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Music Review

Michael Jackson ft Akon: 'Hold My Hand'

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Michael Jackson 'Hold My Hand'
Released on Monday, Dec 6 2010

Is it him? Isn't it? As the debate rages on over just who's singing on 'Breaking News' and other mysterious tracks from Michael Jackson's upcoming posthumous album, out comes this first-single-proper, and it's one which undoubtedly features the late King of Pop. This duet with Akon was initially going to feature on the crooner's third album Freedom a couple of years back, and from the way the vocals are divvied up, the headliner/supporting artist credits should probably be switched around.

Anyone who heard the pair's pointless 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008' hook-up will have a good idea of what 'Hold My Hand' is all about. From the embarrassing "Akon and MJ" shout-out in the opening bars to the wimpy "ooh"s, cheesy strings, dowdy piano and cheap beats, this is an overdone meringue of a track that's packed full of sickly-sweet sugar but lacks the necessary substance to stop it crumbling before you. The throwaway lyrics fail to resonate ("So if you just hold my hand, baby, I promise that I'll do all I can") and leave you gasping for the wit and energy of Jackson at his sharpest ('Beat It', 'Scream' or 'Thriller'), rather than this dull echo of his most saccharine moments ('You Are Not Alone', 'Heal The World'). Even if it was recorded by some joker in a knock-off white glove, 'Breaking News' felt like a much neater doff of the fedora to Jackson's golden age than this.

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