The classic essence of Michael Jackson is captured in A Place With No Name, the centerpiece of Xscape, which is a remake of America’s Horse With No Name, a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972 when Jackson was 14 and just releasing his first solo album with Motown.
Reworking the song during the Invincible sessions in 1998 with producer Dr. Freeze, Jackson completely rewrote the lyrics and the told story of a guy whose Jeep blows a flat on the highway. He meets a woman there who takes him to a utopia where “no people have pain,” upon trying to seduce him with sexual fulfillment.
The melodic introduction to the song invokes the feeling of other classic MJ tunes like The Way You Make Me Feel from the 1987 Bad album and Remember the Time from the 1991 Dangerous album. Stargate delivers a keyboard-first track in the mix with a sound that recalls Stevie Wonder.
The opening cut is where Jackson’s spirit is fully felt with the energy and urgency employed by the singer.