Retro Spins: Michael Jackson - HIStory: Past, Present and Future - Book I

Can Michael Jackson do wrong? No. Thank you, good day.

Oh, right...Retro Spin.

I think if I were to sum up Michael Jackson's career, specifically as a solo artist, it would be that his pre Off The Wall albums were marginally forgettable, Off The Wall itself was okay in hindsight to what would be its follow up, Thriller was Michael at his ultimate height, Bad was the anticipated, "What will he do next / How can he top Thriller?" album and Dangerous was his last successful work. From there, his albums progressively fell further and further away from the public eye. HIStory: Past, Present and Future - Book I, not only serves as the singer's longest titled album, but also the one with his last Billboard hit during his lifetime. I say it that way because he did manage to have further hits with his posthumous album, Xscape.

HIStory serves as part greatest hits, part all new album, with the most noteworthy tracks being the duet Scream, which featured Janet Jackson, and Stranger In Moscow. However, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Don't Really Care About Us, which is actually one of my favorites from Jackson. Tabloid Junkie is also a decent song, though it does invoke eye rolling. The reason being is that it's yet another song from Michael whining about how people think he's weird and just won't leave him alone.

For the purposes of this review, I'll touch on the first disc of this album, the greatest hits portion. Yes, it has good tracks, because it is after all a compilation of his best. However, because it is a select collection of fifteen songs, there are some noticeable omissions. I suppose one could argue that you couldn't fit them all on an album, which I suppose could be why it was entitled, "Book I". Perhaps there was a second book which never came to fruition. Who knows.

As for the new material, which encompasses disc two - Well, I've touched on that, for the most part, in a couple paragraphs above. As a whole, it's a decent album, but it's far from his best. Nay, that ship had sailed by this point in Jackson's career. Good tracks? Absolutely. There are some. Unfortunately, the mediocre ones tend to outweigh them. Because of this, they somewhat get lost in the muddled final product.

Look, Michael Jackson, dead or alive, will always remain one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Despite opinions of the quality of his music as his career continued, there's no denying the man could outsell any arena in the world. His good songs weren't just good, they were amazing, and his dancing was rivaled by no other before or since. It's because of this, Michael Jackson will always have a spot in my personal music collection, no matter what the album is. I have them all.

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