Urban Contemporary, 2001
He’s back, and he wants everybody to know him as the real King of Pop. Fat chance, I must say, after listening to Invincible several times. Wacko Jacko’s music seems caught in a time warp, and gosh, this album sounds so dreary and tired. There’s a reason why Madonna manages to stay relevant in the biz this long, and that’s because she changes with time. Wacko Jacko sounds as if he’s still partying in 1990.
Even all those hotshot producers like Missy Elliot and Rodney “Darkchild, My Ass” Jenkins can’t inject any life into this album. The first single You Rock My World rocks the world only in how ineffectual and forgettable it is. Wacko Jacko’s attempts at convincing me that he’s a sensitive lady killer in tunes like Heaven Can Wait and Butterflies give me the creeps, especially when he’s going all singsong as if he’s singing to little kiddies. I know, I must separate the man from the rumors and music, but what the heck, this is scary. I mean, have you seen the poor guy lately, new nose and all? He’s gone beyond asexual, he’s become entirely shamanistic vegetative altogether.
I guess I’m saying that Wacko has boxed himself into a corner with his freak show antics and cosmetic disasters that he can probably only carry off “I’m a misunderstood fellow with Jesus complex who sings about saving the world” songs convincingly now. Unfortunately, just such tracks like Cry only reminds me of the better days of Man in the Mirror, when at least the songs are damned catchy.
I’m – I was – a Michael Jackson fan. I have played Thriller to death, and I still think Billie Jean is one of the best moments in pop ever. I even like the album Bad, where tunes like Smooth Criminal and The Way You Made Me Feel make pop music fun all over again. It’s just too bad that Rodney Jenkins and gang here are no Quincy Jones, their style combined with Wacko’s inability to evolve only result in a tired, lackluster effort that will alienate curious people who have never heard of Wacko’s old stuff and make old timers wish for the good old days. You know, when Wacko isn’t that weird or when he isn’t trying too hard to be Jesus Christ.
Oh, the memories. Let me ditch Invincible aside to groove to Dirty Diana instead.