Unbreakable is the best album from the Queen of Pop in fifteen years, following 2001’s, All For You. Janet Jackson passionately immerses into the latest project, working with longtime collaborators, Jimmy and Terry Lewis with an unguarded reflection to connect to this generation. Jackson is ready for the world to love on her 11th studio album Unbreakable via Rhythm Nation Records that has the diverse dancer / singer living for love and never hate. This time around, her music is different from previous albums leaning on modern uplifting R&B and pop songs about love only advancing her commercial victory.
The last album released in 2008, Discipline, barely made an impact on culture commercially in part due to radio’s new-found taste for repetitive urban music. Nevertheless, on the eleventh studio album, Unbreakable is a groundbreaking album that generates an appealing ritual into modern pop / R&B for 2015.
In the beginning, Jackson sang “Unbreakable,” a stunning opener showing off pure love affecting impression that builds into an unstoppable force of groovy R&B. It’s a sound missing from the mainstream urban stations and that’s a damn shame because this enduring love song brings emotions to the table for the taking. It has a beautiful melody known from Jackson midtempo records. “Unbreakable” is an everlasting impression as big as true love’s conquest, and it is certainly potent on its own entity. It may very well be her best song since 2001’s monstrously-successful number one hit, “All For You.”
The next track, “Burnitup,” puts the momentum to the DJ and he betta “Turn It Up,” because “Imma dance all night / and / I don’t care who up there watching.” It is a fast-moving record where Missy Elliot takes back her stolen crown and dives head first into looney fun on some superior genius mindset lyrically, going where no other Female can never dare tread. Soon before the end, Jackson’s mission is clear, “Aint no sitting down / gotta keep it up / Me and Missy got the whole room / jumping up.” It’s winning formula, the uptempo production propels the energy into a dance empire.
Soon, future smash number one smash, “Dammn Baby,” is going to light up summer 2016 like none other song and there is no doubt about it and maybe a remix with none other Chris Brown. Moreover, the breakdown midway surely impresses to the “I Get Lonely” masses. Jackson gives a few pointers to break old habits, “Can’t nobody tell you what / What you cant do / Shut that down automatic.” Musically, this song is one of the best records on the album that can bombard Top 40 radio.
As the inspiring lyrics destroys hate on “The Great Forever,” Jackson sings to bring encouragement and wisdom in subtlety; “Once you know / Why you’ re here / it becomes crystal clear / To love someone / Is divine.” As a result, one of the most daring songs on the album jumps for joy in the freedom of living life without concern of others worthless opinion.
“Shoulda Known Betta,” is an anthem waiting to start a new revolution “Ready for real solutions / we won’t accept excuses,” hands clap in agreement across the nation. The production by Jimmy and Terry Lewis is a fitting addition to trusting vocals, leaving listeners inspired to make a change.
The piano and vocal showcase on “After You Fall,” is an unsparing contemplative record that pushes to the cause. Indeed, the melody is so memorable it stays as a sidekick for those painful days of despair. Jackson surrenders it all on a record unlike anything done in over a decade. For this reason, hearts will flood the sewers in tears because of this compelling fall to grace. Meanwhile, the mid-tempo and retro “Broken Hearts Heal” is a feel-good record, certain to make further evidence, during this song, it becomes very clear that this album is a salubrious affecting remedy.
The next two tracks, “Night” and “No Sleeep,” are two very different records musically, but each provides supreme highlight moments both sure set-up for Grammies in Pop and R&B categories. “Jackson’s in a mood for love tonight out on pop radio set “Night.” The hook alone, merits praise; “I woke in heaven / In the morning,” starts the midtempo party set to a groove to hypnotize the senses on the dancefloor. “No Sleeep” is a mid-temp flame burning ever so gently and smoothly like a classic Coke.
In a real soulful voice center on “Dream Maker/ Euphoria,” Jackson wishes for a changed world, “Wish I could create a perfect place / Without jealousy, abuse or hate.” She is uplifting in her quest; “I see a beautiful vision / of what we can create / if we just master love” – this song wins approving recognition.
“Everybody wants to be needed / Everybody needs to feel love” begins superior masterfully produced “2 B Loved” baking in 808 entertainment for urban radio to scream in rejoicing. Even more amusing, the melody is instantaneous to stay in sync due to the catchy harmony presented in the hook; “I just want live in your heart and mind / I want you to need me.”
Pensive, “Take Me Away,” is another song encouraging the display of love to our fellow man. Jackson assuredly sings, “Take me way / from here / go somewhere / Where love has no fear.” Convincing and compassionate in every imaginable way, she catches the mind in the purest form to the very dramatic guitar riff ending. Then, “Lesson Learned” in an outstanding vocal behind a simple guitar professes; “What makes her want to stay / so strong,” after all the pain and faithful to the progression of love.
On the moody “Black Eagle” reveals secrets about this mysterious eagle, inside the first verse; “Strong and powerful / King of the sky / protecting all things with his watchful eye / Faithful creature to the most high / What are the visions that / he holds / you never know.” In the second verse, she soothes those who have never been loved, “We all need to do better / You never know.” Accordingly, “Well Traveled” in its pop country composition promises “Wherever life takes me / I’m willing to go / Whatever it takes from me / Imma let it go.” Essentially, this song is about letting go of the past while walking into the future properly. Finally, after much delay “ Gon’ B Alright” closes the program, advising “If you love someone / You better tell them now.” In time, the hook conquers: “We all need a little love / when we get down in the dumps.” Jackson approaches the song with a love of wisdom over horns and drums that get the foot tapping into love’s embrace.
Unbreakable closes with the queen conquering every track with a dignity and wish for a reconstruction. A greater and more triumphant Janet Jackson is the result. If in uncertainty, just presume Jackson can save the day and rescue the meaningless state in R&B music. Her best work in 15 years happened on the label, Rhythm Nation Records.
Grade : 87 = B+
‘Unbreakable’ BEST: “Unbreakable” “Burnitup” “Dammn Baby” “The Great Forever” “Shoulda Known Better” “Night” “No Sleeep” “2 B Loved” “Take Me Away” “Gon’ B Alright” “Well Traveled” and “After You Fall”
‘Unbreakable’ FILLER: “Black Eagle”
The new album UNBREAKABLE available now.