“Xscape” Michael Jackson´s second posthumous album was released on May 9th 2014. The album contains 8 new tracks including the one we are going to discuss today. Xscape also features reworkings of unused Jackson recordings by Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate and Jerome “Jroc” Harmon.
Before getting into the video at hand, we at MVD would like to let all our readers now that we intend to do a series on his best videos. The man obviously had a profound impact and in our opinion was the king of this media, so no worries, we will discuss his work in a more intricate and profound way soon. For now, we are going to focus on this new single released on May 1st – 2014.
Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake – Love Never Felt So Good
The song was written by Jackson and Paul Anka in 1983 and for this album, executive producer “L.A.” Reid updated the track by bringing in Justin Timberlake.
It is well known that Timberlake looked up to Michael Jackson, he has been greatly influenced by him (you can see that crystal clear in songs like “Rock your body”) and Justin himself has said that Jackson was responsible for his solo career, saying that Jackson called him once to do a solo for the song Justin wrote in 2001 “Gone”. Out of this phone call Timberlake says he got confidence to start his solo career. He praised Jackson calling him his hero and it is usual to find quotes by him like this one:
“If there’s anything that I think my generation of artists — including myself, obviously — emulate about Michael, it’s that he felt what he was doing so much that his vocal presentation of the song, you can tell when he was cutting the record he was probably dancing in the booth,”
Thankfully, Timberlake and Jackson met each other and they even got to perform together in the 2001 MTV Video Awards:
Michael Jackson Feat NSync – MTV Awards 2001
The music video for the song “Love Never Felt So Good” debuted on May 14th and was directed by Richard Lee and Justin Timberlake!
From the first seconds it makes a direct reference to “Black or White”, and that sets the tone of the video: a respectful tribute wonderfully executed. The video uses background images of classic dance moves and video scenes from Michael Jackson, recreated or “quoted” by dancers and Timberlake. It is a trip down memory lane, and glimpses of videos for “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Jam”, “Billie Jean”, “Smooth Criminal”, “Bad”, “Remember the time”, “Beat It”, “Thriller” among others can be seen…like this:
Chris Richards of The Washington Post called the solo Jackson rendition “terrific. It’s airy, sweet, funky and pretty much impossible to dislike”.
We think it is great! Justin tries to follow on Michael´s swagger but without seeming desperate or threatened, and he really holds his own!