If you’re a Michael Jackson fan, you may be aware of the long-running controversy over some posthumously-released songs that were allegedly sung by an imposter. Sony Music denies that this class action lawsuit filed by an MJ fan has any merit. Other people beg to differ.
We even have a suspect: a one-time Jackson collaborator named Jason Malachi. He’s not talking, nor is anyone associated with the three recordings in question:v“Breaking News,” “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up.”
Take a listen. Is this MJ?
So if no one is talking, can anything be done? Let’s ask science! This is from Inside Science.
From its start, the case has been a thriller.
For the past four years, an aural whodunit has been unfolding in Los Angeles. A class-action lawsuit alleges that three songs from Michael Jackson’s posthumous album, Michael — “Breaking News,” “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up” — were not voiced by the artist himself. If found to be true, several of the album’s producers could be charged with fraud and forced to pay the King of Pop’s fans. In the quest for answers, legal experts have turned to a fascinating field of science: audio forensics.
But just how difficult is it to parse a pop song?
Extremely difficult, said Rob Maher, an audio forensics specialist at Montana State University in Bozeman. The analysis can be difficult to produce, and the methods can sometimes be subjective, in contrast to something like a DNA analysis, which is reproducible, said Maher. “You can repeat the test in different labs and generally come up with exactly the same conclusion — that type of evidence is what we really wish we had in audio forensics.”