Released only a matter of days after Michael Jackson's tragic June 2009 passing but in the works long before that, Hip-O Select's Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection collects the entirety of his solo recordings for Motown in a triple-disc set. Although Michael had some major hits during this period -- notably "Got to Be There," "Ben," and "Rockin' Robin," all Top Five hits on both the pop and Black Singles charts -- it's fair to call these years Jackson's awkward adolescence, perched partway between the preteen dynamo of the Jackson Five and the cool, confident entertainer of Off the Wall. Certainly, Jackson wasn't in artistic control on these four albums -- Got to Be There and Ben, both from 1972; 1973's Music & Me, 1975's Forever, Michael -- not picking the songs or having a hand in the arrangements, a point hammered home on Farewell My Summer Love where the vocal tracks of unreleased cuts were set to new, modern backing tracks in 1984 at the height of Thriller mania. Farewell in all its awkwardness is here, along with the original superior mixes of nine tracks and Looking Back to Yesterday, another Motown cash-in of unreleased recordings released at the peak of Jackson's popularity. Motown effectively emptied their vaults of rare Michael Jackson material during this time so there's nothing new here for collectors, but much of this material has been out of print for a long time, so it's useful putting the somewhat forgotten recordings of a major artist back in circulation even if the music doesn't hold any new insights. Essentially, these three discs confirm the basic narrative of Michael Jackson's career to be correct: he was drifting at Motown as a solo artist, trapped both by his adolescence and the unwillingness of the label to give him anything to do other than follow shifting trends from bubblegum soul to disco (in this sense, the stiff synthesized productions on Farewell don't seem out of line, they're merely another step in Motown's continued march through fashion). Naturally, the aforementioned big hits retain their power and there are some gems scattered throughout each of the discs -- and those gems come entirely from Jackson's pure, natural charisma -- which may be reason enough for serious fans to get this handsomely produced set, but this is more interesting as a history lesson than it is as entertainment.