Surely there's a question mark missing from the title? As a tribute to a recently deceased star, This Is It is a shoddy apology for an album, offering fans only one track not previously available, along with a selection of hits they already own, a poem already printed on an album sleeve, and three demos.
As a cash-in attempt to scrape as much money from fans' memories with as little outlay as possible, however, it rivals RCA's ruthless (and still ongoing) reconfigurations of Elvis Presley's back catalogue. But then, what should one expect from Jackson's executors? His own father's immediate reaction to Michael's death seemed to involve the promotion of his own label, while his brothers quickly grabbed the opportunity to scour through a box of tapes and find a tepid old track not previously deemed worthy of release and add their own vocals to it (before taking the trouble to find out it was co-written by Paul Anka, who understandably sought remuneration for his work). Who, exactly, stands to gain from this? Not the fans, that's for sure. In the four months since his death, Sony and Motown/Universal between them have issued no fewer than five posthumous album packages: The Collection, Hello World, The Stripped Mixes, The Remix Suite, and now This Is It. That's a busy promotion schedule for a dead man. At some point, presumably, he will be left to rest in peace.
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