Janet Returns With Solid Effort

Written by on October 13, 2015

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Janet Jackson returns after years away chilling with her husband with a new album. Unbreakable is her first new joint since 2008’s Discipline (which I enjoyed very much.) The last time we saw Janet musically she was still with Jermaine Dupri and Michael was still alive. So naturally one would wonder if her new life would change her outlook and music. Well it hasn’t….. this is the same old Janet good and bad.

The album starts off with an infectious little number where she pretty much welcomes you back into her world over a typical Janet song. This leads way into a slew of uptempo dance numbers that I guess will have some clubs around the world happy. She even pulls out Missy Elliot for one of the songs, complete with a “Hee Hee How!!” With these songs they sound as if they came straight from the 80s as if she tucked the tracks away in her little vault and waited to pull them out for a rainy decade. Songs like The Great Forever and Damn Baby may not be as infectious as Escapade or Miss You Much but they can stand up next to whatever pop stars are microwaving today and calling it music. However some songs fall short such as Shoulda Known Better.

She slows it down tremendously with the piano driven After You Fall. A nice song that may have had better impact later in the album. However the following song Broken Hearts Heal is a nice tribute to Michael. Not really what you would expect for a “tribute” song, for it is not sad sounding or sappy, but more of a song that sounds like a better, brighter tomorrow will be here once she sees her brother again. Nice touch Janet.

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All in all this album is a nice throwback record to a sound and time when Janet ruled the airwaves. Her reunion with Jam and Lewis is a welcomed hook-up. For the duo sounds as if they never missed a beat. Songs like Heaven, No Sleeep, 2 B Loved, Dream Maker can stand up against anything Janet has dropped post Rhythm Nation. The problem I have with the album is the length. It clocks in over an hour-long with 19 songs. A little long for today’s market. With that length some of the songs begin to sound the same and run together. A more concise, deliberate, concentrated effort could have been even more powerful in my opinion.

However, this is a good album for an artist who is approaching 50. Janet still has some air under her wings and little more story to share with all of us. Great effort Ms. Jackson.

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