without sacrificing the quality of music.
Maybe it wasn't revolutionary sound-wise by some standards but it has SOUL.
And most of all it’s all about L.O.V.E.

With Invincible - MJ just took the kind of music/sound that he liked much at the time and upgraded it. Other than that it was an album (much like HIStory) where he didn't went for making trends or breaking records (though he did that) - he wanted to put good music out for his fans and managed to do that, he wanted to release some songs meant for his kids, songs aimed at reminding people about his beliefs and what could change this world for the better - it is a personal album.

All in one I say if you buy only one MJ album (if you ever manage to do that – I wish you good luck) - don't go for the obvious - go deeper and try to see into his soul - buy Invincible.
Listen to what Michael had to say about invincible and then you will know what i mean about loving this album and why sony wanted to take it down.

Michael Jackson Interview with = part 1 = part 2 = part 3 = part 4 = part 5 = part 6


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