“How do you define an icon”…
Janet Jackson herself appeared on stage tonight at her album launch party at the New World Stage in New York. After an introduction from Antonio ‘LA’ Reid inviting us to “Sit back, relax and enjoy”, he walked off stage and that is exactly what we did. A wall of vision and music enveloped us, immersing us in the gritty Electro, Soulful R&B sounds that make Discipline yet another seminal milestone in Janet’s inspiring musical career. The voice-over asks the question how do you define an icon: the next hour and a half provides us with the answer. Janet Jackson, superstar, singer, & actress: an icon. Whilst one of the songs teases us with the lyric “Give me something I won’t forget”…
If you had never met this lady you might be surprised at just how down to earth, beautiful and humble this international superstar is, she is truly awe-inspiring and was so genuinely taken aback by how much her fans, critics and industry peers adore her. The album is reminiscent of much of Janet’s old sounds but at the same time takes an entirely new and fresh approach to her music. A source at Universal, Janet’s record label, commented during an exclusive phone call with Janet Love over the weekend that this album is “pretty special and really quite simply exceptionally good”. He also noted how different it is from her previous work. From tonight’s launch party it is totally evident that he was completely correct. From the soaring and breathy Greatest X to the body thumping beats of Feedback, there is something for everyone in this album, it honours her previous incarnations whilst bringing something entirely new to the table.
After we hear the up-tempo Hip-hop tones of The 1, featuring Missy Elliott the lights on stage go up and out steps LA Reid with a very petite lady, a beautiful familiar face, the lady herself. Miss Janet Jackson. During the Q&A a Compare from a top US music magazine, Blender, steps in to ask Janet what her motivation is for such a diverse and sexually charged album, she looks down then straight back up, gives a wry cheeky smile and replies “I love life and I LOVE sex”. What she is in fact saying is a reference to the overtones of innate sexuality in us all which is reflected in the album. Janet never fails to push the boundaries in her art and performance, and tonight was no different. As we entered the very funky urban venue we were greeted by Janet-esque models dressed as dominatrix, clad in black PVC and leather whips. They much like the album were stunning, evoking excitement and intrigue about what the album promises. This is paralleled by the breathtaking album artwork and photography featuring a multitude of alluring black and white shots of Janet in provocative poses. Truly a sight to behold, keep checking back only at Janet Love as we post these in the next few days.
The Jackson family are infamous for their music reflecting their upbringing and personal experiences and Janet’s latest offering is no different. It is self evident from the lyrics on this album of just how much this lady has been through. The title track Discipline is in some ways reminiscent of her strict upbringing, Janet herself says “as a child I had to be disciplined and learn self control”. She goes on to state that “I love my tennis and I love dancing, it allows me to be playful but it also teaches me to be disciplined”. This has patently provided her with a great deal of motivation and inspiration to create some of these very raw and personal tracks the true emotion of which is laced behind a façade of lively electro-dance vibes. Other top songs from the new album include the repetitive and raunchy Can’t Be Good, which is an upbeat ballad and Never Letchu Go a powerful love song with an electro-guitar back beat, both fraught with the struggles that love brings.
Rock With U, penned by Jermaine Dupri, and was inspired by her more (in)famous brother. When prompted she states “Brother Mike inspired me”, joking that we might know him, “…he’s a very famous dancer”. Just a reminder of her playful, loving family oriented attitude. Before she walks off stage she jokes “I’ve had to leave the kids at home tonight, I love you all”.
What has Janet done for us lately?… As promised she gave us all something we won’t ever forget by producing an inspired album which is set to blow us away from February 25/26, when it goes on sale across the globe.
Remember to keep checking back in the next few days as we update Janet Love with more exclusive news, lyrics and photos from Discipline and the exciting NYC Launch Party!