Release Date: Nov 21, 2011
Record label: Epic
Genre(s): Pop, R&B, Urban, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Club/Dance, Contemporary R&B
Part remix album, part theatrical souvenir, this sequence of hits serves as the soundtrack to Cirque du Soleil's Vegas-ready Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour. There’s as much "Earth Song" as "ABC," but ex- Jackson sideman Greg Phillinganes and producer Kevin Antunes come up with an interpretive mix-tape that balances string sweeps with imaginatively funky treatments of beloved cuts (see the wedding-reception-friendly "Immortal Megamix"). With Jackson's world-remaking grooves as a guide, even the gaudiest setting can be a party.
Aslick "redesign" of Michael Jackson's greatest hits for the mash-up era, and the second major release since the singer's death, Immortal is also the soundtrack to a multimillion-dollar Cirque du Soleil extravaganza currently touring the world before it plonks down in Vegas. Not much here is new: a few alternative takes (including a great one of "ABC") and some previously unheard studio banter. The album tries to justify its bulky existence – two discs mixing together elements from 70 different recordings – with a series of grandiose sound effects, but they add little to a catalogue of music that has already been superbly produced.
Unlike the Beatles, Michael Jackson’s body of work lends itself to the kind of glitzy mash-up soundtrack Cirque du Soleil requires -- which is a roundabout way of saying the soundtrack to their 2011 production Immortal feels a little sounder than the Beatles' LOVE. Of course, LOVE is by far a more ambitious work, creating new songs out of old samples, whereas Immortal is unabashed Vegas glitz, songs truncated or elongated to the demands of the stage, audio drops of music videos or interviews triple underscoring already apparent sentiment. Producer Kevin Antunes never recontextualizes the original recordings; he favors hits-on-parade medleys, letting the hooks -- the melodies, the rhythms -- sink in before moving on to the next snippet.
Atlas Sound It’s getting harder to tell the difference between Bradford Cox’s two recording projects. Deerhunter, his band, used to be noisier, sometimes punkier and sometimes more abstract; Atlas Sound, his solo recordings, used to be dronier and spacier. But at this point his recordings have ….