Michael Jackson’s posthumous single was released to much hype, but the critical response is lukewarm and fan reactions are mixed. A sampling:
- In a roundup of fan comments on Michael Jackson’s website, the Times reports that while some are pleased—“This single is great, even better than I thought it was gonna be”—many others are calling it “garbage.”
- “This Is It” is “certainly an outtake from somewhere, because the online version sounds weirdly unfinished,” writes Alexis Petridis in the Guardian. And if you were hoping for another “Billie Jean” or “Smooth Criminal,” “you're in for a disappointment: it's a ballad, not bad, but not one of his best, decorated with odd lyrics.
- “The song feels half-baked,” writes Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune. “Jackson cycles through a verse, pre-chorus and chorus several times during the track’s 3:46 duration, but never really develops any of the initial ideas. It’s evident why Jackson didn’t see fit to put this song on one of his albums while he was alive.”