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Tuesday, 23 October, 2001, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Scorn for Jackson's Invincible
Jackson: Branded
Jackson: Branded "the king of pap" by one newspaper
Music critics have given Michael Jackson's new album, Invincible, a decidedly cool verdict after they were given a sneak preview last week.

The view in many UK newspapers is that the record is unoriginal, lacking melodies and not good enough for the star to retain his aura as the king of pop.

The songs have no tunes, the lyrics are just grunts and vocal tics

Garry Mullholland
The Guardian
The album is seen as the most important release in the singer's career.

It is also the most expensive album ever made - costing a reported $30m (21m) - and is released in the UK on 29 October, and in America the following day.

"The king of pap" is how the review in Sunday's Observer newspaper described the new Jackson alongside the paper's review.

A select number of critics were whisked down the Thames in motor-boats to the first hearing of the album in an exclusive restaurant last week - but that did not stop them giving it a cool write-up the following morning.


The Sun's Dominic Mohan praised some songs but gave it an overall "could do better" report, while The Guardian's Garry Mullholland went one step further.

"It's ok," he wrote. "Oh, all right, it's rubbish."

Whatever Michael Jackson's new album is, it's no masterpiece

Neil McCormack
The Daily Telegraph
"The songs have no tunes, the lyrics are just grunts and vocal tics.

"Michael Jackson is there but not there, his voice as devoid of texture, grain and pores as his scary face," he wrote.

Jackson's record company, Sony, are so worried about the album being leaked that they are not sending any copies to critics ahead of the release.

'Out of touch'

At the event at London's Ubon restaurant, a Sony representative introduced the album with the words: "It is not often you get a chance to listen to a masterpiece."

"Whatever Michael Jackson's new album is, it's no masterpiece," The Daily Telegraph's Neil McCormack wrote.

"That Jackson is hopelessly out of touch with reality is hardly news.

Just because it's Jacko, it will sell millions

Lisa Verrico
The Times
"That he is out of touch with pop culture is increasingly apparent on an album that reveals a lost talent struggling to reach the musical heights of his youth."

A number of the critics agreed that some "saccharine" ballads were too corny and that a total of 27 co-writers and seven co-producers meant it did not have a distinctive sound.

"We all know what too many cooks can do to a broth - now you can find out what too many musicians can do to a record," McCormack wrote.

The Times's Lisa Verrico said the "rapidly disintegrating star" has tried too hard to be different but ended up sounding like everyone else.

"Despite the best attempts of an impressive array of songwriters and producers, the 16 songs on Invincible lack the invention of Thriller, the funk of Bad or the unforgettable melodies of Off the Wall," she wrote.

"A lot of the album is fairly forgettable. Just because it's Jacko, it will sell millions."

See also:

15 Oct 01 | Music
Vote: Who is king of pop?
05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Jackson's life in the spotlight
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