Surprise: Michael Jackson's 'New' Single Is Really Good

Critics think it's vintage Jackson from his 'Off the Wall' era

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted May 2, 2014 3:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – A posthumous Michael Jackson album comes out later this month, and Epic Records offered a taste by releasing a single that Jackson wrote in 1983 (with Paul Anka) but never released. The label actually put out two versions of "Love Never Felt So Good," one with Jackson solo and one featuring him and Justin Timberlake. Critics like both:

  • Mikael Wood, LA Times: It's "disco-soul gold," writes Wood of the Jackson-only version. "With its buoyant keyboards and effervescent groove—not to mention Jackson's typically sumptuous vocal melody—'Love Never Felt So Good' would have fit right in on 1979's Off the Wall or its world-changing 1982 follow-up, Thriller."
  • Lindsey Weber, Vulture: "The disco-tinged Pharrell sound we're all so fond of hearing right now? Well, MJ did it best."
  • Gil Kaufman, MTV: The version with Timberlake is "kind of amazing actually," writes Kaufman. "Built on a base of jazzy piano and guitar and a Saturday Night Fever-ish beat, MJ takes the first verse, while Timberlake slides in around the 1:20 mark to sing about how 'Love never felt so fine/ And I doubt if it was ever mine.'"

  • Aisha Harris, Slate: The "duet of sorts" with Timberlake is "surprisingly good," writes Harris. She, too, says it would fit right in on Off the Wall. "If producers are going to put out more MJ music, let’s hope it continues to sound this good."

Michael Jackson in 1997.   (AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach, file)
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'Love Never Felt So Good,' by Michael Jackson. (A different version features Justin Timberlake.)   (YouTube)
Here's the version with Jackson and Justin Timberlake.   (YouTube)

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