Janet Jackson ‘Unbreakable’ Album Review Roundup

September 30, 2015

Janet Jackson’s new album is ‘Unbreakable.’ And with its release, the music legend is back on the scene with her 11th studio album and her first in seven years. And now, the critics are weighing in. Check out a review roundup.

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson’s new album ‘Unbreakable’ and her world tour of the same title relaunch and reintroduce the iconic music superstar to the world. She may have been away from the concert stage and the recording studio for the past few years, but there’s no mistaking she is back. It’s her first album since 2008’s ‘Discipline.’

While that album did debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, in the U.S. it achieved gold certification rather than her customary platinum or multi-platinum. Add that with the passage of time — not to mention the tragic death of her brother, Michael Jackson in 2009 — and the expectations and anticipation are at an all-time high. This is, after all, the Janet Jackson of ‘Control’ and ‘Rhythm Nation’ and among the bestselling music artists of all time, whose left her mark in music history and in pop culture, influencing untold numbers of artists.

But yes, let no one doubt it, Janet Jackson, currently on her critically acclaimed world tour is back. The album as a whole has peaked much interest as she has reunited with her longtime producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who produced some of most iconic albums, notably ‘Control’ and ‘Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814.’

Following the new tradition she released the album’s lead single, ‘No Sleeep,’ to critical acclaim even as the misspelling in the title may cause linguists to grown and auto-correction to spring unnecessarily into action. And most recently, another single, Burnitup!, her collaboration with Missy Elliot, has drawn much notice as well.

And now that the album is out, the critics are having their say. Here’s a roundup.

“….“Unbreakable” makes the wise choice of returning Ms. Jackson to appealingly familiar settings without ignoring today’s pop tropes, including the clichés. The hot dance track “Burn It Up!” kicks off with a rap by Missy Elliott, while the slow jam “No Sleeep” features rapper J. Cole. (Ms. Jackson giggles when Mr. Cole proposes a “friends with benefits” relationship.) “Shoulda Known Better,” which opens as a ballad, borrows EDM beats for its underpinning. …..” — Wall Street Journal

“….As befits the title–and Jackson’s career–Unbreakable is a collection of songs about resilience and finding love both outwardly and from within. In keeping with her best work, it’s full of bravado and soul-searching…..”TIME

“….For most of “Unbreakable,” she plays big sister — someone who’s happily in love, willing to offer advice and wishing for a better world. It’s a benign role but a modest one, reinforced by the music. Jimmy Jam and Mr. Lewis, who have needed Ms. Jackson to make their best music, are careful not to upstage her here…..” –New York Times

“….Janet makes up for that lack of intimacy with her most sonically diverse set since 1997’s quirky, hypersexual The Velvet Rope. She rounds all the R&B bases, and there’s a healthy dose of club adrenaline, particularly on the Missy Elliott-assisted “BURNITUP!” and the heady house jam “Night.” But perhaps the most thrilling aspect of Unbreakable is her willingness to experiment…..” –Entertainment Weekly

“….Whether or not “Unbreakable” returns Jackson to the upper reaches of the pop world doesn’t really matter. She has returned to making music, on her own terms, for the fans who still believe in her. As she sings in one of the album’s most memorable tracks, “Broken hearts heal stronger.”….”– Newsday

The album and the world tour continue to generate excitement as one of our most celebrated music artists reminds us of how and why she is such a giant in the industry. Janet Jackson’s ‘Unbreakable’ album may prove to be just that.

Pictures: PR Photos

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