recent and much-publicized personal hardships, one might expect
Jackson's latest offering - "All For You" - to be much
darker and certainly a lot more angry.
Jackson's music has always mirrored her personal and professional life.
She first burst onto the music scene in with 1986 with a runaway
smash which detailed her own struggle to gain "Control."
Each successive album chronicled Jackson's emotional and personal
growth, uncovering previously unexplored aspects of Jackson's personality.
In light of
even on the heels of her (secret) marriage's very public, very
bitter break-up, with very few exceptions, Jackson dishes out more of
the same bubbly, upbeat music and lyrics. This time her disc is
steeped in a distinctive 70s funk-oriented groove - whether courtesy
of samples or a surprise guest appearance by superstar Carly Simon.
Further, the woman who once demanded the world call her "Miss
Jackson" drops her last name altogether and shows that she
herself is the nasty one!
dance-ready title track not only amassed an impressive four-week
reign as Jackson's 10th #1 single, its provocative opening lyrics
also sets the stage for what's to come. "He's got a nice
package alright/Guess I'm going to have to ride it tonight"
Jackson chirps within the first 30 seconds of "All For You."
shocked by this certainly won't want to hear Jackson as she later
coos out her list of wants and intentions in "Would You Mind."
"I'm gonna kiss you, taste you, suck you, ride you," she
moans during a five-and-a-half-minute, sex-drenched number that would
make Prince proud. Finally she asks, "Baby, would you mind
coming inside me, letting your juices free, deep in my passion?"
shifts gears and vents a bit on such tracks as "Trust a
Try" and "Truth." Both address the emotional
scars of deceit and trickery - which inevitably come with a break-up
such as hers. The driving "Trust a Try" is reminiscent of
the angrier portions of "You", the split-personality track
found on 1998's "The Velvet Rope."
and Jackson make an impressive duo. A radio edit, which would
have to address both the length of the cut (over seven minutes!) and
Jackson's excessive use of "Mother-fucker"(!), could land
Simon back in the Top 10 for the first time in nearly two decades.
seems the most personal of all the tracks on the album - and
certainly the most directly influenced by the break-up. "I
had a career before, now didn't I? I had lots of friends
before, now didn't I?" she purrs across funk-inflected beats.
"Guess without you my life was nothing . . . Let's say we disagree." OUCH!
and guest vocalist Carly Simon address this kind of ego with
"Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)".
Tapping into the chorus of her 1973 #1 smash "You're So
Jackson isn't completely jaded by her recent experiences. The
delicious slow-jam "Feels So Right" is both optimistic and happy.
Additionally, she takes responsibility for her own attitude and fate
in "Better Days."
things considered, Jackson is at her best when serving energy-packed
dance beats like "You Ain't Right." For further
proof, look at the title cut or the against-all-odds "Doesn't
Really Matter" - a #1 single previously available on "The
Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps" soundtrack.
effectively turns the tempo up on "Come On Get Up."
Featuring a distinctive, house-heavy beat and phenomenal
drum-and-bass underscore, "Come On" is a remix-ready toe-tapper
screaming for a masterful DJ and a dance-floor.
most radio-accessible track is "Someone to Be My Lover,"
featuring a sample from the 1972 America hit "Ventura Highway."
The cut will easily bridge the gap between Jackson traditionalists
and those who enjoy the current girl-pop sound found at radio.
Instantly memorable, "Someone" features a sing-along chorus
and an equally dance-friendly beat. Perfect for summer,
"Someone" is appropriately slated to be Jackson's second
release from the disc.
those desiring Janet's familiar groove - combined with a healthy
dose of maturity - "All For You" is going to fill the need.
For her exhusband Rene Elizondo, Jr., it will serve as a reminder
that this is a woman whose vows might be broken but her spirit - and
string of career successes - is not.
Click here to buy "All For You"