Hold My Hand? Really?
Hold My Hand: Duet with Akon and MJ is a: weak track (in my opinion), the first single released on first MJ “posthumous” album, first of massive $250 million music contract with Sony, first new music in 9 years from a troubled global icon who’s career was severely impacted by false allegations and who’s estate is seeking to rebuild a legacy for.
This is a big deal, right?
So I already said I think the track is weak. That’s an opinion, of course, which means little, but to back it up, the music is simple, there’s no layering of instruments and sounds, there’s little depth to the lyrics. I mean it’s not a bad song but it’s not… wow at all. It’s very vanilla pudding, if you know what I mean. Fine song, pretty song, good message but it’s forgettable and not likely to get non-MJ fans excited to hear more.
Now here’s where I’m going to get a little controversial. I think there’s something more going on with this song and this album then just an innocuous seeming album release.
Sony and the Estate ought to both have the same goal (in all realistic proportions), to present MJ in his best light and attempt to convince the public to move past the false allegations and onto feeling comfortable with accepting MJ as an artist again… more so then enjoying his music, though that’s important too… people aren’t going to be ok with MJ music again until they’re ok with MJ again. Follow me?
Are they comfortable with MJ again? I don’t know. Are child molestation allegations the first thing people still think of when they think of MJ? For a lot of people, yes, that’s still true. It sucks and it’s not fair and it proves that people are quick to judge and slow to change their minds, but it’s the world we still live in.
That being said, how wise is it for Sony (speaking as if MJ was actually dead), under these real world conditions, to release Hold My Hand as the first single to promote the album when the last hand most people remember seeing MJ holding was Gavin’s on the nightmarish Bashir tapes???
Ok and to top it all off, considering the homosexuality rumors and gay bashing that goes with it, Sony thinks that no one is likely to snicker at the thought of Akon and MJ holding each other til sunlight? I know that’s not what the lyrics mean but you know it could be taken that way… and likely will by someone, somewhere, with a blog and an audience, sooner or later.
And then we have what appears to be Akon and MJ holding hands in silhouette on the single cover. So then they’re singing about holding each others hand then right? No, but again, it could so easy be twisted that way, and considering the past track record of things in this department… well, I already said it once. It’s only a matter of time.
Does this seem like wise marketing for a company who just invested the most money ever into a music contract with a dead icon who died recently pretty much in shame and exile and a swirl of rumors and previous allegations?
No. This seems very foolish. Sony looks either completely clueless as to the current market of their dead icon’s brand name, or they are brazenly shoving it in people’s faces in lieu of giving them knock-your-socks-off music.
Because there are better, more mainstream tracks that would announce this new album in a big way. And people would be so busy vibing to it they’d forget all about anything ugly associated with MJ.
So, what are the possible reasons for HMH to be the first single from the new album?
This is getting long so I’ll paraphrase the reasons that I came up with and then please add your own. I’m curious what you guys think of this.
-The handwritten note left by Michael stating he wanted HMH released first. (I don’t buy this explanation. I neither believe that any note discussing track release wishes was left after the “death” nor that Sony would actually honor it anyway considering what I already wrote in this post.)
-The song was chosen for the first single because Akon could help promote it. But he isn’t, so that doesn’t seem plausible.
-Sony was just hoping that adding Akon’s name to the song would give it automatic added interest… and no one noticed the subtle homoerotic aspects to the lyrics or the reminder to the Bashir tapes when the decision was made.
-The song is supposed to shove this stuff in our faces (Bashir/Gavin/allegations, homosexual rumors) for some reason that I don’t understand yet. But as this is risky, I don’t see Sony doing this. Of the options I can think of, it only makes sense that an ALIVE MJ himself would be willing to do this. It would only mean enough to HIM personally, to want to confront it so head on style. Anyone seeking to profit off MJs name should be hoping everyone forgets about these things. But to MJ his name is more important then money, his name is what he leaves to his children. The only way to fix it once and for all is to attack it and win.
Of course HMH is only the first track, but I’m interested in how it goes down with this single and what the other songs on the album will be. I’m starting to do the: …what if… the album itself is a hoax? I mean of course it’s a real album, with real songs, and you can really go buy it…. but a hoax in that it’s not designed to be simply for listening to songs, nor resurrecting a music career for Sony to make money off of. Maybe it’s a message carrier, a means to help advance a larger agenda, a package of bottomless newspaper story inspirations, ingredients for Twitter wars, and to spark scripted and improvisational debates far and wide. Effectively and thereby kicking this hoax into the next phase… maybe?