Music

Janet Jackson – ‘Unbreakable’ Review 5/5

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093015- Janet Jackson (courtesy of Black Doll Inc.)
093015- Janet Jackson (courtesy of Black Doll Inc.)

“New music, a new world tour…a new movement. I’ve been listening. Let’s keep the conversation going” enthused Janet back in May of this year. It was the announcement all of her fans had been dreaming of, Finally after five years a new album was on the way.

Speculation soon started to grow. Who would be involved? Would she sign with a major label again? and What will a 49-year-old Janet’s music sound like today? In an ageist industry where there is always a younger model coming up on the scene and where older women have to strip off in order to sell records/concert tickets could Janet have the power to shine through in 2015.

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Janet has been no stranger to career lows, She has been blacklisted by pretty much every radio station in the US not to mention the rest of the world since that Superbowl incident. Although her last three studio albums have had decent charting positions the singles released despite being major bops, smooth jams and classic Janet have had  underwhelming sales due to lack or promotion and airplay.

Eagle-eyed fans clocked the hashtag #ConversationsInACafe being used between Janet and longtime collaborators Jam and Lewis. The production duo that were noticeably absent from Jackson’s last studio album Discipline. The album’s first single No Sleeep was released back in June. A sexy slow jam with a catchy chorus made for bobbing your head to, Although it wasn’t the club banger fans may have wanted it was a nice introduction for the album to come.

The album ‘Unbreakable’ was released on October 2nd. One thing that listeners will notice from the offset is the lack of interludes on this album which seriously adds to the experience of enjoying this album as a whole body of work without distractions.

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Burnitup! reunites Janet with Missy Elliot and is also a return to the dancefloor. This stomper was co-produced by Dem Joints and is going down very well on the Unbreakable tour that kicked off in August. Although recruiting Missy Elliott to rap on a track is nothing new for Janet this track feels really fresh and is an unapologetic club banger. The interesting thing is that this song although being high energy and confident doesn’t include the usual sexually charged lyrics we have come to expect from Janet nor are they needed.

‘Dammn Baby’ sounds like it could be produced by MNEK and sounds as current as recent releases from Tinashe and Ciara. It is definitely a potential single as is the incredible ‘Night’ which sees Ms Jackson go full on dance pop reminiscent of ‘Rock With U’ from her last album. the ’Love has taken over’ lyrics are euphoric before the song explodes into a contemporary house track. Janet is certainly tugging on the nostalgia heartstrings with this record. It is clear that she wasn’t aiming for mainstream hits with this album unlike past releases, This is a full body of work with little to no filler.

‘The Great Forever’ begins with a vocal that sounds identical to Janet’s late great brother Michael. It could almost be an unreleased Michael song. Michael’s inspiration is all over this record from the vocals to the positive inspiring lyrics. ‘Shoulda Known Better’ and ‘Take Me Away’ are also potential singles. The retro sounds infused with current production  makes for an album of polished songs that stand up against Janet’s biggest hits.You can tell that a lot of hard work, passion and love went into the making of this album. This record surpasses Janet’s last four studio albums in terms of quality, themes, vocals and passion. It is bound to stand up as a fan favorite and deserves to be very successful.

Janet Jackson is back and at 49 she is outdoing everything she did in her 30’s.  Janet is on the road with her ’Unbreakable Tour’ right up until the middle of next year and has just announced European dates. To purchase tickets click here

5/5

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Sean Deegan
Opinionated music lover. I'm always creating be it words or art. Currently working on a novel I hope to be published this year. I value time spent alone thinking and creating as much as time spent with others.

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