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.
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By Barry Walters on 05.18.11 in Reviews
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