For years, some have said that Justin Timberlake is the Michael Jackson of his time. And while ‘NSYNC had their chance to share the stage with MJ at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, the two pop supernovas never made a hoped-for connection in the studio.
On Thursday, Timberlake revealed that he’ll appear on the upcoming posthumous MJ album, XSCAPE, on the song “Love Never Felt So Good.”
What’s it sound like? Kind of amazing, actually. The 1980s-style disco-lite dance groove sounds right out of MJ’s Off the Wall, his 1979 solo debut. Built on a base of jazzy piano and guitar and a “Saturday Night Fever”-ish beat, MJ takes the first verse, while Timberlake slides in around the 1:20 mark to sing about how, “Love never felt so fine/ And I doubt if it was ever mine.”
The transition between their voices and JT’s ease in the groove (which is like the older cousin to “Take Back the Night” from Justin’s The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2) are so smooth you might not even realize that they were patched together to form this Frankenstein pop monster.
Written by Jackson and 1950s star Paul Anka, “Love Never Felt So Good” is one of a number of previously unreleased tracks on the eight-song album titled Xscape and due on May 13. The track was refreshed and re-worked by Epic Records Chairman and CEO L.A. Reid. In addition, the album features production by Rodney Jerkins, Timbaland, Stargate, Jerome “Jroc” Harmon and John McClain on songs recorded by Jackson between 1983 and 1999.
If the duet’s too much for you to handle, there’s also the MJ-only version of “So Good,” which Usher danced to at Thursday night’s iHeartRadio Music Awards.