The sum of the parts are definitely greater than the whole on “Love Never Felt So Good,” a new Michael Jackson track featuring Justin Timberlake, but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of fun to be had listening to the breezy track.
The tune debuted during the IHeartRadio Awards May 1 in Los Angeles, with Jackson acolyte Usher dancing to the track. Written in 1983 by Jackson, Paul Anka and Kathy Wakefield, the dance-oriented pop track sounds delightfully retro (even for 1983) with its synth disco beat and easy rhythms. With the right remixes, it could be club smash.
Jackson is the star of the Frankenstein track, with Timberlake singing the second verse, adding a more contemporary breakdown that brings it into the new millennium and several “Let me see you move” call outs. It’s a slight track and Jackson’s performance is fine, but certainly not exceptional. However, there’s an undeniable sweetness to hearing Jackson sing again.
“Love Never Felt So Good” is one of eight tracks on “Xscape,” a posthumous Jackson album out May 13 that includes songs finished following his 2006 death. Upon the announcement of the new album in March, Epic Records states that the songs would be “contemporized” versions of tunes.
“Contemporized,” according to a press release, meant that Epic CEO/chairman “L.A” Reid and various producers, including Timbaland, Stargate, and Rodney Jerkins, “retooled the production to add a fresh, contemporary sound that retains Jackon’s essence and integrity. In other words, my guess is they had to create the finished tracks from the various stages in which they found Jackson’s vocals. Although the release stresses that a deluxe version of "Xscape" includes all the "sourced Michael Jackson recordings in their original form," it does not explain how fully realized the recordings were.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to hear this coming out of the car speakers on your way to the beach?