Lame remixes, timeless originals on Michael Jackson’s Thriller 25

There’s something to be said about the quality of an album if it has been released in stores three different times over 25 years. Thriller, the best-selling album ever, cemented Michael Jackson’s position as the “King of Pop.” When that unforgettable bass line in the smash single “Billie Jean” hit radios in January 1983, it changed pop music as we knew it.

The nine tracks on Thriller produced seven hit singles, all of which are re-mastered on the recently released Thriller 25. Six additional tracks were added to the album, including one previously unreleased track, “For All Time.” In a conventional sense, most of the additions are nothing but a modern manipulation of once phenomenal tracks. Whether it’s Fergie’s sad attempt to mesh her voice with Michael’s on “Beat It 2008” or Kanye West’s bass-less remix of “Billie Jean 2008,” it seems as though the influences of Y100 have infiltrated the contemporary remake of Thriller 25.

The remixes prove that it is hard, if not impossible, to reinvent some of the biggest pop hits of all time – though to be fair, Akon definitely grooves to “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ 2008” as he produces a typically impressive club-like atmosphere. Also, with videos to “Billie Jean,” “Beat It” and “Thriller” on the included DVD, there is nothing else to complain about. Closing the album is Jackson’s legendary performance of “Billie Jean” from Motown 25, which reminds us that Michael Jackson is truly yesterday, today and forever.

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