Jackson’s ‘Blood’ Too Thin, Unfocused

“Blood on the Dance Floor” is an apt title: Jackson is hemorrhaging, and a string of emergency surgeons--of the mixing board variety--try to stop the bleeding.

But without any further collaboration from Jackson himself, such top remixers as Todd Terry and the Fugees’ Wyclef Jean can’t do much to substantially improve the eight songs from his 1995 “HIStory” album that form the bulk of this album.

Of the four new selections, the title song about AIDS and “Is It Scary,” about Jackson’s strange relationship with his fame, contain some ideas. But the music’s relentlessly fast pace and bravura flourishes make it difficult to focus on them.

The real problem is that Jackson’s music lacks cohesion and focus. He’s a shape-shifter who doesn’t know who he wants to be, and he’s trying to sell records to a public that no longer seems to care one way or the other.

If Jackson would settle down with one producer and hone his individual sound instead of trying to follow every current trend simultaneously, he might recapture his relevance. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’ incredible remix of “Scream” might be a place for him to start. It feels loose, simple and assured--everything Jackson used to be.