Michael Jackson's 'Breaking News' hits the Web: What do you think of his new song?

MICHAEL-COVERThe first single from Michael, the set of unreleased Michael Jackson recordings due Dec. 14, is streaming this morning from Jackson’s official site as promised. It hasn’t been made clear exactly to what degree “Breaking News” was completed after the King of Pop’s 2009 death — some have even questioned whether Jackson actually sang on these tracks — and listening may or may not provide a final answer.

The track opens with a few staticky tabloid news headlines: “The paparazzi would not leave him alone… Here we go again, another lawsuit for Michael Jackson… More allegations against him.” In comes a tight new jack swing beat, à la 1991′s Dangerous, followed by some angry, half-whispered lead vocals that remind me more of 1995′s HIStory. “Everybody wanting a piece of Michael Jackson,” he hisses, presciently adding after a few lines, “They want to write my obituary.” Later on he reaches the chorus: “Why is it strange that I would fall in love?/Who is the boogieman you’re thinking of?”

The theme of lashing out at the press is vintage Jackson, dating back at least to 1987′s “Leave Me Alone.” Aside from that, the melody here feels second-rate, with echoes of his own “Who Is It” and (to my ears, in the descending verses) Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative.” This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. Jackson chose to leave “Breaking News” unfinished in his vaults for a reason. But dedicated fans will no doubt appreciate the chance to hear even these warmed-over leftovers.

What do you think of “Breaking News”? Will you be buying Michael next month?

UPDATE: Is that really Michael Jackson singing on his new single? Take our poll

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Quincy Jones on Michael Jackson’s Thriller scraps: The Music Mix Q&A
Michael Jackson: Posthumous album due in December

Comments (72 total) Add your comment
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  • Sara

    1. The song sucks. 2. MJ was a perfectionist and would NEVER release a B-side like this. 3. It’s not him. NEXT!

    • jay

      Almost as bad as the album cover, but it is MJ, who else could record a song as bad as this. How many songwriters and producers where involved in this crap. It’s another crap song about MJ is king, and everyone else is out to get him, it’s the medias fault his face was falling off, its the medias fault he abused little boys, it’s the medias fault he ODed.

      • LOVELIVESFOREVER

        do you know what your are talking about? I bet the media doesnt even know the TRUTH….wait and see…

      • Neo

        I agree with sara. Jay, you stupid and you don’t know what’s up. MJ never put out any crap.Take a hike Jay, then watch the Matrix and get a clue

  • Dave G.

    I heard this song on the radio and thought it was actually a joke recording created by the DJs. This should never be released as a single, it is embarassingly bad.

  • graeme

    Yeah, not a big fan of it. It’s too self-referential.

  • Katie

    Agreed! Michael Jackson was a perfectionist. Leave well enough alone

  • Denise

    Well….For starters, it’s not his voice. Maybe during the chorus, but $ony is doing some major damage.

    I think they need to take down this song, as fast as they can, give us a new one with complete Mj vocals. Because this isn’t going to work.
    Michael was a perfectionist, he new people had to spend their hard earned cash on good music, that’s why he made the best music. And sony needs to have that same perspective if they want to stay in business.

  • stephen

    the orginal, like most of MJ’s songs, was probably 2 hot with references to him living again, 2 much truth and glory – so they tamed it down with new lame vocals.
    lets face it, MIKE’s 2 HOT.

    • Neo

      You so right, Stephen. You know what’s up!

  • stephen

    Holy Roman Church of Jesus Christ is goin down – `case u didn’t notice. So, SONY, you better proceed with caution – crazy MJ fans like me gonna bring a BOYCOTT on yer electronics brand like the world never seen.

  • Seán

    There is definately some real MJ in the chorus. Those verses sound off though!!! BUT He has done tracks in the past that dont sound like him. Think 2000 Watts off Invincible and the verses from Tabloid Junkie; there nothing like the MJ we hear on Billie Jean & Man In The Mirror. So im not ruling out that its him, with the mixers & audio experts saying its his voice, but the verse as least do not sound like MJ much at all. But then, if they were going to fake a song, wouldn’t they get an impersonator who can actually sound like him? There are better examples of MJ wanna be’s on youtube. The Juries out with me.

    I like the song though!

    • Wow

      2000 watts freaked me out the first time I heard it. His voice is really deep.

    • Preston

      It does have echoes and flashbacks of his older songs like Leave Me Alone, Bad, Jam, Remember the Time, 2000 Watts, Unbreakable and others, but they all merge and clash together within this one song! I love it and can’t wait to hear what the other 9 songs sound like on the album of unreleased songs. Maybe he didn’t like the songs and decided to shelve them, but it will be interesting to hear what other rhythmic dance numbers he also did. His songs always had rhythm and they have still remained listenable and timeless to this day!

  • Mike

    I love the song, I really do. Some part don’t sound like MJ, but MJ did sang in different voice, hence “2000 Watts”!! I can’t wait for the album:)

  • Not Him

    It’s not him! Don’t worry guys.

  • Timerius

    This is definitely NOT his voice. You don’t have to be an expert to tell the difference. What a disgrace. Even after death, they want to completely discredit, and ruin MJ. …And to think, I was looking forward to the album… I’d rather have R. Kelly release those unreleased recordings he has promised with Michael Jackson. He has much more taste, respect, and authenticity for MJ, I am sure.

    • Kendis

      Exactly. That’s not his voice.

  • Mary

    I love the song, I can’t waite to get my album.
    After 45 years of singing I think his voice is still amazing and mj.
    Stop the crap and buy the tunes.

  • Kayla

    Michael may be at the end of the song but he isnt singing the chorus! WTF!!!! Michael would not want this out. Believe me, it kills me that it isnt really him, but what kills me is that Sony wants to try to sell it to his fans and tell them its real! I mean come on!! The ones who want to hear the music and will buy the album have literally listened to every single piece of music Michael has put out, WE KNOW HIS VOICE AND THIS IS NOT IT!!!! Come on Sony give his fans more credit.

  • Wow

    I just listened to it and it sounds like him to me. It’s not a bad song. I actually liked it.

  • Andre

    Strange 3rd person lyrics. Not gonna buy it.

    • MJFAN

      No way that is MJ, he would never release this. Let his greatness be remembered forever and not discredited by greedy record companies.

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