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Michael Jackson album ‘Xscape’ to feature unreleased recordings

LOS ANGELES – A new album will once again offer fans a glimpse as to what music lies inside the Michael Jackson vaults. On May 13, Sony’s Epic Records will release “Xscape,” a collection of eight, previously unreleased Jackson songs.

The album was executive produced by Epic Records Chairman/CEO L.A. Reid, who, according to a Sony news release, curated the album and decided on its final track list. A host of recognizable producers worked on the Jackson songs, including the project’s lead producer, Timbaland.

The final eight songs were chosen after apparently combing through four decades of material. All the songs on “Xscape” feature completed Jackson vocals, according to the release, but they were retooled. Reid, in the statement, prefers the word “contemporizing,” noting that producers did not treat the material as sacrosanct.

“Michael left behind some musical performances that we take great pride in presenting through the vision of music producers that he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with,” Reid said in the statement.

Those who prefer to hear the material as Jackson, who died in 2009, left it on the cutting room floor can pay extra for the deluxe edition of “Xscape,” which will also include the eight songs in the original form. The albums will be available for preorder starting today.

The title track was said to be written by Jackson and producer Rodney Jerkins, who worked with Jackson on his 2001 album “Invincible.” “It is,” according to the announcement, “the one track on the album that was ‘contemporized’ by the producer who recorded it originally in the studio with Michael.”