It’s been seven years since Janet Jackson released an album, or did anything in music. This year, she’s attempting a comeback, … so how is she fairing? So far her “UNBREAKABLE” World Tour is well received, even though the production is not so great compared to her past world tours (not “Rock Witchu Tour”) – zero wardrobe changes, “simple” stage set, and looking not as solid as … say since 2008, but it’s still acceptable because IT IS a comeback, and she is still the sweet Janet and dance machine we’ve all come to admire. She slayed the stage with her choreography, and that was worth everything. I wrote about my experience of her kick-off tour in Vancouver here. And what about her album? Here goes …
Unboxing The Package
I received my Janet Jackson merchandise delivery e-mail notification thirteen days ago. And today I picked up the package from the postal office right after lunch, just in time for the long Thanksgiving weekend in Canada! The unpacking was a breeze, everything was intact. The tee I ordered has a different design from the one I bought from the concert, which makes it even sweeter! It’s very comfy like the other one. “Always remember to buy one size smaller, or it’ll be unwearable,” I remind myself.
I haven’t bought a physical music CD for almost twenty years, so this is sort of like a “trip” for me (it’s not to say that I’ve done IT). The CD is packaged like an EP – printed glossy cardboard fold with the plastic disc holder inside it. There’s small surprise, tucked inside the flap is the album’s booklet – it includes several gorgeous photos of Jackson, lyrics to all the songs, and credits. The styling is reminiscent of her “janet.” (1993) album. Its’ quality is pretty good, I must say.
“UNBREAKABLE” is Janet Jackson’s eleventh studio album. It’s her first album released under her new record label, “Rhythm Nation” – appropriately enough. She has her hands all over this project so there’s no need to itemize her involvement. It’s her latest music collaboration with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the duo responsible for producing nine Janet Jackson No. 1 Billboard Hits: “When I Think Of You”, “Miss You Much”, “Escapade”, “Love Will Never Do (Without You)”, “That’s The Way Love Goes”, “Again”, “Together Again”, “Doesn’t Really Matter”, and “All For You”. These guys go way way back!
The album has seventeen tracks, one of which is an interlude of fifty-eight seconds. So really, the album only has sixteen songs … which is still amazing. We’ve all heard “No Sleeep” (featuring J. Cole) and saw the awesome music video. The second single she released from the album was “Unbreakable,” the carrier single, which was made available on digital download through her tour’s pre-order promo. Check out the tracks below.
So what’s the “BUT?”
Let’s be honest here, I thought the quality of her albums declined after “All For You” in 2001. I thought she got lost artistically. “Damita Jo”, “20 Y.O.”, and “Discipline” came across as too experimental. I didn’t even bother buying “Discipline” … no, wait, I did. lol … but only played it once or twice. It was a risk and it didn’t fair well. Okay, I’m not going to dissect each song in “UNBREAKABLE,” but I will simply give my feedback based on the kind of experience I got from listening to it.
I’ve already listened to the “UNBREAKABLE” CD a few times now … and I think it is SICK! It’s almost like her missing album between “All For You” and “The Velvet Rope.” She has shown a lot of maturity in this album and her vocals are pretty damn smooth like silk. There aren’t a lot of club songs in it, some are danceable but I don’t think any of them could pass as one, strictly speaking. The songs are very sensual – her trademark pretty much – and deep. There’s one particular song where my jaw dropped seventeen seconds into it the first time I listened – “The Great Forever.” I’m like, “Wow! Holy F!” Seriously, I like all the songs in this album. There’s not one song I don’t like. The album’s quality is so good! The songs are all well written, the melody, and arrangements are … so so good! I’m also so stoked Missy Elliott is in her album, “Burn It Up!” freakin’ rocks!
So what’s the BUT? The CD is sick BUT I need a bucket … because it’s so good … I’m gagging.
Janet Jackson “Unbreakable”
Available on iTunes. Buy it!
Digital download includes two extra tracks “No Sleeep” and “No Sleeep” (feat. J. Cole) [AFSHeeN Remix].