Speaking of "Never Letchu Go"...phoenix98 wrote:• “Greatest X” was one of the instant standouts when I first picked up Discipline, but much like “Nothing,” it’s hard to really defend here. We hadn’t gotten such a poppy/AC ballad like it from her in a while (well, aside from “Never Letchu Go” on the same album), and it just really grabbed my ear (especially the way she sings "tomorroowww...")
• “Special” is one of the few (only?) times that The Velvet Rope steers into dangerously “cheesy” territory for me. The album's titular metaphor is so clever and meaningful, that a song like this structured around lines as straightforward as “I have the need to feel real special” seems almost…beneath her? The children's choir really pushes it past the point of saccharine I can understand her wanting to end the album on a more positive/hopeful note, but this particular offering always felt especially unworthy as the closing number to such an epic, impactful album (hidden/bonus tracks aside).
• “Free Xone” has always been a tad too quirky/eclectic/scattered-sounding for me. I appreciate the attempt to advocate for us, though.
• When I was first glancing through this latest group, I was sure that “Get It Out Me” had already appeared. Aside from “So Excited,” that stretch of underwhelming uptempos at the start of 2O Y.O. REALLY blur together for me. For an artist who’s delivered so many legendary dance moments, she somehow managed to churn out several of her all-time-weakest bangers in one go.
• “Call On Me” is cute. Deliberately designed to be another “Dilemma”? Probably, but it felt like a refreshing change of pace for a lead single after “All For You” (or if you count “Doesn’t Really Matter”) and “Just A Little While.” I always enjoyed having Nelly’s body on display right on the cover too #sidenip
• “Tonight’s The Night” definitely deserves better. So seductive, so sultry, so sexxxy (and even a touch sorrowful toward the end). Not to mention just plain catchy. The fact that she mentions both a male and female partner throughout the course of the song really stood out to me when I first discovering TVR as a blossoming gay teen. Admittedly, I’ve never checked out the original version.
Glad you like those!Erotica wrote:I enjoy Livin in a world, Call on me, Get it out me, Rollercoaster and Free Xone for example
I'm never going to present a countdown without sharing some controversial rankings, too.biscuits wrote:I’ll comment at the weekend. A couple of travesties already
I agree completely about "After You Fall". I feel similarly about "Let's Wait Awhile". It has so much potential, but the progression is too slow for me to really get into it.phoenix98 wrote:• Even back in '06, the idea that someone would actually bother buying a magazine for self-stimulation material instead of just pulling up some sexy pixxx online seemed a little out-of-date. Granted, I guess that was pre-smart phones, so magazines were still your best option if you wanted to fap to Janet on-the-go. Either way, props to "This Body" for the unusual song subject matter, at least...
• "Make Me" is probably my favorite post-"Feedback" dance tune.
• There's some real food for thought in "After You Fall," but it's just so. damn. slooowwwww. Having a lengthy instrumental break in the middle of such a plodding track only makes matters worse.
• These rankings for "Rock With U" and "I Want You" are definitely your most heinous crimes yet Admittedly, the former was a strange/risky selection to follow-up "Feedback," but it's such trance-y dance-y bliss. "I Want You" is such a satisfying Motown throwback that it really seems like a cover instead of an original piece. Speaking of - after re-visiting its Wikipedia page to confirm that it's not a cover, I learned that both Kanye West and John Legend were involved in its creation! Never knew.
• "Greatest X" completely over-shadowed "Never Letchu Go" back when I was first delving into Discipline, but I've come to enjoy them pretty much equally in recent years.
"Sexhibition" is cute, but it just doesn't stand out for me.Erotica wrote:Sad that Make me, Rock with u, This body and Sexhibition are out
I'm only familiar with the singles so i know Let's wait awhile and its such a cute song. I did check out Janet Jackson's UK chart history the other night and didn't realise this got so high whilst her other single Nasty from the same year peaked much lower. I always thought Nasty was a much bigger hit than its chart peak suggests.GetBack wrote:Sad that "Let's Wait Awhile" is so low!
There are still a lot of jewels to come!GetBack wrote:Sad that "Let's Wait Awhile" is so low!
Glad you like that one. I remember reading fairly positive reviews for it from other UKMixers, so I was a tad disappointed that it wasn't quite as impressive to me as it was to them, but that's music.Erotica wrote:R&b Junkie is really good
Charts can be deceptive in measuring a song's true impact (due in great part to the fact that chart success is 'relative'; for instance, a song that had strong enough metrics to be #1 for eight weeks in Q1 might not advance further than #5 in Q4). "Nasty" is definitely a more vital component of Janet's catalogue than "Let's Wait Awhile".JakeP wrote:I'm only familiar with the singles so i know Let's wait awhile and its such a cute song. I did check out Janet Jackson's UK chart history the other night and didn't realise this got so high whilst her other single Nasty from the same year peaked much lower. I always thought Nasty was a much bigger hit than its chart peak suggests.
Same! I prefer the frisky, liberation version of everyone to their abstinent half.phoenix98 wrote:• I hear what you're saying about "Let's Wait Awhile," and while I probably wouldn't banish it to such extreme depths as this, I'm less bothered by this result than "Rock With U" or "I Want You" (or "Tonight's The Night"). I definitely prefer frisky, liberated Janet to abstinent Janet.
• ...however, "Warmth" is one of the VERY few (perhaps the only) times when her attempts at stoking the fire have the opposite effect on me. It might be that some of the lines are so overt they just come across as crass/tacky ("I feel you get erect")...but, not gonna lie, a part of the problem is that I'm picturing her doing this to JD the whole time.
• **Sigh** All For You is such a stellar album that it's gonna sting a little to see most of its tracks fall, but I really wasn't ready for both "Better Days" and "Feels So Right" to exit already In a stark contrast to my griping about "Special" earlier, "Better Days" is such a satisfying closing number (outro/bonus tracks aside). Granted, I guess it's a tad ominous in retrospect, given everything that she had to face shortly after this era. So much of the song really resonates with me as someone who often struggles to push all the negative/whiny thoughts aside, and I love how she puts the power right in our own hands with lines like "'cause I made up my mind, today will be the start of better days." Those background "ba, ba"s are so catchy too! Could it afford to have a minute or so trimmed from its runtime? Perhaps.
• "Runaway" is cute, but this Coolio version is new to me, so maybe he's to blame for it being this low? Or is he only mentioned because the solo album version would've landed even lower? It certainly has some of her most adorable ad-libs: "ooh, didn't quite hit the note, that wasn't such a good time..."
I mean...there's no denying he's produced some brilliant tracks, but vocally? Nope. Visually? NOPE.JSparksFan wrote:I get the sense that you're not too crazy about JD. :lol: Ranking "Warmth" was difficult for me because I love the vibe of the song, but it just doesn't have the climax I was waiting for. Were certain elements tweaked, it would've been Top 50 here for sure.
Don't make me choose but thanks for asking! All For You has the nostalgia factor going for it, being my first-ever Janet album and the era when I started actively following her career. It still sounds as good as ever too. The Velvet Rope has such a different tone and feel that resonates with me in deep and distinct ways. All For You contains so many top-notch uplifting bops, with some sexy and reflective moments sprinkled in...whereas TVR strikes several serious emotional chords over the course of the album. I'm inclined to give AFY the edge, since I more often opt for music that'll brighten my mood and make me move over something that'll rattle my core, but it's virtually a tie (and Rhythm Nation 1814 isn't much further behind...or Damita Jo...or...)JSparksFan wrote:I love the message of "Better Days", so that one was another track that was tough to rank so harshly, but, again, it just doesn't take me to the heights I feel like it could've taken me. The good news is that she's covered the topic to greater effect in other songs, which will be considerably higher up. Just out of curiosity, what's your favourite Janet album: Velvet Rope or All for You?
He does seem to be her Jay-Z.phoenix98 wrote:I mean...there's no denying he's produced some brilliant tracks, but vocally? Nope. Visually? NOPE.
Got it! I'm the same way regarding uplifting bops vs. serious bops about 55% of the time.phoenix98 wrote:Don't make me choose but thanks for asking! All For You has the nostalgia factor going for it, being my first-ever Janet album and the era when I started actively following her career. It still sounds as good as ever too. The Velvet Rope has such a different tone and feel that resonates with me in deep and distinct ways. All For You contains so many top-notch uplifting bops, with some sexy and reflective moments sprinkled in...whereas TVR strikes several serious emotional chords over the course of the album. I'm inclined to give AFY the edge, since I more often opt for music that'll brighten my mood and make me move over something that'll rattle my core, but it's virtually a tie (and Rhythm Nation 1814 isn't much further behind...or Damita Jo...or...)
The song's very of-its-era in a way that's cute, yes, but not much else.phoenix98 wrote:• I was wondering if/how much you'd be charmed by all the math in "Two To The Power Of Love," given your profession. The whole thing is cheese-tastic, but there's a catchiness to the chorus.
There's nothing outstanding about "All Nite (Don't Stop)" for me. Every song I listen to starts out at zero, and it was only able to build to the mid-7s for me. I think its too restrained for me. The vocals, production, even the moans sound repressed.phoenix98 wrote:• Hmmm...I'm lost on what's missing in "All Nite" for you. Don't appreciate Janet's instructions to "jerk it like you're makin' it choke"? I think it deserves to stand among her most recognizable/signature dance hits. F**kin' blacklist...
Even though I'm not crazy about the song, I do adore its video. I jotted down first impressions of all of Janet's videos and adjacent to "Alright", I have, "Awesome video."phoenix98 wrote:• No. 113? Here I thought you were testing me with your treatment of "I Want You", "Tonight's The Night", etc...but a SUB-100 placement for "Alright"? If I remember right, you do like serving up some shockers in your tributes, and this one had me literally choking on my drink. It's a legitimate Top 10 contender for me. I suspect the (admittedly excessive) nearly-7-minute runtime of the album version worked against it? It's hard to deny that a little trimming couldn't hurt, but the chorus alone does more than enough for me to overlook the length/repetition - and those "shoo-be-doop"s! This one really makes me smile, makes me dance, and makes me appreciate true friends. <3
I actually prefer "Someday Is Tonight" to "Let's Wait Awhile".phoenix98 wrote:• "With U" too? I mean...it IS one of your highest-ranking 20 Y.O. tracks, so we're kind of in agreement in that sense (though it's that album's strongest standout for me.) Precise mediocrity of its parent album aside, I'd definitely let this song sit in a much nicer spot than No. 112. I can't remember if it was her or JD who made those weird remarks about it being a "sequel" or whatever to "Let's Wait Awhile" (since "Someday Is Tonight" obviously filled that role, though I guess I can't blame anyone for forgetting that track exists...)
"Daybreak" is definitely decent! It was another one of those tough songs to give a relatively sub-par rating. I wanted to like it more than I did.phoenix98 wrote:• "Daybreak" seems like one of the best representations of what 20 Y.O. could've/should've been overall. It captures the spirit of some of her mid-to-late-80's output (though it brings "Escapade" to mind moreso than anything on Control) with a more contemporary touch. It really makes you feel the sense of playfulness/youthful rebellion described in the lyrics.
Aw, I think it rockets right up to an 8ish as soon as that bassline kicks in!JSparksFan wrote:There's nothing outstanding about "All Nite (Don't Stop)" for me. Every song I listen to starts out at zero, and it was only able to build to the mid-7s for me. I think its too restrained for me. The vocals, production, even the moans sound repressed.
Yeah, although I've got my adoration for the song itself, I'm pretty sure it's generally far more remembered for its video.JSparksFan wrote:Even though I'm not crazy about the song, I do adore its video. I jotted down first impressions of all of Janet's videos and adjacent to "Alright", I have, "Awesome video."
It's very gracious of you not to keep all those boys waiting too long.JSparksFan wrote:I actually prefer "Someday Is Tonight" to "Let's Wait Awhile".
Glad you like those three!Erotica wrote:I Love Promise of you, Take me away and Every time
That part is a highlight, but mid-7s and 8-ish isn't a big difference points-wise. It can produce a huge difference rank-wise, though!phoenix98 wrote:Aw, I think it rockets right up to an 8ish as soon as that bassline kicks in!
It'll certainly fare better in the video countdown than it did in the songs countdown, though that's technically by default (more than 170 songs vs. less than 50 videos).phoenix98 wrote:Yeah, although I've got my adoration for the song itself, I'm pretty sure it's generally far more remembered for its video.
phoenix98 wrote:It's very gracious of you not to keep all those boys waiting too long.
I feel like you'll be singing a similar tune for most of the Janet Jackson and Dream Street tracks to come.phoenix98 wrote:• "Pretty Boy" would be passable if it wasn't for that more-than-a-minute-long "play your funky horn" chanting section, followed by a minute of just horn (and clapping) You do have it (appropriately) sub-100, but I'd prefer to banish it beneath some of the gems that landed even lower.
Yeah, the 'empty' chorus is probably what weighs the song down for me, too, because I wanted to like it more than I did.phoenix98 wrote:• "Strawberry Bounce" is a truly tasty treat. The chorus is pretty...sparse...lyrically, but those "la, la"s are so. damn. CATCHY! True to its name, this track is just such bouncy, flirty fun. I remember watching her perform it on SNL.
I know the two have nothing more in common than their titles, but I couldn't help but think how much I prefer the Drake/Rihanna collab.phoenix98 wrote:• "Take Care" has more catchy bits than I remembered. I especially like the way she sings that "and I know you can't be here..." part during the second verse. It outshines the chorus (actually, both verses do that…)
"What's Ur Name" is definitely...snappy. It's not bad!phoenix98 wrote:• Like "Take Care," "What's Ur Name" is another moment I've always brushed aside, but it does have some charms. That "do you live around heeere?" makes for a pretty good hook, and closing out the chorus with the "put it riiight in my Siiidekick and III'll hit you baaack soon as I get hoOoOme..."
You know, I thought of having a segment devoted to my favourite interludes, but then I realised that, for most of them, I'm either not too fond of them, or they're entirely too brief.phoenix98 wrote:• Re: "Promise Of You," I definitely felt a little cheated that one of the deluxe edition "bonus tracks" was just a full/extended version of one of the interludes.
I figured "Every Time" would be your fave of the batch!phoenix98 wrote:• "Every Time" is so lovely - easily my favorite in this group and a serious Top 50 contender for me. I don't understand how it flopped as horribly as it did here in the States (especially since the video seems to be at least relatively well-remembered/often-referenced).
You like "Take Me Away" more than "BURNITUP!"?phoenix98 wrote:• "Take Me Away" is probably my favorite Unbreakable uptempo (unless "Shoulda Known Better" counts?) Ever-so-relatable subject matter (just like Rita's recent "Anywhere").
Co-sign!phoenix98 wrote:• There's certainly some moments on the standard/international versions of Damita Jo that I would've sacrificed to make space for "Put Your Hands On" on every edition.
Hope there are still plenty of songs you like left!BlueScorpion wrote:So many great songs dismissed already!
Looking forward to the development of this.
099. Like You Don't Love MeThe main show starts at the genesis of Janet Jackson's career, with one of the stand-out tracks from her self-titled debut album. "The Magic Is Working" is cute, catchy, and inoffensive, which is succinct coverage of the sound and lyrical content of Janet's first two LPs. The instrumentation on this is pretty impressive, though, and the backing male vocals that accompany Janet on the chorus provide a sweet, doe-eyed tug-of-infatuation that puts it above several of its sister tracks. 7.5/10
098. What AboutThree and a half minutes of admonishment directed towards her lover, who's gotten more than a little bit lazy under the sheets, "Like You Don't Love Me" is one of a litany of tracks where Janet confidently voices her sexual desires. This is certainly one of her more relatable sexy tracks, though, as almost everyone can recall the passion in a long-term relationship ebbing. I certainly endorse Janet's allusion to roleplay to spice things up in that department. 7.5/10
097. Forever YoursA therapy session that morphed into a song, "What About" speaks about emotional, verbal, and physical abuse, but despite its message being so heavy, I must say that I dislike the arrangement of the song, though I certainly do follow the logic behind it. The shift from the peaceful verses into the torrential chorus of chaos, frustration, and despair does a fantastic job of jolting the listener out of his place of comfort, which I'm positive was the desired impact, but it comes off as more messy than intensely passionate for me. 7.5/10
096. Got 'til It's Gone (feat. Q-Tip & Joni Mitchell)My first memory of the word 'saccharine' was when I came across the term in a review for my first great music love's (Jordin Sparks's) debut album, and 'saccharine' is the appropriate term to describe this Janet Jackson cut. Saccharine and basic, but also endearing. On paper, it really shouldn't be this high as there's nothing particularly outstanding about it, but sometimes the ears have no consideration for logic. 7.5/10
An interesting selection for lead single to what is Janet's most iconic album, "Got 'til It's Gone" sees Janet enveloped by the pervasive Joni Mitchell sample and Q-Tip's verse and contribution to the refrain. Janet feels like a supporting act on her own song. Still, I give massive credit to Janet for blending so many genres and making it sound seamless. Stitched into this song are pop, R&B, hip/hop, folk, jazz, reggae, neo-soul, and downtempo elements. Most folks never traverse so many lanes ove the course of their career; Janet did so on a single song! 7.5/10
Too true I'll at least consult a Thesaurus to try and find a variety of ways to say "It's tolerable but should've been lower."JSparksFan wrote:I feel like you'll be singing a similar tune for most of the Janet Jackson and Dream Street tracks to come.
Since it sounds like a formal post about them has been officially canned, might I be able to see a few quick "honorable mentions"? Just curious which stand out for you (if any).JSparksFan wrote:You know, I thought of having a segment devoted to my favourite interludes, but then I realised that, for most of them, I'm either not too fond of them, or they're entirely too brief.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure of that. I'll give "BURNITUP!" a proper revisit (or two) whenever it pops up here, but that "kitty cat meow meow meow meow meow" intro leaves quite the lasting impression. I really love the story of "Take Me Away" - that yearning to escape from it all sometimes (basically, all the same praise that I heaped on Rita's "Anywhere" not too long ago). For me, BIU! just feels like something she's done much better many times before.JSparksFan wrote:You like "Take Me Away" more than "BURNITUP!"?