Michael Jackson has always been an inspiration musically for artists all over the world. If that compliment was given to any other person, it would be cliché and tired, but with Michael it will always ring true in our lifetime. All legal troubles aside, MJ always excelled at entertaining his fans and winning over the respect of his peers. He’s always put such a high standard on his livelihood, and it’s always reflected in his music and in his live performances. It is that high standard that makes his posthumous debut that much more average as opposed to being the amazing project that MJ is known to release. Michael debuts ten new songs from the legendary pop singer, but none truly seem to capture the feeling that any of his older albums projected.The album has a definite pop sound to it. The production from Teddy Riley, Neff-U, Tricky, Lenny Kravitz, and Michael himself help to solidify that aspect; even the slow ballads retain that pop element. The features are few, but the high quality of the cameos fit well into the theme of each song. “Hold My Hand” is a nice duet alongside Akon and his production, while 50 Cent gets completely busy on the speaker-pounding “Monster” and Lenny Kravitz gives MJ a big assist on “(I Can’t Make It) Another Day.” The song content is original as well, and there’s no real fault with the song lyrics and arrangements as well, aside from the overuse of the ad-libs in the production of “Monster.The real issue however, is the credibility of the singing. There are several instances where the vocalist doesn’t sound entirely like Michael Jackson. Although the songs are solid for what they are, the production is well-rounded, and the features all boost their respective songs, you can never really buy into the fact that the person singing is truly MJ. It’s not a specific instance you can pinpoint, but if you’ve listened to MJ over the years and then you hear this LP, it’s something that you can hear, and the issue permeates throughout the entire project. Integrity issues aside, Michael is still a CD well worth picking up for the initial listen. Even though on paper it sounds like a great idea to present the album the way they did, it’s nothing like the old Mike that we all love. If you’re looking for an album that reminds you of the Michael Jackson of the past, Amazon has a few great deals on the 25th Anniversary Edition of Thriller that will get the job done much more efficiently.