An enormous thank you to everyone for following this countdown. Tributes are always fun for me to compile, but presenting is only ever as fun as the feedback, and you guys provided some amazing feedback over the last two months. See you next year for the Céline Dion countdown!
Nice top 5, I like all of them except Together again
4/5 isn't bad. I'll take it!
^ On the contrary, Together again
is quite easily my favourite in that top 5.
However i do love the r'n'b bop that is That's the way love goes
. Kinda surprised by your #1 but as soon as i saw that cd cover i thought to myself "i'm sure i know this" and after a quick YouTube search and play i do vaguely remember this from the time. But then i love The nutty professor
and Eddie Murphy is hilarious in the movie.
Would never have predicted this as your #1 but i love surprises.
Amazing job Akini <3
Thanks, Jake! I knew you'd be fairly pleased to see "Together Again" so high up, but I wasn't sure how you felt about "Doesn't Really Matter". Good to know you like that one, too!
Well, seeing as you trashed my top Madonna songs in that countdown, I'm delighted to see my favorite so close to the top. It is If, which I still hear at clubs to this day. It always seems to get people moving. Such a sexy, playful song.
I really do like your #1, though I wouldn't have ever ranked it as highly. I think rather than quirky, the "nutty-nutty-nutty" just reminds me of the terrible movie it represents
Also so very happy to see Together Again in the top five - that would be in my top five as well as I have a personal connection to that song
Other than paying When I Think of You dust, I really enjoyed this countdown. I'm going to have to go back and catch some of the songs that you wrote about that sound interesting. Between this and the BBMA performance, I have ust realized how much I loved Janet and what an amazing artist she is.
Glad we could be more in sync with this countdown! I realise that I like most of Janet's biggest hits, so almost all of them fared decently/exceptionally well here, but some of Madonna's big hits don't connect with me as much, so there was bound to be more disconnect there between me and everyone else.
Ah, "If" is a fantastic favourite to have! It's sublime, sensual, erotic, classic Janet!
Glad this tribute (and the BBMAs) reminded you of how awesome Ms. Jackson is!
RayRay wrote:Nice countdown!
phoenix98 wrote:• I'd never associated Mariah with "I Get Lonely" before, but it's a really interesting observation! Granted, "really interesting observation" applies to basically every write-up you've done here. Much like J. Cole on "No Sleeep," I guess BLACKstreet bring nothing (of value) to "I Get Lonely" for you? This one definitely earns top marks for illustrating such a (painfully) relatable situation. To reference "No Sleeep" again, this one's similar in that I don't feel quite the same level of personal enthusiasm that you're displaying here, but I'm not at all bothered by it landing high.
Correct! Interestingly enough, not only does the song remind of something Mariah would have recorded, but it sounds like a song that would have fit rather seamlessly on Butterfly
, which was released around the same time as The Velvet Rope
phoenix98 wrote:• "Feedback" really should've been a "Believe"-sized comeback for Janet
A friend of mine considers it one of the ultimate striptease anthems
So catchy, so sexy, and - as you noted - packed with fabulicious lines: "I got novelties so appeasing, feed my fetish, please..."
, "flyer than a pelican..."
Indisputably Top 10-worthy!
Agreed! Hmm...I think "Feedback" goes well beyond striptease territory.
phoenix98 wrote:• Aw, "All For You" <3 This one is right up there with "Doesn't Really Matter" in terms of nostalgia for me, since it was such an (enjoyably) ever-present radio (and TV) smash back in the day. I'm pretty positive it was played during at least one school dance (or more), and it also serves as a reminder of a time when basically everyone was rooting for/charmed by Janet (before a certain divisive incident). "Breezy" is SO right, which pairs surprisingly perfectly with rather-raunchy lyrics like the ones you quoted. That chorus just sends me straight to pop heaven: "it's all for yOoOouu..." **Contented sigh** This is another one that's truly a treat to see inside your Top 10!
Glad you love "All for You", too!
phoenix98 wrote:• Ooh, I LOVE your imagery of the intro representing a transporter taking us to Janet's Planet Velvet! It was probably you who first pointed out to me the brilliance of Janet twisting the concept of the velvet rope, which typically represents exclusion/something that's off-limits to most people, into a symbol of welcoming, inclusion, and acceptance. I've gushed before about how much this song spoke to me as a gay teen, when I was first delving into Janet's catalog. "put others down to fill us up, oppressing me will oppress you..."
I don't think that was me, but it is definitely a concept I'd agree with tagging "brilliant". The song actually makes me tear up sometimes. I wish 'Planet Velvet' actually existed.
phoenix98 wrote:• I do associate "Scream" with Michael moreso than Janet, but even when I'm in the mood for some MJ, I've never really acknowledged this particular offering much. It's always just been most memorable for that factoid about its video budget. I hear what you're saying about the rare treat of an unapologetically-livid Janet, and I can definitely see how it's a perfect "I'm pissed" anthem when life's been treating you like sh*t. **Hug**
Yeah, I knew few people would agree with me ranking "Scream" so high, and maybe compiling this countdown around a particularly busy period at work bolstered its ranking, but even when I'm happy, I listen to the song and think it's fantastic.
phoenix98 wrote:• "Trust A Try" is such an awesome, eclectic adventure. Now that I think about it, it's a bit like "This Time" in its genre spanning-and-blending ways (especially that transition from the intro to the first verse) - except this one EASILY checks the "catchy" box for me in ways "This Time" doesn't. SO single-worthy!
Yeah, I'm bemused by the decision to not make it a single. It screams #1 hit to me.
• Your write-up for "Together Again" has me tearing up almost as much as the song itself
As you mentioned, grief/loss really is a complicated, multi-faceted experience that involves the profound sadness of permanently losing someone you loved, while also celebrating everything their life represented and smiling as you reminisce about all the wonderful memories. Even though I don't completely share Janet's depiction of the afterlife here, those specifics don't really matter, because this track still strikes SO many emotional chords over its 5-minute-journey. No matter where you think we do (or don't) go after we pass on, that sense of "seeing" and feeling your lost ones in various ways as you continue to go about your life is so universal, and so comforting <3 Top 5 is right where this belongs!
Ah, it warms my heart to read such unfiltered praise for "Together Again". It's like an upbeat, even more optimistic, considerably improved version of "One Sweet Day".
• "That's The Way Love Goes" is certainly among Janet's most recognizable, celebrated achievements - but for some reason, I've never developed a particularly strong personal attachment to it. I do like it (I certainly wouldn't banish it sub-100 or anything), but I just don't get the same emotional experience that it seems to evoke in most. I love learning how it's like a Swiss Army knife of musical utility for you, though!
It really is! And only a few songs are like that for me: "Fast Car" and "The Roof" being the two others.
• I'm a little bummed to have been wrong about "If," but at least runner-up isn't far off! While "Velvet Rope" really spoke to my insecurities and isolation as I came to grips with my identity as a teen, "If" spoke loud-and-clear to my sexual frustration
SUCH the perfect summarization of my feelings toward all those unobtainable straight boys at school! "I've closed my eyes and thought of us a hundred different ways...."
Yeah, I don't think any other song covers sexual frustration better than "If"!
I did NOT see this coming - and now I'm feeling like I must've missed some obvious hints/signs in your personal chart over the years - but I am 1000% behind you crowning "Doesn't Really Matter" the champ! Also, I think this is the first time I've seen you actually drop the name of that much-touted/often-alluded-to remix that originally sold you on the track
In any form, this gem really is brimming with joy! Like I was saying before, this was her first single to really grab my attention during its release (largely thanks to seeing the video on TV - she was SO damn cute in those apartment scenes, that might've been the closest I've ever come to having a crush on a female celeb
) and sparked an interest in actively following her career from that point forward. The song still makes me smile as much now as it did then, and I'd be seriously tempted to place it at No. 1 myself. It's hard to beat that combo of nostalgia and enduring replay value (since not every song that I thought was brilliant circa-2000 moves me in quite the same ways today)
Even if it was written for Eddie Murphy in a fat suit, there's definitely queer anthem potential/the idea that love is (gender) blind in a lot of the lines too: "doesn't matter what my family's sayin' too, it just matters that I'm in love with you, it only matters that you love me too, it doesn't matter if they won't accept you..."
, "doesn't really matter what the eye is seein', 'cause I'm in love with the inner bein'..."
It looks like no one did.
I did hint a few times throughout the countdown that joyful Janet was my favourite Janet + she expressed that particular emotion better than any other artist I know, but I think most people missed those subtle messages.
Yeah, I definitely get queer anthem from "Doesn't Really Matter", one because she's basically dismissing outsiders' opinions on the relationship, and two, because she references the relief of finally (finding) someone whose heart is true
, which is something LGBT+ folk are more likely to deal with due to a multiplicity of factors.
A few posts back, I saw you mention that "Doesn't Really Matter" was your introduction to Janet, and I knew there you'd be happy with it as #1. And I know what you mean: Beyoncé, Aaliyah, and Rihanna have had some moments where I had to step back a bit and catch my breath.
Thanks for putting all of this together and taking us on this magnificent musical journey! I'd really been slacking as a Janet fan in recent years (especially post-Unbreakable
. After checking last.fm just now, it looks like I only played her 75 times in ALL of 2017)
This was the perfect way to re-visit so many songs that meant so much to me in my youth/adolescence. Just like Janet, you've certainly got a way with words, and it was especially nice to see so many of my own favorites land so high Janet may be the queen of insomnia, but you're easily the king of UKMIX tributes!
Thank you for following it every step of the way! It is so, so appreciated!!! <3
And, aw, thanks!