Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, R&B
"A PASSION FOR DISCIPLINE" by Janet "It's the idea that unifies the songs on this record. As a concept, and even a lifestyle, discipline goes extremely deep. It can be applied to so much about ourselves. In my case,I see i... more »
"A PASSION FOR DISCIPLINE" by Janet "It's the idea that unifies the songs on this record. As a concept, and even a lifestyle, discipline goes extremely deep. It can be applied to so much about ourselves. In my case,I see it as one of defining aspects of my character. Discipline was there for me from the start. But it was not until this record that I began to understand its full meaning. "In putting Discipline out front -- as both the title of the album and title of a song about sexual surrender -- I wanted to announce that I was venturing into new creative waters. That meant working with producers like Jermaine Dupri, Rodney Jerkins, and Ne-Yo, whose songs spoke to the immediacy of my emotions. Like all my records, this one, whether intentional or not, has autobiographical roots. It's difficult for me to work any other way. I don't feel it, if I don't believe it, I can't sing it. "So Discipline, as a storyline, begins in my childhood which someone could see as a classic study in discipline. Discipline was part of a family culture that I absorbed. I was born with it. "I also believe that discipline has given me the confidence to jump out of the nest. When L.A. Reid, Chairman of Island Def Jam, and I discussed co-executive producing this record, we both agreed that the feeling had to adventuresome and fresh. I was interested in exploring musical scenarios--some exotic, many erotic, but all deeply emotional. "I wanted to push the envelope. And I'm glad that Discipline, both as a song and an album, does just that."
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What we have here is a failure to communicate
Terry Mesnard | Bellevue, NE | 02/28/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"For me, The Velvet Rope was Janet's masterpiece, though I didn't feel that way at the time. It wasn't until later that I realized how often the CD found its way back into my CD player. Velvet Rope seemed to culminate all the ideas and concepts Janet had been toying with since she first came on the scene. It represented Janet at her most personal, vulnerable and sexy with songs that ranged from an abusive relationship, to loss of a loved one to being tied up (presumably with ropes that were velvet) during sexual encounters to a bunch of emotions that ran the gamut of chaste to...not so chaste. It was expressive, dark and moody. Since then, her releases have been very cheery, which isn't a problem in and of itself.
Here's the thing. I've been listening to Janet Jackson since Control, when I was a young kid in the 80s. I've loved every single album she's released and even when the last two haven't been so great, I've still enjoyed them. The problem is, ever since All For You, the CDs have begun to run together. While I really enjoyed 20 Y.O., I was hoping for further evolution of Janet as an artist and I placed my hope in Discipline. Unfortunately, what I'm finding is an artist that seems to be trying so hard to gain a hit again that she's giving up everything that makes her unique.
It starts with getting rid of Jam and Lewis, her cohorts in crime since the beginning. When 20 Y.O. came out, I had thought that maybe finding new producers might help her freshen her image, but that has backfired. The songs on Discipline are...well, a lot of them are boring. They feel like any of the other nameless R&B artists out there, pumping out music that anyone of them could sing as opposed to personal songs that have defined Janet over her 20+ year career.
"Feedback" is a fun song; I was hoping that it was a sign that Discipline would be a great, daring new CD. But, after that song, I found myself stuck in music that wasn't exciting, daring or different. The only songs that really stuck out to me throughout my listens were "The 1" with Missy, "The Greatest X," and the aforementioned "Feedback." Those are ones I've listened to on a few occasions because I've enjoyed them and they remind me of some of Janet's fun, good songs. A few songs in the middle, like "Rock With You" are enjoyable, if easily forgetable. Then there are the ones that simply are crud. The title track, for instance, is probably the biggest misstep of Janet's career. It's not the sexy, sultry song she wants it to be and he use of the word "daddy" just adds to the weirdness. Honestly, at 40, shouldn't Janet be past the father-figure authoritarian fantasy? Even if not, this was done much better...in the Velvet Rope with "Rope Burn."
Instead of being the comback album Janet and friends have been hoping for since 20 Y.O., Discipline finds Janet so desperate to make a comeback album that she's willing to sacrifice her soul to do so. Melodramatic, I know, but this is the first time I've seen her singing songs she didn't write. Granted, Janet's not exactly the great poet of R&B, but it was her words, they came from her heart and they were about things she was facing. Instead of writing her album, she hired "hitmakers" to create songs and it shows. None of the songs really feel like a Janet song; they could just as easily be sung by any of the countless other R&B performers out there. What's worse, a lot of the songs feel like filler and I'm having trouble, looking at the song list, trying to remember how some of the songs go. By trying so desperately to make a comeback, Janet gave up what made her, her.
I know this isn't going to be a popular review and I'll have to be content with that. Believe me when I say that I'm sad that this is my first non-glowing review for Ms. Jackson. Before I bought this album, I was hearing a lot of less than stellar things being said here and elsewhere, I just told myself that these people were the haters and that her album would be good. Unfortunately, that's not the case and I've been seeing some fans, both longtime fans and new, saying similar things.
In a career that spans more than 20 years, everyone is entitled to a dud. As a fan of her work, this would be that one for me.
How Janet got her groove back...
Nse Ette | Lagos, Nigeria | 02/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Janet Jackson returns with her tenth studio album, "Discipline", hoping to regain the chart glory she once had before that infamous Superbowl incident. Ditching long-time producers Jam and Lewis, she's hooked up with a slew of producers and songwriters (she doesn't write anything this time, she'd previously co-written most songs on every album from "Control" to date) such as Rodney (Darkchild) Jerkins, Ne-Yo, Tricky Stewart, Stargate, and boyfriend Jermaine Dupri, to mention a few. More upbeat (and much better) than her previous release "20 Y.O.", the moods range from club bangers, mid-tempo numbers, edgy funky numbers, and chilled out baby making music.
Falling into the Upbeat club bangers category are lead-off Darkchild produced single "Feedback" (with stomping beats, intermittent rolling marching band drums, and distorted vocodered vocals), "Rock with U" (not big brother Michael's hit, but a funky song with bubbly 80s sounding synths, and Janet cooing over the beats, penned by Ne-Yo and Jermaine Dupri - the interlude before this song, "Bathroom break" is quite funny with a Daft Punk song playing in the background), and the club friendly Stargate produced "2nite" (with great bubbling synth breaks). Taking the tempo down a bit (and still highly danceable), we have the lovely "LUV" (nice echoing chorus and harmonies and a heavy bassline), and "Let me know" (a bonus on the Japanese version, as well as on iTunes) which is cut from the same Pop fabric as her hit "Runaway".
The edgy funk numbers are the rather atonal and sparse Darkchild produced "Rollercoaster" with percussion giving a spinning sound (faintly reminiscent of "Escapade" and it's catchy and grows on you), the Prince-like "So much betta" with chipmunk vocals and a sample from Daft Punk (who really must remember to buy Kanye West a nice "Thank you" card) it reminds me a bit of "Nasty", and the sexually charged "The 1" with Missy Elliott, nice percussion, chiming sounds and bursts of electric guitar. These three sound most like Janet's Jam/Lewis stuff of the past.
For ballads, there's the soothing lite-jazz of "Can't be good" (which reminds me a bit of "I can't help it" by Michael), the catchy "Greatest X" (she must have an ex fixation, there was "Thinkin' bout my ex" on "Damita Jo"), "What's ur name", and (for the first time on a Janet album) the title track "Discipline" which is the best of the lot; A steamy slowed down Jodeci/R Kelly style soulful ballad with lovely harmonies, (again) sexually charged masochistic lyrics about "having misbehaved and wanting her daddy to discipline her and make her cry", and heavy breathing at the end. What was her crime? "I touched myself/when you told me to wait". Surprisingly, it works very well, and is her most memorable ballad since "I want you".
The other ballads; "Never letchu go" (with sprinklings of electric guitar), and "Curtains" are not bad, but I get the feeling they would sound better sung by someone like Mary J Blige or Mariah Carey. They are so-so songs which need someone with powerful vocal chops to carry them off, Janet sounds lost in the mix here. I feel these could have been replaced with more upbeat songs, but like I said, they are not bad.
Good to see that she has toned down the overt sexual nature of her lyrics that appeared in her last 3 albums (we really didn't need to know about the temperature or humidity of her hidden body parts, "Warmth" and "Moist"), she doesn't have to be an oversexed android all the time. I think this album could bring Janet back on top, IF radio gives her a chance. So far, "Feedback" has been given a wide berth, but that doesn't detract from the fact that this is a very good fun album which should give Janet her 6th #1 album.
P.S. I do not like the album cover photo; she looks like a bad drag queen. :-)
Janet Jackson (n.): In Need of 'Discipline'
Rudy Palma | NJ | 02/28/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Listeners of expertly crafted, perfectly packaged dance-pop have a quick - if temporary - fix in "Discipline," Janet Jackson's new comeback effort. Results are mixed, but the set sports a handful of high-energy morning pick-me-ups frothier than a Starbucks latte. Recent LPs like "20 Y.O" and the full-on porn of "Damita Jo" may have yielded lackluster results, but Jackson has been an established figure in the pop game since today's college crowd was in diapers for a reason: given the right material, she is a formidable performer.
The album's feel is icy, distant and thoroughly modern, complete with Jackson's customary interludes, this time including a computer named Kyoko that gives her pep talks and even duets on the bizarre "So Much Betta." Despite such oddball moments the effusive, ultra catchy lead single "Feedback" and the roller disco-ready duo of "Rock with U" and "2nite" sizzle with flavor and catchy beats. With its instantly unshakable hook the sensuous "LUV" should be a massive hit, and "Never Letchu Go" is a pleasant slice of lovelorn r&b with 80's-inspired guitar work.
It's only when she gets sentimental about her finest orgasm ("The Greatest X") or objectifies male genitalia ("7 inches? Yup, that'll do!" on "The 1" featuring Missy Elliot) that the collection drifts into clumsy sexual perversions and, importantly, amelodiousness. The pretense climaxes as Jackson coos "Did I upset you daddy? Take out your frustrations on me." on a BDSM-themed title track that would make Madonna blush. Somewhere out there Ron Jeremy's ears are burning.
"Discipline" is typical late career Janet with obvious singles and equally obvious padding with overbearing sexual themes. This time, however, the singles rank among her best."