Janet needs no disciplining


Fev 20 2008, 19h23

Janet Jackson. Hearing that name, not even in its full format, even when hearing the name "Janet", it makes the chemical balance in my head boil over with happiness. Remembering songs like "Control", "With U", "Love Will Never Do (Without You)", it makes me forget all my problems, all the things on my to-do-list and everything else that's just pure evil (because to-do-lists really are the devils creation).

It's 2008. It has been 26 years after the sweet sister of Michael Jackson (himself still sweet too, then) launched her first album. Not entirely voluntarily, until four years later, when she makes her big breakthrough with "Control", produced by hit sensations Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Yeah, it has been 26 years since the sweet girl with the ever-naughty look in her eyes came into the music industry.

So much has happened since. I'm not going into it all, but lets just say she has had her ups and downs. Her start at Virgin Records (with a killer multi-million record deal) began superb with "Janet." and ended disastrously with "20 Y.O." (well, commercially that is, I actually liked the album). Virgin just ain't what it used to be, so lets all be happy that her record deal was finished after "20 Y.O." It was like faith, because Janet really needed a new home, with people who didn't just say "yes" to anything she made.

Because "20 Y.O." (the title refers to the twentieth anniversary of "Control" -- some people record new albums for those kind of anniversaries, and some just rerelease the original with a bunch of bad remixes and remasters. So not talking about anyone related to Janet, totally not.) may not be a bad album in my opinion, it isn't at all challenging or creatively new. Too much urban, too much -- yeah, I'll say it -- Jermaine Dupri. I love you JD, you have done a great job for Mariah Carey and I also love you for making Janet the most happiest woman in the world, but no. Just no. "20 Y.O." was crappy in comparison to the rest of the albums because of you, I'm sorry.

So, is "Discipline" any better? Well, don't scream out in agony but you've got to know something first: there's no Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis on this album... I know, do you need a minute? I sure do.....

Okay, I'm fine, did some crying in a lonely corner and feeling better now. Cough, cough. Back to business: yes, there's no JJ & TL, but maybe for once that can be a good thing. I know, I know, CRAZY TALK, but just hear me out. She needed a break from her original style. Lets all remember Jimmy and Terry *were* producers on "20 Y.O." and see how that one turned out. You angry now? Oh my, you've got some mood swings. So, who are the producers of this album then? Well, of course Janet is the executive producer, but this time with someone unknown to the Jackson family: L.A. Reid. Yes, the big boss at Island Def Jam. Yeah, they really love her at Island if the big boss himself executive produced the album. (Or he just wants to show off, because he's also doing that at Carey's next (ridiculously named) album.)

Okay, stop throwing rocks at me! I'm almost at the good stuff! Bitch..... Rodney Jerkins, Johnta Austin, D'Mile, Maddscientist, Ne-Yo, Stargate, Tricky Stewart, Shea Taylor, The-Dream... and... Jermaine Dupri. Yes, he's on there as producer, but this time it's different. He delivers a not-so Dupri sounding mix to the album, AND, his voice is absent from the album. GASP!

The album itself? WONDERFUL. Yes, really, believe me on this. It's great! I wouldn't say it's her best, that's a hard thing to say. (Especially since "Control" is the only album I own of which I love EVERY SINGLE SONG.) Even the interludes are stellar!

I'm beginning with the "bad" stuff. These songs aren't really bad, they're just not as superb. There is one thing funny about all of them: they're all too-sweet ballads. Don't look at me like that, I'm not a ballad hater, hey, I freaking LOVE "With U", okay?! "Can't B Good", "Never Letchu Go", "Greatest X" and "Curtains" are the songs I'm talking about. Yes, their good songs, but not in comparison to the rest of the album.

The bests of the album? Wow, that is hard. "Feedback" is a stellar song, of course! Just because it's totally different and new. Talking about that, "The 1 (feat. Missy Elliott)"? WOW. Even more new, it's one of the really must-hear songs on there. (Also, the only collaboration.) "Rock with U" (by Jermaine and Ne-Yo, whom I usually hate) still remains my favorite of the album, really sensual and sexy. A beat that is way too killer to be legal. Talking about THAT, "So Much Betta"? Probably the second best of the album, with a HILARIOUS manipulated voice on there. It's so cool!

Janet gets dirty (and I mean DIRTY, even for her standards) on the title track, "Discipline". When you meet her, she's really sweet and loving and all, and then she orgasms at the end of a song... Yeah, I know. Nasty. When describing "LUV", nasty doesn't come to mind, it's really hip and urban-like, a great song, not a favorite though. "Rollercoaster" is though, from the moment that song begins you're hooked. When that trademark Janet laugh enters the song in the beginning you know you're addicted. It's a really simple song when it comes to lyrics, but the speed of the delivery of the lyrics is so loving. Jackson sounds wonderful on this song, even though it still remains the whispering singing voice she is known for in recent years. Her voice is much more present and louder on this album than on "20 Y.O." or "Damita Jo", so I should just shut up about that. "2nite"? Great song, not a superb one. "What's Ur Name" is sweet, but too Dupri-sounding.

Overall? SUPERB. Best in recent years, and certainly her best overall-good album since the ultimately dirty "The Velvet Rope". Miss Janet, you're back even though you never went anywhere. Well, actually you did. You got sucked into the urban what-is-everybody-else-doing scene of the R&B music industry and thank god you've found yourself again. You'll always be the best, even after 26 years.


  • empoor

    (Just ignore spelling errors, if there are any. Haven't checked it all, because I'm tired and most probably lazy too.)

    Fev 20 2008, 19h26
  • Irrational_Psyc

    .....even 4 a superfan. U kept the lines of communication open between fan and music consumer. Good on ya. I agree with U 4 the most part on the CD.....however, I just cannot seem 2 stop playing Luv over and over and over. The production quality on that is beyond ridiculous...it's a total earworm. Anyway, good review. Had 2 give love on that....

    Mar 3 2008, 1h53
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