I make it no secret that I am a huge Janet Jackson fan! 😛 Even though this blog is primarily focused on anime merchandise and import stuff, I just have to make a post for the musical return of this legendary and inspirational artist!
7 long years since her last studio album “Discipline”, the anticipation for this album has been at an all time high for the fans (including me!). Many events related to Janet’s personal life and music career had occurred throughout that time, which shaped the lyrical and music content of “Unbreakable”, and measures as one of her best albums of all time when stacked up against the many impressive albums in her catalogue I must say!
Containing 17 tracks plus two bonus ones, Unbreakable is as much of an eclectic album as the 1993 album “janet.” was, where many sounds and music genres are explored such as rock, pop, r&b and dance. Surprisingly, there’s also much organic instrument sounds that can be found throughout a number of songs.
Some of the standout tracks include:
“Dammn Baby” which would fit in with today’s urban music and throws in a sample of her own past classic song, “I Get Lonely” (from 1997’s “The Velvet Rope”), through hard hitting bass and sheer cut synths.
“The Great Forever” where Janet addresses her critics and haters in a sonically gearing track tied in with some surprise melodic & tempo changes towards the climax.
“After You Fall” in a simple piano and light melody aided by the vulnerability that can be heard in the vocals, something that probably hasn’t been heard since The Velvet Rope’s “Every Time”.
“Night” serving as an improved “Rock With U” (that was from the “Discipline” album) with a funky melody and heavenly soaring vocals echoing “love is taking over, like a tidal wave” during the hook. This track is my personal favourite out of the entire album!
“Broken Hearts Heal” that deals with Janet reminiscing of her childhood days with her late brother; Michael. It’s a bittersweet song that projects a happy uplifting mood despite much sadness in the lyrics (think “Together Again”). I actually had tears running down from my face as I sang along to this song!
“Lessons Learned” one of the tracks where you can hear the organic sounds clearly in a somewhat sombre and reflective song guided by a guitar.
One more track I need to highlight from the album is “Black Eagle”. This to me is the mature and wiser version of “Truly” that was from 2004’s “Damita Jo”. It’s minimalist production laced with finger snaps throughout the song smoothly delivers an airy and whisper vocals from Janet where she takes on the role as a voice for “the beautiful people who have been ignored”, which can be seen as her address to the current social issues that she had also previously delved into on 1989’s “Rhythm Nation”.
Overall, Unbreakable is a rather strong and excellent effort from Janet who, at 49, continues to show much growth in her artistry, and also not be afraid to experiment in a variety of sounds, adding to her already amazing music legacy! The 7 year album drought for this was definitely worth the wait! Now if only the Australian dates for her Unbreakable world tour can be announced already as I’m all set to purchase tickets to her concert! 😄