Michael album 'commemorates' him
Michael Jackson's latest album should be considered more of an attempt to honour the memory of a legend than an example of his finest material, according to collaborator Akon.
Akon, who co-wrote the album's first single Hold My Hand, said: "I wouldn't compare this album to any of his albums. The albums that he made up til now were legendary... Mike at his peak, at the height of his creativity."
He went on: "This is not like a finished product that you can compare anything to. It's more of an album that you can hold on to to commemorate and appreciate his legacy."
While some of the late star's collaborators, such as will.i.am, have rebuked the posthumous release of the album, simply called Michael, others believe the release is the right thing to do by his fans.
The album, called Michael, contains 10 songs, most of which Jackson was working on when he died in June 2009. The tracks were at different stages of completion, but producers such as Teddy Riley, Grammy-winner Tricky Stewart and rocker Lenny Kravitz worked over the last year to put the finishing touches on an album.
"I know he stood behind it, so I'm cool with what I did," said Kravitz. "I was proud to put it out and knew that he'd be all over it, that he'd be really with it."
For Kravitz, finishing the song I Can't Make It Another Day, which the two recorded in part while their children were milling about, was bittersweet without Jackson's participation.
But he's confident in its quality: "I think it was him at a very strong point... he is singing his behind off."