Music Reviews

posted: July 9, 2009

Michael Jackson Stripped The Stripped Mixes

Universal MP3 and CD
Michael Jackson Stripped

With eBay, Amazon and others hawking every piece of Michael Jackson stuff they can tote out, here’s one to consider that’s a good value:  His first posthumous disc, The Stripped Mixes, features 11 songs that are partially credit to Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, though they are all from his early catalogue.  Much like the Beatles Let it Be – Naked disc, The Stripped Mixes features Michael and the Jacksons performing their early tunes without drum tracks, most of the instrumentals and any vocal overdubs.

Available as an MP3 download on Amazon and the iTunes Store now, the collection will be available on CD June 28. These sparse mixes are very clean, with most of the trademark Motown mid-treble crunchiness absent and minimal compression.

The disc starts in typical Motown fashion, putting (perhaps arguably) the strongest track first with “I’ll Be There”, revealing just how strong Michael Jackson’s voice was, even in his early years and what great tone and control he posessed.  “ABC” is also a standout, but the tracks are all quite strong.

Regardless of your interest in Michael Jackson, this is a disc you should have in your collection; it offers a rare look at a classic performer who was just at the beginning of a meteoric career.

–Jeff Dorgay