*5 years after his unexpected death, music lovers continue to be gifted with new music from Michael Jackson.
The late singer’s second posthumous album, “Xscape,” features vocal tracks recorded when Jackson was alive, while the music comes courtesy of a production team led by Timbaland. Overseeing the project is L.A. Reid, who scoured hundreds of unreleased tunes from the King of Pop to get the final group of tracks for “Xscape.”
The key factor, according to the Epic Records chairman and CEO was searching for vocals “that had great melodies that would still stand up today.” Reid also paid special attention to songs Jackson recorded with multiple takes.
“If he recorded it over and over, then I knew that he loved it,” Reid told the “Today” show. “I worked with Michael, and I knew that he wouldn’t record it over and over unless he really loved it.”
For Timbaland, the process was more under the guidance from Jackson than his own production instincts as he revealed to “Today” that he tried to channel Jackson when approaching the tracks.
“I couldn’t touch (the music) right away,” he said. “I had to let him speak through me, to guide me. … It felt like he was kind of directing the ship, so it wasn’t me battling him.”
“Xscape,” released Tuesday, arrives four years after “Michael,” the first album of previously unreleased material from Jackson. Although he wouldn’t consider himself Jackson’s friend, Reid admits that he knew Jackson as an artist and a human being.
“Michael was a man of love; he was completely about love,” the label exec shared. “… Very dedicated to himself, very dedicated to music and being great and really doing something great for the world.”
“Xscape” is now available for purchase and download. To see L.A. Reid’s interview with the “Today” show, check out the video below:
Check out Usher getting his MJ on to Mike’s “Love Never Felt So Good” at the IHeart Music Awards May 1, 2014