Michael Jackson: David Fisher/London Features
September 03, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it a B

Allegedly leaked to radio stations before Epic decided to actually release it, You Rock My World is the first single from, and first preview of, Jacko’s turbulence-dogged (and cluelessly titled) ”Invincible” album, whose release date has finally been set for Oct. 30. (Funny how the ”piracy” occurred just in time to promote his self-celebration concerts in New York City, eh?) To its credit, the song, coproduced by hit-or-miss R&B producer Rodney Jerkins, is the Ghostly Wonder’s least forced, most seamless single in a chimp’s age — a simple, taut mesh of unwavering dance beat and strings. To its discredit, this banal love declaration is hampered by cringe-inducing guy-talk banter with Chris Tucker and a Jacko vocal that, except for some hiccupy seething, is so restrained as to be generic. Which may be the precise point of this pleasant, but riskless, comeback bid.

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