Review of Unbreakable by Janet Jackson
So there was a time when Janet Jackson was pretty cool and made music with attitude, remember Black Cat. Then she became pretty cool and rivalled her more well known siblings with tracks like The Best Things In Life Are Free.
She kind of peaked and then tried to become more soulful, sadly her sweet little voice that she adopted and quite low key music did her no favours. With this she kind of fizzed along without troubling the charts. But Janet is back with a new album that promises to get in to our psyche and challenge the way we think about Miss Jackson.
So seven years on since her last album Janet Jackson hits us with new album Unbreakable. As album sales and consumption goes on the slide, Janet lands us with a huge collection, reaching the 19 track mark. When was that last time you had such an album?
Enlisting the support of old allies Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, they somehow make the epic album feel digestible. The production throughout in fact is really good, showing that the masters haven’t lost their touch. They make the production feel at home with Janet’s style whilst also making it feel modern and relevant.
There are however exceptions. One track of note in that thread is Gon’ B Alright. It is an attempt to rejuvenate that inner Black Cat with its soul rock undertones. However, Janet doesn’t quite deliver and it doesn’t really fit with the album or where music is at present.
Another disappointment is Burnitup! I say disappointment because it wastes the cameo appearance by the legendary Missy Elliott.
Janet does do well in the majority of cases and in the main is trying to stay real to who she is. This is particularly prevalent in the soulful Hearts Heal where you get that light emotion that gave Janet Jackson a place in many people’s hearts.
There is nothing wrong with this an album and in fact in parts it is quite good. Sadly Janet Jackson has left it a bit late. Her music isn’t quite right for the generation that used to listen to her. It isn’t cool enough for the nostalgic Jackson fans and she is just not relevant to the younger audience.
Real shame, as Janet Jackson at 49 is obviously a lovely person with a great voice. Sorry but I will be surprised if this gets big, even with all those Sony dollars behind her.