Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Lesson in Discipline: Review of Janet's New CD

Miss Janet wields the power of anticipation like she might a whip on a naughty lover; undoubtedly, she's still in control and loving it. And now at long last... the wait is over; a new Janet era in music has finally arrived enclosed in wet latex, lace, and high-heeled shoes. I'm referring to the CD art people! Discipline hit stores the 26th and preliminary results say she's got another #1 on her list of 10 albums. Go 'head Miss Janet!

"It's classic Janet with a modern twist," is how she describes it. But don't call it a comeback, Janet's been here for years. And she credits discipline for keeping her so for more than 20 years. That's why the album bears the same name.

So what can you expect musically from the 41-years-old Janet? The same things you expected from the younger Janet. Age ain't nothing but a number and throwing down ain't nothing but a thang for the "nothing-to-prove" entertainer. So on this new CD she hits the dance floor running with opening tracks Feedback, Luv, Rollercoaster, and Rock With You.

No doubt, Janet loves the "kids" and Rock With You is a testament to that with it's 80s club vibe. It definitely gets a "rainbow" stamp of approval while the other opening tracks get their street approval from head nodding, bass thumping R&B. And since Rock With You is the next single, here's the performance from Good Morning Area that wasn't televised entirely. I love the choreography for this.

Leading you off the dance floor are the ballads midway through the album: Can't Be Good, Never Letchu Go, Greatest X. These are what define Janet's classic ballad sound--light almost whispery lead vocals combined with rich, full harmonies and flowing melodies. On Can't Be Good, my fav, you'll swear she vocally channeled Michael into that recording session.

Then it's back to the dance floor. So Much Betta is a funky throwback with vocal twists and tricks. A few beats in and I was reminded of ODB's fun groove, Got Your Money. Following it, The 1, featuring Myssi Elliott, hits you right in the seat of your pants with a beat and a rhyme that will definitely make your booty shake. After that What's Ur Name, a laid back groove, leads you to the bar to get cutie's info before taking things to the next level.

And last but not least, Discipline would not be a Janet album if she omitted baby making music. Play Robin Thicke's, Teach You a Lesson, followed by Janet's Discipline and you've set the scene for a little role playing that might earn you extra credit in the bedroom. That's where the sexy song Curtains takes place--in your room. Art imitates life as she heats up the fantasies of eager audience participants dreaming to be pulled on stage for that special interactive part of her show.

Overall, I think it's a great album. It's well balanced in pop and R&B with plenty of hit singles. Just put it in and let it play. Now for those critics who complain Janet's not singing her age, what do you want her to sing about? Self image, domestic violence, women's empowerment and other issues? Been there, done that. With possibly the exception of the moody Velvet Rope, Janet has always been synonymous with feel good, dance-able, visual, and yes, sexy music. She's 41-years-YOUNG at heart. You want soul searching, introspective, every day issues music then search elsewhere right now. Despite it serious title, Discipline musically provides a momentary escape from the heavies of life that we sometimes need. But even in fun, as Janet demonstrates, there must be some discipline.

WANT TO HEAR A PREVIEW? GO HERE. DOWNLOAD IT legally for less than you can buy it in the stores.

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