Janet Jackson, Janet

Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 05.18.11 in Reviews


Janet Jackson
Jackson’s plushest LP

Janet Jackson has released so many "sex albums" by now, both good (1997's The Velvet Rope is still her best) and bad (2006's ground-out Discipline) — not even getting into her infamous Super Bowl accident — that it can be hard to remember that janet. caused a minor stir upon its release in 1993. Not that the album was altogether unexpected; while she'd already declared herself all grown up on 1986's Control, 1989's Rhythm Nation took a cannily timed socially-conscious route. A boudoir move was the next logical step, and on sonics alone, janet. is Jackson's plushest LP: The beats still move, but the arrangements are more spacious and velvety. "If" offers some lucky fellow the in-all-senses ride of his life over soft-padded new jack swing breakbeats and scuttling percussion, and on "The Body That Loves You," a languorous slow jam, she moans, "I want to feel your moves inside me." janet. is a progression in other ways as well: Jackson's scatted vocals in "That's the Way Love Goes" (which spent two months at No. 1) and a more free-floating approach on the closing ballad, "Any Time, Any Place" indicated a more serious vocal approach.