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Janet Jackson - Damita Jo

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  • allnite was recieved songwriting award in that year

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    • "All Nite" is so underrated. It would have smashed in a regular Janet era.

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      • I feel like I must join the choir that is singing the praises of Damita Jo. As a longtime Janet fan who was initially disappointed with the album, it has grown to become one of my very favorites from her catalogue. It is an excellent example of a veteran artist successfully updating their sound, while making sure core tenets of their sonic signature remain in place. It is most definitely deserving of more credit in that regard and as fine early-2000s R&B-pop disc in its own right. It has held up rather well over the years and a good example of Janet working with other producers besides Jam and Lewis.

        So harsh was the backlash to You Know What, that it was assumed all of the reviews for the album were bad. In truth, critics who actually commented on the MUSIC had good things to say: "[M]ight be the most sonically sumptuous Jackson has made...an eiderdown explosion of finely finessed sound," said Mikael Wood of Baltimore Citypaper. Four-star reviews abounded from Maxim, The Times and The Gaurdian. Even People Magazine said it "continues the streak of first-rate R&B-pop discs she has released since her 1986 breakthrough Control" and the album should "return the attention to Jackson’s music, where it belongs." Too bad these voices got drowned out in all the ridiculousness.

        Janet's breakthrough sound was comprised of spikey beats, dense layers of synth, samples and piles of harmonies, both organic and computerized. This album is an outlier, in that many of its arrangements opt for a more stripped-down approach: "My Baby" is built on a hefty hip-hop beat, acoustic guitars and cooing backing vocals. ""Strawberry Bounce" doesn't even have a bassline, just a handclap-laced beat, a Jay-Z sample, computerized harmonies, a sprinkle of glockenspiel and Janet's horny whispers. The lovely ballad "Truly"? Little more than Fender Rhodes, guitar, fingersnaps and, of course, fluffy clouds of backing vocals. Such spare settings might be a letdown to fans used to the immaculately decorated walls of sound Jackson, Jam and Lewis were celebrated for on earlier albums. But the minimalist production might very well be the reason Damita Jo holds up as well as it does and it certainly lets Janet's sweet, loved-up vocals shine.

        TLDR: The underrated Damita Jo explored the more sparse side of Janet's sound, updated her sonic template, and is one of her finest works
        Last edited by NormiMalone; Fri June 21, 2019, 04:03.
        The sands of time fade into dark
        Feel your pulse it's groove o'clock
        A message to madness
        Feel music that's realness

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        • It occurs to me that Janet might have been better of framing this album as a place, rather than an exploration of different personalities. The concept could have been her with a new love taking off to a Pleasure Palace/Love Hotel on a remote island getaway, it makes a little more sense with the album's content. Of course, the whole alternate personae angle proved quietly influential, so perhaps it's just as well. No matter, it's just a thought.... I absolutely LOVE this album
          The sands of time fade into dark
          Feel your pulse it's groove o'clock
          A message to madness
          Feel music that's realness

          Comment


          • I've been listening to this masterpiece alongside All for You -- also absolutely phenomenal -- a lot in the past week.

            I agree with the Pitchfork review and what Normi said in the previous post regarding the multiple personas theme. The 'Looking for Love' interlude is wonderfully poetic, and I think Janet wanted to explore sex as a facet of love. However, what Janet didn't speak about much is how incredibly unique the overall production and the sound of the album is for her. I don't necessarily think she needed to transport the listener to a place; the music and the atmosphere of the album does that alone. I think she should have emphasised the production value of Damita Jo and spoken about what an adventurous sound it was for her. She made a very urban album that I don't think has a great deal of her pop sensibilities, which is why I think 'Just a Little While' (fantastic pop song; extremely underrated) was the lead single.

            It doesn't contain a lot of commercial ready songs, but she had obvious hits with 'Just a Little While', 'All Nite (Don't Stop)', 'I Want You' and 'R&B Junkie', which are all incredibly diverse in sound. They would have been strong hits on their relevant formats on US radio, with 'All Nite (Don't Stop)' being the crossover. It was the all out smash that got away. The Just Blaze remix of 'Just a Little While' would have been all over urban radios as well, I think. She uses her voice in interesting ways on 'Sexhibition', 'I Want You', 'Thinkin Bout My Ex' and 'Just a Little While' in particular. Also, 'Could This Be Love' never should've been taken off the album. I think sometimes people think that, because All for You and Damita Jo aren't as topical as her other records (though the former has some incredibly vulnerable songs regarding her divorce and recovery), that equals not as strong or not as well written. I don't agree. They're in the same vein as the four that came before them to me. I also appreciate her for being daring enough to release exactly the provocative album she wanted to under such shaky circumstances. She could have re-recorded songs or agreed with her label to take controversial songs off the album; I'm thrilled that she didn't.

            This album never got its shake, and I'll always be upset about it. It deserves appreciation, not just because it's an under appreciated album that was done wrong, but simply because it's a terrific album across all song craft areas.
            Last edited by Yoshie; Wed September 2, 2020, 21:11.

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            • I agree with you've said Yoshie and would add that "Could This Be Love" not only should have been included on the album, it should've been a single as well, maybe even the first one. It better represents the album's sound and theme better than "Just A Little While". Speaking of which, I think the Just Blaze mix is superior to Dallas Austin's mix and should have been on the album as well. Also, I think my favorite song from this era is "Put Your Hands On" and it never should have been relegated to a Japan-only bonus track. I would have liked to hear more collaborations with Telepopmusik, since "Looking For Love" had such promise as more than a mere interlude. And if there are any producers from this era I'd like her to reunite with it's BAG & Arnthor, who really seem to "get" Janet and helmed some of DJ​​​​'s highlights. I mean, "SloLove" is the song to waterski to in the summer

              Also, I will always be of the opinion that Janet should have went ahead with a limited, Girlie Show-style tour. She could have played maybe three or four US cities, than focused the rest on the European, Latin and Asian markets. She could have moved more units by zeroing in on the international fans.
              The sands of time fade into dark
              Feel your pulse it's groove o'clock
              A message to madness
              Feel music that's realness

              Comment


              • A crime that Put your hands on was not on the standard version. And I NEVER understood why they started this era with Just A Little while.

                tbh Slolove should’ve been the lead single. All Nite, I Want You, Put your hands on follow up singles.

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                • Their plan was to send the original of 'Just a Little While' to pop and the remix to urban. 'All Nite (Don't Stop)' was the clear lead single, then I think 'Just a Little While', which is the only clear pop melody, should have been the second release. I understand why they lead with it even though it's least reflective of the album. Had the campaign had a thorough rollout with the singles having their time to shine, 'I Want You' would've been an appropriate winter single. 'R&B Junkie' should've also had a widespread release. I also heard that she shot a music video for it, but it wasn't released.

                  I think those four songs were the obvious singles and I don't think there were anymore. They did their best under the unfortunate circumstances.
                  Last edited by Yoshie; Tue September 22, 2020, 18:37.

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                  • Originally posted by LotsOfLove View Post
                    A crime that Put your hands on was not on the standard version. And I NEVER understood why they started this era with Just A Little while.

                    tbh Slolove should’ve been the lead single. All Nite, I Want You, Put your hands on follow up singles.
                    Yes "Put Your Hands On" is a masterpiece and one of the best songs on the album.
                    Britney Spears • Janet Jackson • Christina Aguilera • Michael Jackson • Selena Gomez • Hilary Duff • Taylor Swift • Justin Timberlake

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                    • 'Put Your Hands On' is a great companion to 'SloLove', though it doesn't fit anywhere else on the album. I've always wondered whether the only reason it was left off the album is because the 'The One' interlude bookends the theme of love explored in 'Looking for Love', which 'SloLove' and 'Just a Little While' reference in their hooks. 'Put Your Hands On' doesn't, but I can't think of any other reason why such a fantastic song was excluded. Janet was always so passionate about the sequencing of her albums and focused on them a lot as bodies of work. 'I'm Here' is lovely too, though more subdued.

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                      • Originally posted by LotsOfLove View Post
                        A crime that Put your hands on was not on the standard version. And I NEVER understood why they started this era with Just A Little while.

                        tbh Slolove should’ve been the lead single. All Nite, I Want You, Put your hands on follow up singles.
                        Agreed on all accounts, especially about Slolove being the lead single. She could have performed it at the Superbowl (instead of bringing out Timberlake) and worked the single through the spring and then dropped All Nite at the start of summer. DJ would have had a different trajectory with that plan.

                        I usually shelve this album during the autumn and winter, but it is supposed to be warm and sunny this week so it's gonna get a few more spins before the weather turns completely.
                        The sands of time fade into dark
                        Feel your pulse it's groove o'clock
                        A message to madness
                        Feel music that's realness

                        Comment


                        • 'Just For a While' was completely the wrong lead single for the sole reason that it not even in the slightest way represents the album's overall sound, which is basically the main job of a lead single.
                          Is it offensive to fall in love with you and everything you do
                          and everything you stand for?
                          Could I break through your invisible wall, could I hide my pride for once,
                          just to tell you that I see more?

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