There are a lot of questions surrounding the album 'MICHAEL'. So, let's set the record straight...
Are the vocals Michael? Yes.
Long-time fans know that Michael was the most versatile entertainer. His vocals are unmatched by anyone. You've heard '2000 Watts'-- and while it sounds 'similar' to "Breaking News", you may say it's not the same. Well, you're right! The vocals are processed. Michael would hate processed vocals (unless going for a cool effect on purpose.) For any other artist, Teddy Riley did a 'decent' job. For Michael, he did a 'poor' job. The quality of the songs would never be (or will ever be) at the level Michael would have wanted. I wish T. Riley would have taken an extra 3 years to produce the songs and make it 'perfect'. No one has the attention to detail Michael did. Using 'Melodyne' is a 'quick and easy' way to fix vocal pitch with a computer program. Unfortunately, it is sloppy. Michael's trademark vibrato? Ruined. That 'robot sound'? A side-effect of the software processing. Teddy likely put the entire track through Melodyne, whether it needed it or not. Melodyne is not mature enough to be undetectable. Most people are rejecting the track for the unfortuante Melodyne qualities-- whether they realize it or not. If you're going to be upset at the vocals, then be upset that Sony/Teddy took shortcuts and didn't take the time to perfect it.
Would Michael approve? We'll never know.
If he were alive, he would absolutely NEVER let these songs out the door-- except maybe 'Hold My Hand', which he gave much of the production control and credit to Akon. But, now that Michael has passed on, I think he is looking down and has the same struggle we all do. I believe he'd reluctantly share his music-- so that people can get that life-changing, world-changing experience he strives for in every song. He never planned on dying. His goal was to change the world and save lives. I think if he felt there was a chance that "Keep Your Head Up" could save 1 life, he would allow it to be released. No, it will never be as perfect as he wanted. Looking down from the heavens, he'd want 'MICHAEL' to continue changing the world when he cannot physically be present.
Should I boycott "MICHAEL"? Never.
Michael wouldn't want you to boycott his music-- ever. Even though he hated how Sony treated him, he encouraged people to buy his music. He spent million$ promoting Invincible. His earnings? They went to charity, his children, and family. A decent portion of the sales from "MICHAEL" will go to the same place. Do I agree with everything going on with his family/kids? No. But, would that have stopped Michael from giving to them? No. He loved to love. Is Sony greedy? Absolutely. Michael thought so too, but he didn't let that stop him from spreading the life-altering music masterpieces.
Should I trash "MICHAEL"? Never.
Trashing his music is in direct conflict with what Michael would have wanted. To trash 'MICHAEL' means you could keep others from enjoying his incredible passion for healing the world. You think you're proving to the world that you 'support' him? Wrong. You're giving the rest of the world a reason NOT to listen to his music. With the media/tabloids/Oprah's of the world, the world has enough reasons to dismiss Michael and forget about him.
Should I pirate/copy/download the CD illegally? No.
There is no justification to do something illegally. Michael NEVER condoned piracy of music-- his or anyone elses. In fact, Michael would never have chosen to promote anything illegal. If you think that you're proving a point by illegally downloading, you're right... it does prove a point. But, the point that comes across is this: You are picking and choosing which of Michael's beliefs to follow. You illegally download "to protect Michael's legacy", but by doing so you're destroying the very legacy you are trying to save. Don't justify downloading illegally because of your disgust for Sony, Teddy, (etc). I can still detest Sony, but grabbing an illegal copy only proves that I don't understand or support a thing Michael stood for.
Should I buy the CD/MP3s? It's up to you.
Have I? Yes, and I can look past the imperfections Teddy/Sony have overlooked. I listen for the life-changing music. Among the remaining gifts Michael can still give to the world... his music is the most far-reaching. His music has the ability to transcend cultural/social boundaries. It has the unique power to transform a person to be better. His legacy lives on through those who listen to his music. He will always remain 'alive' as long as his music is still changing lives. To buy the CD shows your support for Michael's vision, and is a commitment to improving the world. This is your opportunity to 'change the world' and 'make it a better place'.
Will you sit on the sidelines? Or will you take the unique opportunity to make a difference in the world?
If you choose not to buy, then make sure you know why you won't buy. Instead, choose to smile and make someone's day. Choose to help a stranger at the store. Choose to reconnect with an old friend. Choose to volunteer your time. Choose to follow the example Michael has given us.
What should Sony have done?
First of all, Sony should have released the 'original' vocals. There is a part of me who wishes I could hear ONLY what Michael actually wrote. I don't want to pick apart a song wondering "Did Michael put this in? or did Teddy?" I wish that more time was spent on the album to 'perfect' it. While I'm grateful to have the music, it is nowhere close to Michael's production standards. Next time, take 2 more years to spend time on it and get rid of those 'Melodyne' effects we all hate.
No one is wrong for having an opinion. Just make sure you understand the impact (good or bad) of your words/actions on others-- especially those millions of people who have yet to discover the magic of Michael Jackson. Your harsh words against 'MICHAEL' is just one more reason for people to forget about him.