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#272: Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 by Janet Jackson

2.06.2012


Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 by Janet Jackson (1989)

Favorite Track(s): "Rhythm Nation" and "Miss You Much" and "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" and "Alright" and "Escapade" and "Black Cat"

Thoughts: Is this our first Jackson family member on the list? I think so! Which had better mean there's a lot more of them to come, ok?

My parents owned this album, and I remember its importance (in her career and the music world) whenever I watched Janet Jackson: Behind the Music or some other VH1 show about her that I must have seen a lot as a kid. Later in college I would dance with my dorm floor to the title song in front of the other dorms, much to my embarrassment. But all that is to say, this album is pure gold. IT'S TIME TO GIVE A DAMN LET'S WORK TOGETHER!

I'd take Janet Jackson over Madonna any day for Best Diva (for the 80s and 90s in pop). This album weaves back and forth between social responsibility and sexy fun (like most Jackson family music), and Janet oozing sensuality while flirting with androgyny (like another one of her siblings). But despite the unavoidable similarities to her brother, her music keeps a lightness and playfulness that I would argue Michael had a hard time of capturing in his music from the end of the 80s and onward. That likely had to with his obviously more troubled mind and life, but I think Janet's producers and co-writers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis had a lot to do with it too. Janet's songs on this album, at least for me, never become too preachy or cater too much to 'shock factor.'

Rhythm Nation 1814 had 8 singles, 4 of which went to #1.

Is This Better Than Help!?: Oh yeah. In fact, I'm pissed this isn't in the top 200.

1 comment:

Allie said...

Yeah, that's some good shit.