What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

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What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

Duggerman
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It had the potential to be a great R&B album, almost a sequel to Dangerous or his work during the early '80s with Quincy Jones. But something went wrong. Find out what at this link.

http://www.ajdugger.net/blog/what-went-wrong-with-michael-jacksons-invincible
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

Damita Jo
You got it. I like this album but it was his most flawed. It was all over R&B radio especially Butterflies. The R&B songs were commercial and brilliantly done. Butterflies was a huge hit and I also loved Break of Dawn and Heaven Can Wait. He went right back to his Off the wall and Thriller sounds on all three of those songs.

You brought up a lot of good points, AJ. When I look back i can see why you say this album was already dated when it came out. And I didn't catch the Timbaland influence on some of the Rodney Jerkins songs. You're very observant and I agree with most of your article. Invincible had the potential to be the pure R&B CD from MJ that we desperately needed from him but because of the timing and too many outside influences, Invincible sank like a stone under water.

Janet's albums from that same time period didn't sell as much as Invincible, but they were definitely stronger.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

~Dirty Diana
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I actually don't care for the R&B stuff. The songs sound so much alike, especially the first three. I prefer the more pop stuff like You Are My Life and Whatever Happens.

You got me thinking...Invincible is another Dangerous, just more modern. The CDs are formatted the same with the urban stuff on the front end and the pop music on the back end.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

Duggerman
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~Dirty Diana wrote
I actually don't care for the R&B stuff. The songs sound so much alike, especially the first three. I prefer the more pop stuff like You Are My Life and Whatever Happens.

You got me thinking...Invincible is another Dangerous, just more modern. The CDs are formatted the same with the urban stuff on the front end and the pop music on the back end.
Dangerous was the inspiration for the overall sound he used on all of his albums for the rest of his life. That's where he finally settled on that "Michael Jackson" beat.  Unbreakable, Heartbreaker and Invincible all sound like Dangerous tracks from another dimension somewhere.

On Dangerous, the format worked. Most of the New Jack Swing stuff started the album while the gospel and pop tracks took over on the second half. But the pop tracks on Dangerous are actually good...Will You Be There, Keep The Faith, Black or White, Give In To Me and Dangerous easily outshine You Are My Life, The Lost Children, Privacy, Cry and Threatened.

Invincible had a lot of potential and that's the thing about it that frustrates me. I know you won't agree with this because you don't like the R&B songs, but I wish that Dr. Freeze or Andre Harris had produced the whole album. If that were the case, we'd have an entire album of smooth R&B gems like Break Of Dawn and Butterflies. That's the sound fans missed.

Damita Jo wrote
You got it. I like this album but it was his most flawed. It was all over R&B radio especially Butterflies. The R&B songs were commercial and brilliantly done. Butterflies was a huge hit and I also loved Break of Dawn and Heaven Can Wait. He went right back to his Off the wall and Thriller sounds on all three of those songs.

You brought up a lot of good points, AJ. When I look back i can see why you say this album was already dated when it came out. And I didn't catch the Timbaland influence on some of the Rodney Jerkins songs. You're very observant and I agree with most of your article. Invincible had the potential to be the pure R&B CD from MJ that we desperately needed from him but because of the timing and too many outside influences, Invincible sank like a stone under water.

Janet's albums from that same time period didn't sell as much as Invincible, but they were definitely stronger.
Janet always had more consistent albums than Michael. They just started to sound the same after Velvet Rope, but they were consistent with a lack of filler material. I think the Superbowl incident put a permanent dent in her career unfortunately.

In listening to Invincible again recently you can hear how much he evolved as a vocalist. For example, when you listen to Break of Dawn or even Butterflies, you can tell he wasn't Find Me A Girl Michael or The Lady In My Life Michael anymore. He tackled the song in a different way. He still maintained his overall man-child sound, but you could hear the maturation. Michael at 42 didn't imitate Michael at 22.

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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

Damita Jo
Duggerman wrote

Dangerous was the inspiration for the overall sound he used on all of his albums for the rest of his life. That's where he finally settled on that "Michael Jackson" beat.  Unbreakable, Heartbreaker and Invincible all sound like Dangerous tracks from another dimension somewhere.
I feel the same. The opening three tracks on Invincible sound like they could be one long song. They're not bad they're just mechanical and like you said, the "Michael Jackson beat" he developed on BAD.

 
Duggerman wrote
I wish that Dr. Freeze or Andre Harris had produced the whole album. If that were the case, we'd have an entire album of smooth R&B gems like Break Of Dawn and Butterflies. That's the sound fans missed.





Duggerman wrote
In listening to Invincible again recently you can hear how much he evolved as a vocalist. For example, when you listen to Break of Dawn or even Butterflies, you can tell he wasn't Find Me A Girl Michael or The Lady In My Life Michael anymore. He tackled the song in a different way. He still maintained his overall man-child sound, but you could hear the maturation. Michael at 42 didn't imitate Michael at 22.
Would you attribute that to a change in style or his voice getting deeper? I was listening to Moving Violation tonight and he had his adult voice as a teen but around BAD he started to sing more masculine and tough with the grunts and all that.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

Duggerman
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This post was updated on .
Damita Jo wrote
Would you attribute that to a change in style or his voice getting deeper? I was listening to Moving Violation tonight and he had his adult voice as a teen but around BAD he started to sing more masculine and tough with the grunts and all that.
His engineer Bruce Swedien said that he lost some range while recording Keep The Faith. I think the combination of aging and the BAD tour were the result of this.

Also, there is a quote where MJ said to Rabbi Schmuley that he wanted to sound like a kid which is why he used to speak in a falsetto. He said after the Grammys in 1984 he started to speak a bit lower and when he got accustomed to that he couldn't sing in the high key that he used to.

That's why from the BAD tour onwards, all of the songs were in lower keys.

Speaking of lower keys, listen to Butterflies in a baritone key. The background vocals are even smoother.

https://youtu.be/HYcMeyg4gEo
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

Michael
It's actually my favorite album of his after Thriller.

Heartbreaker, Break of Dawn, Heaven Can Wait, Butterflies, Speechless and Whatever Happens are among some of the best songs he ever recorded.

You are right about the R&B grooves. But I can't stand his popularity. He just had to release that damn Lost Children crap. Privacy was crap too. A lot of the songs on the later half of the album were pure crap-ola. Cry was decent but much too similar to Man In The Mirror. Considering R Kelly wrote the song you'd think this would be a smash.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

FRANK GRIMES
Michael sounded black again. I never heard the whole thing but I liked what I did hear. Man. I had forgot about this album. I remember the video for You Rock my world with Marlon Brando and Chris Tucker.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

Duggerman
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The Golden Jet wrote
Michael sounded black again. I never heard the whole thing but I liked what I did hear. Man. I had forgot about this album. I remember the video for You Rock my world with Marlon Brando and Chris Tucker.
Yes. That’s what all my friends were saying, especially when Butterflies dropped. That song was up to the minute and didn’t sound unlike the other Neo-Soul artists like Maxwell, Angie Stone, Jill Scott, D’Angelo and obviously Floetry.

🤦🏾‍♂️ That’s what really gets me about this album. It really had potential but should have maintained the hit R&B direction it was going in.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

~Dirty Diana
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I’m outnumbered here, as I can tell it’s the R&B stuff y’all like. It just isn’t my flavor. Those songs sounded like everything else on the radio at the time. AJ you even pointed out in the review that “Heartbreaker” sounded like a Jay Z song and “Heaven Can Wait” was originally for Blackstreet.

2000 Watts had that stupid voice modulation thingy everyone else was using at the time. And personally I hate the music on the song. It sounds like the commercial for a bad car dealership.

I only like Butterflies for the beautiful falsetto vocals which he hadn’t used in YEARS.

For me it’s the pop stuff he excels at. Him singing songs about “making love to the break of dawn” sounded...well...forced.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

~Dirty Diana
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

Damita Jo
In reply to this post by ~Dirty Diana
~Dirty Diana wrote
I’m outnumbered here, as I can tell it’s the R&B stuff y’all like. It just isn’t my flavor. Those songs sounded like everything else on the radio at the time. AJ you even pointed out in the review that “Heartbreaker” sounded like a Jay Z song and “Heaven Can Wait” was originally for Blackstreet.

2000 Watts had that stupid voice modulation thingy everyone else was using at the time. And personally I hate the music on the song. It sounds like the commercial for a bad car dealership.

I only like Butterflies for the beautiful falsetto vocals which he hadn’t used in YEARS.

For me it’s the pop stuff he excels at. Him singing songs about “making love to the break of dawn” sounded...well...forced.
We'll have to agree to disagree. But the boldest parts made me laugh because they're both true. "Bad car dealership." Yeah, you're right about that.

Michael  always sung about sex and yearning though, so Break of Dawn was nothing new to me.  And, I actually like the way he sung it. He sounded really mature, but still Michael, if that makes sense. There was a more masculine power behind his manchild singing on that one.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

~Dirty Diana
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Break of Dawn isn't a bad song. It's just an odd mix. It's supposed to be sexy but Michael whimpers through the song. It just doesn't work in my opinion. Janet can pull off the sexy stuff. Not Michael.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

Damita Jo
I can't help but wonder why so many songs were covers of other artists? He didn't write many of the songs himself.  I don't understand why he went the direction that he did.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

~Dirty Diana
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Damita Jo wrote
I can't help but wonder why so many songs were covers of other artists? He didn't write many of the songs himself.  I don't understand why he went the direction that he did.
I don't think he really cared. He was just trying to get out of that contract with Sony. He had no control. He wanted Unbreakable for the lead single but they forced him to use You Rock My World. At times he was inspired while making the album but you could tell at other times he wasn't.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

Funkchick1981
A great read, AJ. I like reading your work. You got me curious to hear the album now.

And this discussion is pretty good. This CD kind of came and went. He got buried by Britney and Jay Z if I remember right. I wasn't really a Michael fan after Thriller. His music and his appearance changed so much and not for the better. I vaguely remember You Rock My World and Butterflies. I may have only heard Butterflies once or twice. At the time I wasn't really listening to music much.

I'll give it a listen. You all are giving it a mixed response which is peaking my curiosity.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

Duggerman
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Thanks for the compliment. Invincible had the potential to be great but lost its way. I know you’re an R&B fan so you’ll dig the first half of the album.
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Re: What Went Wrong With Michael Jackson's Invincible album

Left Hook From Hell...
In reply to this post by Duggerman
I'm not a Michael Jackson fan like that but my brother had this junt back in the day. I remember he played some of those songs all the time. I remember hearing Butterflies and Heaven Can Wait all the time.

Michael's music was OK by this point but he lost his magic in the '80s.