Akini's Tribute to Janet Jackson: [#1 Revealed!]

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From which album is my favourite Janet Jackson song lifted?

Janet Jackson
1
7%
Dream Street
2
14%
Control
0
No votes
Rhythm Nation 1814
1
7%
janet.
4
29%
The Velvet Rope
5
36%
All for You
0
No votes
Damita Jo
1
7%
20 Y.O.
0
No votes
Discipline
0
No votes
Unbreakable
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 14

Postby cheapthrills » Wed May 23, 2018 5:50 am

Hmmm, not a one of those I recognize :lol:

But there's quite a lot of Janet hits I haven't seen yet, so I'm hopeful that they really did chart high and I didn't just miss them.
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Postby phoenix98 » Wed May 23, 2018 3:10 pm

• In my many years of bopping to "Come On Get Up," I'd never taken the time to recognize and appreciate the role-reversal aspect of Janet instructing HIM to shake his ass (a demand virtually always directed at women by men), so I love how you highlighted that here! She (and her team...usually when JD's not a part of it) really do have a way of elevating the most seemingly-basic dance tunes to a truly transcendent experience. This one's irresistibly catchy from start to finish, but I get a special lift from the way she sings "before you maaake me chaaange myy miiind..."

• Back to schoolin' me on bonus tracks and B-sides! "God's Stepchild" isn't making the best first impression (is that a children's choir I hear chiming in at 2:30?) - but I've learned not to put too much stock in my first impressions, so I need to get some of these tracks into my library for further review. Your write-up certainly speaks to me, since I often try to keep my ever-mounting resentment/disdain toward religiosity in check by reminding myself how it can provide people facing struggles (harder than I've ever experienced) with the strength to keep pushing forward. I'm obviously not here for it being used as a weapon/excuse for discrimination, but if the belief in the presence/love of a higher power brings comfort and fortitude to people in crisis, it's hard to take issue with that.

• "Twenty Foreplay" has been another victim of its own runtime for me (especially that sloowww start), but the way she jerks us awake in the chorus/at the 2:45 mark does make for a fun, funky surprise. Gotta love the clever wordplay too. The fact that it's on an album designed to highlight a stretch of SUCH strong singles, with another brand-new offering that's much more up-my-alley, also surely played a role in me overlooking this offering.

• Like I was saying above with regard to "God's Stepchild," I don't trust my ability to properly assess a track after just one listen, but at least I'm coming away from "I'm Here" thinking "I DEFINITELY want to hear that again!"

• Speaking of unpacking the many layers, your analyses are really salvaging some of these seemingly-skippable moments in her catalog, and making me realize that I've never truly opened my ears to everything she's saying in them before. I might never see "Black Eagle" (or others) as Top 40 (or 50 or whatever benchmark)-worthy, but you're so damn good at spotlighting the substance within these songs that warrants some respect (even if the overall listening experience doesn't completely work for me).
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Postby JSparksFan » Thu May 24, 2018 1:25 am

cheapthrills wrote:Hmmm, not a one of those I recognize :lol:

But there's quite a lot of Janet hits I haven't seen yet, so I'm hopeful that they really did chart high and I didn't just miss them.
Some massive hits are on the way!

phoenix98 wrote:• In my many years of bopping to "Come On Get Up," I'd never taken the time to recognize and appreciate the role-reversal aspect of Janet instructing HIM to shake his ass (a demand virtually always directed at women by men), so I love how you highlighted that here! She (and her team...usually when JD's not a part of it) really do have a way of elevating the most seemingly-basic dance tunes to a truly transcendent experience. This one's irresistibly catchy from start to finish, but I get a special lift from the way she sings "before you maaake me chaaange myy miiind..."
Your disdain for JD prompted me to check to see if he was involved on either the songwriting or production fronts of my #1 JJ song, and...he isn't! :lol: 8-)

phoenix98 wrote:• Back to schoolin' me on bonus tracks and B-sides! "God's Stepchild" isn't making the best first impression (is that a children's choir I hear chiming in at 2:30?) - but I've learned not to put too much stock in my first impressions, so I need to get some of these tracks into my library for further review. Your write-up certainly speaks to me, since I often try to keep my ever-mounting resentment/disdain toward religiosity in check by reminding myself how it can provide people facing struggles (harder than I've ever experienced) with the strength to keep pushing forward. I'm obviously not here for it being used as a weapon/excuse for discrimination, but if the belief in the presence/love of a higher power brings comfort and fortitude to people in crisis, it's hard to take issue with that.
It is a children's choir! Religion is also a major theme in a track within this upcoming set.

phoenix98 wrote:• "Twenty Foreplay" has been another victim of its own runtime for me (especially that sloowww start), but the way she jerks us awake in the chorus/at the 2:45 mark does make for a fun, funky surprise. Gotta love the clever wordplay too. The fact that it's on an album designed to highlight a stretch of SUCH strong singles, with another brand-new offering that's much more up-my-alley, also surely played a role in me overlooking this offering.
I'm not too bothered by the ballad half of the track; Janet's vocals sound lovely on the slow parts.

phoenix98 wrote:• Like I was saying above with regard to "God's Stepchild," I don't trust my ability to properly assess a track after just one listen, but at least I'm coming away from "I'm Here" thinking "I DEFINITELY want to hear that again!"
Pleased to read this! It's a comforting song.

phoenix98 wrote:• Speaking of unpacking the many layers, your analyses are really salvaging some of these seemingly-skippable moments in her catalog, and making me realize that I've never truly opened my ears to everything she's saying in them before. I might never see "Black Eagle" (or others) as Top 40 (or 50 or whatever benchmark)-worthy, but you're so damn good at spotlighting the substance within these songs that warrants some respect (even if the overall listening experience doesn't completely work for me).
Glad my perspective is encouraging you to appreciate certain qualities of these tracks. :D

It didn't seem like you cared too much for any of the songs in the last batch, so I hope this one is better. There are two big singles, so let's see what you think about them!
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Postby JSparksFan » Thu May 24, 2018 2:06 am

030. Would You Mind

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One of Janet's most sexually explicit tracks, "Would You Mind" features all the typical trappings of a Janet bedroom anthem: breathy sighs, unrepressed exclamations of pleasure, and erotic moans; lyrics that leave little to the imagination; and appropriate rain and thunder sound effects to set the atmosphere. All wrapped in a lush melody, "Would You Mind" doesn't bring anything new to the bedroom soundtrack buffet, but it doesn't need to because it has us eating from Janet's hands all the same. 8.5/10
029. The Great Forever

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I've never really bought into the notion that Janet's vocals are especially similar to that of her famous big brother, but she does sound very much like him on this track, particularly on the verses. That aside, I love the message of this track - simply living life in your own lane, chasing after fulfilling your unique definition of happiness, and seeking nirvana in what feels comfortable and right for you. The way the song builds to that dancey climax at the end is adjacent enough to nirvana to get me excited. 8.5/10
028. Control

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The highest ranking track from its parent album - this makes Control the third studio album to have all of its tracks fall - is title anthem, and landmark career moment "Control". This song encompasses the message of taking the reins of one's own life, and deciding the direction in which one wants to go, absent from consideration anyone else's inputs, thoughts, or recommendations better than any of its sister tracks. It's a fantastic coming-of-age anthem, armed with an edgy new jack swing, club-ready dance beat, and even a throwback to an MLK quote, Free at last. 8.6/10
027. Can't Be Stopped

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One of Janet's most blatant motivational anthems, "Can't Be Stopped" reminds her 'brothers' and 'sisters' to remember that they were born with the blood of kings and queens, and in the face of systems that seek to undermine our very existence in this world that we are stronger and taller than the barriers that impede us, and we can't be stopped. I always step out of this song feeling considerably more proud. The horns in the background create an almost marching-band-like atmosphere that is a perfect complement to the track's theme. 8.7/10
026. Again

Image

You can tell that "Again" was recorded with the Poetic Justice film in mind, as its melody is easily the most saccharine of all the tracks in Janet's voluminous discography, and even the lyrics are more sugary than Janet's staple songs (I was surprised that Diane Warren didn't have a hand in writing this). Despite, or rather because of, its pop-leaning sensibilities, this song is one of my favourites from Janet, as it's so easily digestible, and rather romantic, too. Basic pop balladry doesn't get much better than this. 8.7/10
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Postby phoenix98 » Thu May 24, 2018 3:30 am

JSparksFan wrote:Your disdain for JD prompted me to check to see if he was involved on either the songwriting or production fronts of my #1 JJ song, and...he isn't! :lol: 8-)
HmMmMm...I might be reading too much into this, but the fact that you even thought to check for his presence seems to instantly take at least a few albums’ worth of material out of contention (granted, two of those are out-of-the-running as of this latest batch anyway). He’s been in the industry way longer than I realized, though! I had no idea that he formed Kriss Kross. :o

JSparksFan wrote:It didn't seem like you cared too much for any of the songs in the last batch, so I hope this one is better. There are two big singles, so let's see what you think about them!
Aw, I definitely love "Come On Get Up," so it's my bad if I didn't convey that well. It's moreso that I'd just never heard 2/5 before, and I need more than a listen or two (or three) to form a proper impression of songs. I mean, you've been pointing out stuff that I've failed to notice/appreciate in songs that I've been listening to for more than a decade! :lol:

• On that note, the explicitness that you mentioned in "Would You Mind" definitely made a striking impression when I first heard it over a decade ago. All For You might've been my first-ever album with a Parental Advisory label, actually. Even when Janet's just flat-out saying how she wants to "make you cum too", it almost never feels...crass ("Warmth" aside), just so satisfyingly sensual. Few (perhaps no) other women can create any kind of stirring inside me by talking like this, but Janet's voice, words, moans really do have a palpably erotic way about them.

• The MJ comparisons in "The Great Forever" are new to me, but now I can't un-hear it in parts :lol: I remember shaking my head when it was rumored that this would get some kind of single release (did anything ever actually come of that?), but it gave me a chance to re-examine and respect the song a bit more. There's some really great lines to be found: "I don't see why lovin' someone, or what I do, seems so radical to you..." The "bless you" bit is too damn cute too!

• RIP Control. Having it bow out third hurts my heart a bit, but it's hard to make a case for the album when my idea of its most addictive moment doesn't do much for you at all :lol: This one's a truly perfect opener and title track, for sure.

• "Can't Be Stopped" is right up there with "This Time" when it comes to album tracks that I paid little-to-no mind before you started showing them some serious love in your daily chart. I think I've come to "get"/genuinely feel this one a bit more, though...or least it's gotten stuck in my head more often since then :lol: That line you quoted here has me queuing up Janelle's "Crazy, Classic, Life" right now: "we don't need another ruler, all of my friends are kings..."

• Is that a random, unprovoked Diane Warren jab I see? :lol: I was noticing that I've been a bit (perhaps unjustly) hard on Janet's ballads throughout my responses here. I do associate her with uptempos the most, but that doesn't mean I should overlook everything she brings to slow love songs too. Maybe I'm just in a state of mind lately where I'm more interested in being uplifted/energized. Although "Doesn't Really Matter" is the first single of hers that I can specifically, vividly remember noticing when it was a current hit (especially watching the video on TV), I definitely have some vague memories of "Again" getting some recurrent airplay throughout the 90's (and beyond). Probably because of its easily-digestible, pop-leaning ways...
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Postby Erotica » Thu May 24, 2018 9:32 am

The Great forever, Black Eagle and Come on get up are great

I don't like Again
I am not trying to seduce you... Would you like me to seduce you? Is that what you're trying to tell me?
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Postby JSparksFan » Sun May 27, 2018 12:53 am

phoenix98 wrote:HmMmMm...I might be reading too much into this, but the fact that you even thought to check for his presence seems to instantly take at least a few albums’ worth of material out of contention (granted, two of those are out-of-the-running as of this latest batch anyway). He’s been in the industry way longer than I realized, though! I had no idea that he formed Kriss Kross. :o
I actually don't know too much about Janet's personal life, so I have no idea when those two started their professional (and personal) relationship. :wink:

phoenix98 wrote: Aw, I definitely love "Come On Get Up," so it's my bad if I didn't convey that well. It's moreso that I'd just never heard 2/5 before, and I need more than a listen or two (or three) to form a proper impression of songs. I mean, you've been pointing out stuff that I've failed to notice/appreciate in songs that I've been listening to for more than a decade! :lol:
Oh, glad to know you love "Come on Get Up"!

phoenix98 wrote:• On that note, the explicitness that you mentioned in "Would You Mind" definitely made a striking impression when I first heard it over a decade ago. All For You might've been my first-ever album with a Parental Advisory label, actually. Even when Janet's just flat-out saying how she wants to "make you cum too", it almost never feels...crass ("Warmth" aside), just so satisfyingly sensual. Few (perhaps no) other women can create any kind of stirring inside me by talking like this, but Janet's voice, words, moans really do have a palpably erotic way about them.
Yeah, that's the thing about Janet - she's able to 'sophisticate' sex in a way that no one else I know can.

phoenix98 wrote:• The MJ comparisons in "The Great Forever" are new to me, but now I can't un-hear it in parts :lol: I remember shaking my head when it was rumored that this would get some kind of single release (did anything ever actually come of that?), but it gave me a chance to re-examine and respect the song a bit more. There's some really great lines to be found: "I don't see why lovin' someone, or what I do, seems so radical to you..." The "bless you" bit is too damn cute too!
Yeah, I wonder if the MJ-like vocals have anything to do with many (maybe all?) women's voices dropping a bit as they age.

phoenix98 wrote:• RIP Control. Having it bow out third hurts my heart a bit, but it's hard to make a case for the album when my idea of its most addictive moment doesn't do much for you at all :lol: This one's a truly perfect opener and title track, for sure.
Despite Control leaving earlier than most of Janet's other LPs, I must say that it's a balanced album, so it's not in the bottom three of my Janet albums list (to be revealed in full before we get to the Top 10 songs).

phoenix98 wrote:• "Can't Be Stopped" is right up there with "This Time" when it comes to album tracks that I paid little-to-no mind before you started showing them some serious love in your daily chart. I think I've come to "get"/genuinely feel this one a bit more, though...or least it's gotten stuck in my head more often since then :lol: That line you quoted here has me queuing up Janelle's "Crazy, Classic, Life" right now: "we don't need another ruler, all of my friends are kings..."
I remember reading your thoughts on "New Agenda" and I think the passion you have for that track parallels my feelings for "Can't Be Stopped".

That comment had me revisiting "Crazy, Classic, Life" the last few days! You know an album is good when a song as strong as that one gets lost a bit in the "Americans"/"I Like It"/"Make Me Feel"/"Django Jane"/"I Got the Juice" shuffle.

phoenix98 wrote:• Is that a random, unprovoked Diane Warren jab I see? :lol:
Yep! :lol: I do like quite a few Diane Warren-penned ballads, though.

phoenix98 wrote:I was noticing that I've been a bit (perhaps unjustly) hard on Janet's ballads throughout my responses here. I do associate her with uptempos the most, but that doesn't mean I should overlook everything she brings to slow love songs too. Maybe I'm just in a state of mind lately where I'm more interested in being uplifted/energized. Although "Doesn't Really Matter" is the first single of hers that I can specifically, vividly remember noticing when it was a current hit (especially watching the video on TV), I definitely have some vague memories of "Again" getting some recurrent airplay throughout the 90's (and beyond). Probably because of its easily-digestible, pop-leaning ways...
I feel like that bolded bit shades so many parties: me, you, Janet, pop music. :lol:

I think Janet's voice is a great fit for ballads. Despite not being a 'vocal titan', she has vocal range enough to express a breadth of moods on the emotion spectrum. I do prefer her dance numbers, though, generally speaking anyway.

Erotica wrote:The Great forever, Black Eagle and Come on get up are great

I don't like Again
Aw, why don't you like "Again"?
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Postby JSparksFan » Sun May 27, 2018 1:43 am

025. Because of Love

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Highlighted by the Shoop da da background vocals in the chorus, "Because of Love" is the most effervescent track on its parent album, and Janet's joy is infectious. The little scaling bit between 3:15 and 3:19 where she builds to that ecstatic climax is an understated moment of brilliance. 8.8/10
024. Someone to Call My Lover

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With a guitar riff borrowed from the America track "Ventura Highway", "Someone to Call My Lover" is a song driven in the dance-pop lane, with occasional detours into the folk-rock boulevard. Here, Janet laments on past relationships, most notably in verse two when she recalls spoiling exes by giving them what they've dreamed of (the materialistic element is implied here), and loving hard "with everything". I love that even though the tone of this song could easily have been a dreary one that it teems with optimism. Whilst acknowledging past transgressions, she's excited about future prospects, and is keen to shop around 'til she finds exactly the type of guy she wants. The bridge with the My, my, looking for a guy, guy takes me back to early Janet days á la "He Doesn't Know I'm Alive". 9/10
023. Just a Little While

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Janet's second most underrated lead single, "Just a Little While", with its funk fittings, fun dance-pop melody, and rock undertones was the first post-Nipplegate victim. Under normal circumstances, I suspect this would have had a chance to top the US Hot 100 chart, as it was an era-appropriate bop with all the essential Janet Jackson elements. 9/10
022. Escapade

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A summer-ready anthem about making rules to break them, "Escapade" has one of the catchiest choruses in Janet's catalogue. Much like "Whoops Now", "Escapade" is all about getting away from stress and responsibilities; unlike "Whoops Now", the invitation here is more romance-centred. I love the drums on this song, and, of course, the message, too. 9/10
021. Lonely

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A thoughtful, sincere ballad that could just as easily have been a beautiful piece of prose, "Lonely", similarly to "I'm Here", sees Janet extending a friendly hand to comfort, and a listening ear to advise, a friend in need. The Spanish intros and outros are nice touches, and the melody is gentle and therapeutic, a perfect fit for the song's tone. 9/10
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Postby phoenix98 » Mon May 28, 2018 4:45 pm

JSparksFan wrote:Despite Control leaving earlier than most of Janet's other LPs, I must say that it's a balanced album, so it's not in the bottom three of my Janet albums list (to be revealed in full before we get to the Top 10 songs).
Ah, that makes uhlot of sense. Control never reaches the same heights that many of her other albums do for you (#justiceforpleasureprinciple), but it really is fairly consistent overall. Even its lowest lows ("You Can Be Mine" and "Funny How Time Flies" for me) offer some identifiable charms and stand well above other albums' rock-bottom moments.

JSparksFan wrote:That comment had me revisiting "Crazy, Classic, Life" the last few days! You know an album is good when a song as strong as that one gets lost a bit in the "Americans"/"I Like It"/"Make Me Feel"/"Django Jane"/"I Got the Juice" shuffle.
YES! I've already derailed things a bit too much with Janelle here, but I didn't start to really notice/appreciate CCL until I'd had the album for 2-3 weeks for similar reasons.

JSparksFan wrote:I feel like that bolded bit shades so many parties: me, you, Janet, pop music. :lol:
:lol: There was an element of deliberately re-using your words there, but mostly because they're so accurate in that case! I genuinely believe "Again" was able to enjoy recurrent airplay (especially on adult contemporary stations) because of those qualities you outlined (aka the Diane Warren effect).

• "Because Of Love" really is brimming with contagious elation, so I'm lovin' that this jubilant bop landed inside your Top 25! The scaling part you highlighted is such a treat, and I'm such a sucker for her "shoop"s (much like in "Alright").

• "Someone To Call My Lover" was a perfect follow-up to "All For You," and further convinced me that I HAD to make the album my first Janet purchase. You're so right about the hopeful, upbeat tone that conveys this sense of enjoying the fun of dating/being on-the-hunt, the endless possibilities of a newfound lover being just around the corner (or at the next bar, or club), instead of wallowing in past romantic disappointments. I'm SO glad you gave the pop-tastic bridge due praise! I also just made the connection between it sampling "Ventura Highway" and opening with the line "back on the road again..." :o Mind BLOWN!

• I've probably mentioned this before, but it's a bit of a struggle for me to separate "Just A Little While" from all the pain and aggravation that comes with remembering Nipplegate. I'm not blaming the song itself, by any means, but hearing it does instantly transport me to 2004 and the start of the sh*tstorm that ensued for years to come. If I could manage to appraise it in a vacuum/for its own merits alone, I still don't think it'd rank very high...but as it stands, it's primarily a PTSD trigger. Props for her continued experimentation with the sound of her lead singles, though! At a time when she could've gone with an "All For You" re-hash, this certainly isn't.

• Ooh...the "Whoops Now"-"Escapade" connection had never crossed my mind, and I love that you've pointed it out! This track is right up my "Because Of Love," "Someone To Call My Lover" alley. She absolutely fulfills her promise to "show you such a good time..." It hadn't dawned on me until just now, but the chorus does feature some of that semi-robotic pausing/spacing I'd cited when disparaging some previous entries, so maybe it's her background/interspersed vocals that help elevate that technique here? Or I'm just not entirely consistent :lol: and sometimes the magic of Janet manages to salvage otherwise off-putting elements.

• I'd definitely forgotten that "Lonely" was still in the running :o You've got a thing for her use of rain effects, eh? If only she'd had the sense to work "Papi" into those Spanish sections, this might not have fallen short of your Top 20...
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Postby JakeP » Mon May 28, 2018 9:51 pm

JSparksFan wrote:026. Again

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You can tell that "Again" was recorded with the Poetic Justice film in mind, as its melody is easily the most saccharine of all the tracks in Janet's voluminous discography, and even the lyrics are more sugary than Janet's staple songs (I was surprised that Diane Warren didn't have a hand in writing this). Despite, or rather because of, its pop-leaning sensibilities, this song is one of my favourites from Janet, as it's so easily digestible, and rather romantic, too. Basic pop balladry doesn't get much better than this. 8.7/10
Aww i adore this song. I must've first discovered Again around the time when All for you was released. I remember back in the early 00s when big global artists were releasing new material, Vh-1 would have an hour of music dedicated to said artist and play their greatest hits. It's not one of Janet's singles i tend to listen to out of choice but if i'm flicking through the music channels and this is ever played, i do enjoy listening to this.
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Postby RayRay » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:05 am

I will read through this tonight.
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Postby RayRay » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:34 pm

Some of the best songs are way too low! :o :(

Let's Wait Awhile
Rock With U
Alright
The Best Things In Life Are Free
Livin' In A World (They Didn't Make)
All Nite (Don't Stop)

But I'm glad to see Lonely this high. :D
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Postby JSparksFan » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:38 pm

phoenix98 wrote:Ah, that makes uhlot of sense. Control never reaches the same heights that many of her other albums do for you (#justiceforpleasureprinciple), but it really is fairly consistent overall. Even its lowest lows ("You Can Be Mine" and "Funny How Time Flies" for me) offer some identifiable charms and stand well above other albums' rock-bottom moments.
Yep!

phoenix98 wrote: :lol: There was an element of deliberately re-using your words there, but mostly because they're so accurate in that case! I genuinely believe "Again" was able to enjoy recurrent airplay (especially on adult contemporary stations) because of those qualities you outlined (aka the Diane Warren effect).
Yeah, and even if I poke fun at Diane Warren's ballads having a formulaic approach, I have to admit that more than a handful of the tracks she's co-penned are among my favourite songs of all-time.

phoenix98 wrote:• "Because Of Love" really is brimming with contagious elation, so I'm lovin' that this jubilant bop landed inside your Top 25! The scaling part you highlighted is such a treat, and I'm such a sucker for her "shoop"s (much like in "Alright").
Glad you like the scaling part, too!

phoenix98 wrote:• "Someone To Call My Lover" was a perfect follow-up to "All For You," and further convinced me that I HAD to make the album my first Janet purchase. You're so right about the hopeful, upbeat tone that conveys this sense of enjoying the fun of dating/being on-the-hunt, the endless possibilities of a newfound lover being just around the corner (or at the next bar, or club), instead of wallowing in past romantic disappointments. I'm SO glad you gave the pop-tastic bridge due praise! I also just made the connection between it sampling "Ventura Highway" and opening with the line "back on the road again..." :o Mind BLOWN!
I totally agree that it was a worthy "All for You" follow-up, and I'll always appreciate Janet's litany of upbeat, optimistic dance tracks.

phoenix98 wrote:• I've probably mentioned this before, but it's a bit of a struggle for me to separate "Just A Little While" from all the pain and aggravation that comes with remembering Nipplegate. I'm not blaming the song itself, by any means, but hearing it does instantly transport me to 2004 and the start of the sh*tstorm that ensued for years to come. If I could manage to appraise it in a vacuum/for its own merits alone, I still don't think it'd rank very high...but as it stands, it's primarily a PTSD trigger. Props for her continued experimentation with the sound of her lead singles, though! At a time when she could've gone with an "All For You" re-hash, this certainly isn't.
Yeah, and I think it's particularly frustrating because there was a lot of good music that was completely panned by critics, and ignored by the general public just because the incident made Janet a pariah in the industry. It goes to show that, unfortunately, reputation and image precede high-quality music. And that won't be somewhat digestible if said legend's reputation was tarnished over a legitimate transgression, and not just...a molehill-level accident mountainised beyond reason.

phoenix98 wrote:• Ooh...the "Whoops Now"-"Escapade" connection had never crossed my mind, and I love that you've pointed it out! This track is right up my "Because Of Love," "Someone To Call My Lover" alley. She absolutely fulfills her promise to "show you such a good time..." It hadn't dawned on me until just now, but the chorus does feature some of that semi-robotic pausing/spacing I'd cited when disparaging some previous entries, so maybe it's her background/interspersed vocals that help elevate that technique here? Or I'm just not entirely consistent :lol: and sometimes the magic of Janet manages to salvage otherwise off-putting elements.
I think the bolded bit is the case; when a song is good overall, with especially magical highlights, it's easier to forgive - and perhaps even completely miss - missteps in other departments.

phoenix98 wrote:• I'd definitely forgotten that "Lonely" was still in the running :o You've got a thing for her use of rain effects, eh? If only she'd had the sense to work "Papi" into those Spanish sections, this might not have fallen short of your Top 20...
It's more the lyrical content than the rain effects, but the two in tandem make for a dangerous combo! :lol:

Ah, papi would not have worked in this track's context, but in almost any other... :wink:

JakeP wrote:Aww i adore this song. I must've first discovered Again around the time when All for you was released. I remember back in the early 00s when big global artists were releasing new material, Vh-1 would have an hour of music dedicated to said artist and play their greatest hits. It's not one of Janet's singles i tend to listen to out of choice but if i'm flicking through the music channels and this is ever played, i do enjoy listening to this.
Aw, I wish VH1 and MTV were more music-based these days, but I guess with the advent of YouTube and other video-sharing sites, people don't really care that much to sit down at a predetermined time to look at videos that they have ready access to. Glad you enjoy "Again". :D

RayRay wrote:I will read through this tonight.
One of my all time favorite artists.
Hope you enjoy!

RayRay wrote:Some of the best songs are way too low! :o :(

Let's Wait Awhile
Rock With U
Alright
The Best Things In Life Are Free
Livin' In A World (They Didn't Make)
All Nite (Don't Stop)

But I'm glad to see Lonely this high. :D
Hmm...there are one or two tracks that I think I may have been overly harsh on, but none of the ones you listed are among them. Maybe they'll grow on me later, though.

Ah, yes, "Lonely" was a special one from play #1!
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Postby JSparksFan » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:58 pm

Video Intermission, Part I

I mentioned that I would be ranking Janet's 47 music videos at some point in this tribute, and I think right before we get to the Top 20 is the perfect time. I'll unveil them in three sets. The write-ups are pretty much just the notes I scribbled right after watching each video, so forgive them in advance for any absence of eloquence. :lol:

47. Nothing

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This is barely a music video; it's really a promotional tool for the Tyler Perry movie. Also, those are some of the ugliest pants I've ever seen in my life. 4/10
46. Black Cat

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I suppose if she had to do a concert music video, it made sense to film one for one of her rock songs, but it's still disappointing that more effort wasn't given to a US #1 single. Decent dancing and strong energy on stage, yes, but a good music video this is not. 4.5/10
45. Because of Love

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Thumps-down for the behind-the-scenes tour footage making up most of the visual here. 5/10
44. Girlfriend/Boyfriend

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The pinball video game setting is cool, interesting, and definitely something different, but it's all a bit much for my eyes to keep up with. 5/10
43. Someone to Call My Lover

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This video is so random. Was that an alligator I saw in the club? And then there were so many scenes that didn't tie into the main storyline (or the song's lyrical content). Strange video. 6.2/10
42. You Want This

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Weak video concept, but I did like the choreographed dance bit towards the end. The girls circling around the two guys in their cars was a nice moment, too. 6.3/10
41. What'll I Do

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I was quite ready to hate this when I saw it was a concert video, but there are some crisp moves shown in the clip, and Janet's energy is irresistible. For a concert video, this is good. 6.4/10
40. Whoops Now

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Fun video. Camerawork was a bit choppy, but decent clip still. 6.5/10
39. When I Think of You

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Cute street/restaurant party scenes. 6.8/10
38. Call on Me (feat. Nelly)

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Janet's rocking some killer outfits here, but I'm not moved by the video, oddly enough. 7/10
37. Dammn Baby

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Almost 50 at this point, and still delivering quality dance moves. Queen! Love the hairflips, too. 7/10
36. Rock with U

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Love her dancers' flamboyant outfits here. Overall, the video's decent, but it's not anything Janet hadn't already done before, and executed better. 7/10
35. Doesn't Really Matter

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Janet sports some killer looks in this video, and there is cute choreography on that shifting platform, but the video is sub-par by her standards. Nothing special happens. 7/10
34. You

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Her best concert video. I loved the circus-themed outfits, and the dance breakdown is lovely, too. 7/10
33. Come Back to Me

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We're not in a warehouse here, so nice change of scenery. The video is a bit uneventful, though. 7/10
32. Control

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Lengthy intro, but once the action started, it was enjoyable. Good dancing. 7/10
31. Dream Street

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"Someday, I'm going to be a big star…" So adorable! 7/10
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Postby Erotica » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:16 pm

Again is just a boring song to me ^^

Hm, I liked the Call on me video
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Postby JSparksFan » Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:37 am

Erotica wrote:Again is just a boring song to me ^^

Hm, I liked the Call on me video
Fair enough. The song is pretty standard/basic, but its melody is gorgeous.

I thought I'd enjoy the "Call on Me" video more, but it didn't do much for me, sadly.
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Postby JSparksFan » Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:54 am

Video Intermission, Part II

30. No Sleeep

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This video has two clear highlights for me: Janet on the bed with that hooded jacket on looking like a witch from Harry Potter, and that effervescent, smiling photo of a young Janet towards the end. 7.2/10
29. Just a Little While

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Lovely, playful video. 7.2/10
28. I Want You

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Cute video! The supermarket scene was interesting because the bananas were apparently on 'special' for $.89/lb, but that's not much of a discount, in my opinion. 7.5/10
27. Feedback

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The second half of the video salvaged the whole affair for me because that space-like setting was bleh with a capital B. The 'Milky Way'-esque setting was cute, and it's impressive that at 42 Janet's dance moves are still so slick. 7.5/10
26. Let's Wait Awhile

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Simple black-and-white video, but uber sweet. 7.5/10
25. Twenty Foreplay

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I feel like the video doesn't match the song at all, but Janet is adorned like a queen in every scene here, so I'm willing to not care about the mismatch. 7.6/10
24. Make Me

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The white outfit with the silver shoulderblades feels like a throwback to Janet's "Scream" video with MJ. Good video. 7.6/10
23. What Have You Done for Me Lately

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Cute choreographed dance sequences + handsome male co-star. 7.6/10
22. Go Deep

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Funny video! There was some documentary-style camerawork that I didn't like in the beginning, but everything grew on me in the end. 7.6/10
21. All Nite (Don't Stop)

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The first half felt like a sub-par dance video, but the second half was impressive. Loved the erotic moves, the male dancer twerking before that became a 'thing', and the two female dancers groping and kissing each other. 7.8/10
20. Every Time

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This could have doubled as a Pantene commercial, but there are few instances where Janet has looked more beautiful than she looks here. I think the setting does well to capture the message of the song. Good video! 7.8/10
19. Got 'til It's Gone

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Love the setting, love Q-Tip's outfit, and I wish I were invited to this party. 7.8/10
18. Nasty

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Good choreography, best so far in her videography. 7.8/10
17. Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)

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Divas always have the best revenge videos. This lived up to that long-standing legacy. 8/10
16. All for You

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I feel like a good deal of effort went into this video. It's good. 8/10
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Postby JSparksFan » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:54 pm

Video Intermission, Part III

15. Love Will Never Do (Without You)

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There are some handsome models in this clip, but there really isn't much going on. One's dancing aimlessly, another is trying to give Janet a hickey, and Janet herself is just having a grand time frolicking on the beach. Watching this makes me happy, though. I can feel her joy emanating through the screen. 8/10
14. I Get Lonely

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The scene in the car was very "The Roof", and the way she held onto that mannequin, to me, felt like a representation of how other lovers were a shell of the man that she really desires - a completely unsuitable and unfit replacement for the one who truly holds her heart. Decent dancing here. 8/10
13. That's the Way Love Goes

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The dialogue is bleh, but to have this song soundtrack a house party with friends was a good idea, as well as having the various couples depicted in the clip. There is more than one way to capture the essence of this song, and I think Janet went for the less obvious route. 8.1/10
12. So Excited

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Classic Janet stuff here: strong sensuality and high-quality choreography. Nobody does that combo better. 8.2/10
11. Again

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I love how there are Poetic Justice scenes on the television as Janet frolicks with her new romance. Speaking of the new romance, the male model is stunningly gorgeous. Brownie points for his inclusion. 8.2/10
10. Miss You Much

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More great choreography! Similar to its predecessor "Pleasure…" with the simple setting juxtaposed with the elaborate choreography. 8.2/10
09. Runaway

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Love the country-hopping! Some legendary landmarks in this clip. 8.3/10
08. Any Time, Any Place

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Janet's love interest here is too sexy for words. My only criticism here is that the 'any place' part of the song isn't that well-captured, as it's just different places in their apartments. The video could've used at least one outdoor location. 8.3/10
07. If

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Great dance breakdown. I wish that bit were longer, though she certainly didn't dial back on the raunchiness. 8.5/10
06. Rhythm Nation

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Slick moves! I love the inclusion of the young boy crying at the beginning, who then observes the dance session taking place. There are a lot of unsaid words there. 8.6/10
05. Escapade

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Wacky and colourful costumes, cute choreography, quality street party. Visually more substantive than most of its predecessor clips. 8.7/10
04. The Pleasure Principle

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YES at Janet serving svelte thickness here. Crisp dance moves, too, and I love how the setting is simple - a warehouse - as it really emphasises the choreography, which is the best at this point of her videography. 8.7/10
03. Alright

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Awesome video. I laughed out loud when the posh lady in the red dress and high heels joined in on Janet's routine. Loads of fun. The fangirling over Cab Calloway, everyone getting involved in the dancing - this video really emphasises Janet's aim to create a 'rhythm nation'. 9/10
02. Together Again

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Brilliant setting. It feels very Wakanda to me. Also, I love the dancing. It's crisp, sleek, and interjected at just the right times. A classic video for a classic song. 9.7/10
01. Scream (with Michael Jackson)

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This is a joint effort where both superstars shine. Janet's default setting in music videos is happy/fun/flirtatious/sensual, but she pulls off frustration brilliantly here, and the MJ/JJ dance breakdown is epic synchronicity. 10/10
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Postby Erotica » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:54 pm

I really should watch some of her videos (again). When I went through this I noticed I am not too familiar with the videos (or some I can't remember well)
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Postby cheapthrills » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:45 pm

Notes from me:

I'm not familiar with a lot of these, but I still don't understand why you are so cool to When I Think of You :( That video is so fun and it's all in one take, which must have been a bitch to shoot.

That key earring in Come Back To Me was really a thing of hers at one point, wasn't it?

All Nite is great and it does things to my body :D

Love that Love Will Never Do Without You is so high. Herb Ritts directed that video! It's one of my favorites by her too.

I really can't argue that top ten - I might have swapped out Love Will Never Do with ANy Time Any Place, but they are all fantastic videos and songs. And you have three of my favorites by her in there. My only quibble is that Scream feels like it was more about Michael than Janet, like she was there out of support for her brother, so it doesn't feel like a Janet video.
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Postby JSparksFan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:35 am

Erotica wrote:I really should watch some of her videos (again). When I went through this I noticed I am not too familiar with the videos (or some I can't remember well)
You should definitely revisit them! She has so many terrific dance videos, and a handful of endearing/funny ones, too.

cheapthrills wrote:Notes from me:

I'm not familiar with a lot of these, but I still don't understand why you are so cool to When I Think of You :( That video is so fun and it's all in one take, which must have been a bitch to shoot.

That key earring in Come Back To Me was really a thing of hers at one point, wasn't it?

All Nite is great and it does things to my body :D

Love that Love Will Never Do Without You is so high. Herb Ritts directed that video! It's one of my favorites by her too.

I really can't argue that top ten - I might have swapped out Love Will Never Do with ANy Time Any Place, but they are all fantastic videos and songs. And you have three of my favorites by her in there. My only quibble is that Scream feels like it was more about Michael than Janet, like she was there out of support for her brother, so it doesn't feel like a Janet video.
Eh, I respect one-take videos, but if they end up being mediocre/average, they're just that at the end of the day. Nothing really stood out for me with the "When I Think of You" video.

Maybe it was part of the Rhythm Nation aesthetic.

There is quite a lot in "All Nite (Don't Stop)" for everyone. :lol:

The "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" video is such a happy one! I love it primarily for Janet's effervescent spirit.

I did think it awkward to deem "Scream" the best Janet video, but whereas the lyrical content is clearly Michael-focused, the video features great moments from them both. They share the screentime fairly equally, and I think Janet even outshines her brother a bit.
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Postby biscuits » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:52 am

STCML and WITOY so low in videos

I just can’t. Need resuscitation
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Postby JSparksFan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:56 am

biscuits wrote:STCML and WITOY so low in videos

I just can’t. Need resuscitation
CT thinks the WITOY video is low, too, so maybe there's something about it I'm missing, but the STCML video is way too random to digest, and that's saying something coming from me. :lol:
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Postby biscuits » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:00 am

I love everything about STCML. I don’t quite understand it, but I love the colours, cinematography, outfits, Janet’s look and gorgeous smile.
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Postby JSparksFan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:09 am

biscuits wrote:I love everything about STCML. I don’t quite understand it, but I love the colours, cinematography, outfits, Janet’s look and gorgeous smile.
Three out of five for me!
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