Janet to Score #1 With ‘Discipline’

janet-suit.jpgAccording to Hits Daily Double, Janet Jackson's Discipline will enter the charts at #1 next week with Erykah Badu's New AmErykah following at #2. Janet's tenth studio release is expected to move somewhere around 180,000 units by the time the official numbers are released. Badu provided healthy competition this week with a stellar album that's garnering mostly positive reviews. Janet, on the other hand, seems to have a higher hill to climb critically.

Entertainment Weekly's Margeaux Watson:
"If you thought the 41-year-old Jackson, not unlike Madonna and Prince,
would drop the nympho shtick and embrace more age-appropriate
songwriting and production instead of competing with the Beyoncés and
Rihannas of'd be wrong."

The Boston Globe's Joan Anderman
decision to recycle the nympho routine one more time is just boring.
Even Prince and Madonna, who find endlessly interesting ways to sing
about sex, have discovered in the onset of middle age an opportunity to
investigate alternative topics. On "Discipline" Jackson, now 41,
follows her favorite blueprint, alternating narcotic spoken interludes
with uptempo dance cuts and slinky jams."

Rocky Mountain News' Mark Brown:
"Songs like the unlistenable So Much Betta seem childish and
pointless, with the double-entendres and sexual insinuations delivered
in an electronically processed baby voice. The spoken "interludes"
between the songs are a tired imitation of R&B from the '90s."

Yes, Janet, how dare you have a libido at 41? Sex talk sounds so much more believable and alluring coming from the mouths of 18-year-olds, or 50-year-old men. Or 41-year-old white women. (I'm going to break the wall here and link to my own review on my personal site, in which I point out that the album, overall, isn't about sex. In fact, there are trifle few songs that even invoke sex. I actually listened to Discipline before reviewing it.)

To be fair, there are good reviews out there if you look hard enough.

The Village Voice's Carol Cooper:
"I must admit that Discipline is the most cohesive deep-groove album from La Jackson since Control.
Considering that none of her current producers (most notably Rodney
"Darkchild" Jerkins, Ne-Yo, and Jermaine Dupri) are particularly known
for underground house anthems, the after-hours dance beats that
jet-propel you through the first six full songs."

AMG's Andy Kellman (who manages to employ some modicum of common sense and objectivity):
Leave the teasing and explicitness to the teens and younger twenty-somethings -- not the grown women -- right? Janet should get back to making sunny, uncomplicated songs like "Escapade" and pretend that the occasional-to-frequent salaciousness extending back to Control never existed. She should do that and, while she is at it, act her age. (When the three years younger R. Kelly releases his next album, no protests of a similar nature will be heard; ditto whenever the Rolling Stones perform "Brown Sugar.") While Discipline is dressed up like a racy affair with track-to-track titillation, it has only a couple moments where Janet takes the S&M imagery further, and more deeply personal, than she did on The Velvet Rope; the majority of its subject matter relates to the more common elements of relationships....Janet probably won't hit that late-'80s peak again, but that is no excuse to write her off."

Good luck, Penny!

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13 Responses

  1. Well, you know how it goes ... I expected it, especially from EW. They hate Janet Jackson and take every opportunity to dog her. It's a rag anyway.
    Erykah, oddly, is getting mixed reviews over at Amazon from customers. Some love it some outright hate it, which I didn't expect. I'm gonna buy it regardless though.

  2. Not everyone appreciates music as an art form instead of entertainment. Sometimes I do wish Badu would go back to the ABA format of songs, but I still love her artistic expression.
    What I've heard so far, the Janet album is fiya. I never really loved her slow songs post-'That's the Way Love Goes.' I think people find it easier to hate her post-nipple gate.

  3. i never let the critics dictate my album purchases...they're just as subjective as we are, lol...congrats to erykah and janet

  4. Aside from all the hateration in the reviews, I wonder if this is the first time in history that new releases by two Black women will take the number 1 & 2 slots on the chart. Is anyone up on their Billboard history that knows if this is the case?

  5. I actually have the Billboard Book of Number One Albums tucked away somewhere. I will have to dig it out and check. I think you are right though ... I don't know that this has ever happened.

  6. I didn't see those reviews as "hate". I feel the same way about Janet. YMMV
    As for Erykah -- I've only listened to half of the new one. It seems like doodles on a notepad -- not a complete finished work.

  7. If I'm not mistaken, Alicia and Mary held the #1 and #2 spot a while ago.

  8. It's gonna be close for sure. The estimate I read said 180K to 140K or something like that. I think people worry too much about first week sales though. They both have their fans and will be alright.

  9. Just to let everyonce know: Janet's album is not "fiya." It's lukewarm, to be generous. Most of it is the boring, oversexed, run-of-the-mill stuff she's been doing for quite awhile now.

  10. As this post says, if you LISTEN to the record, there isn't even that much sex there. I'm willing to bet the majority of people saying that skimmed the record on the net someplace and did not take it in, or are going into it with their minds made up.

  11. @ S. Flemming: Yeah, good luck with that battle. He's just letting "everyonce" know. 🙂

  12. @ rkj: While it might not appear that those negative reviews are based on a grudge, they are misguided, unfocused and dishonest, and typically, when someone is tossing out non-facts in a review to slam a work, then it could in some way qualify as hating. You'll notice a common theme here. It appears that a grown-ass black women cannot harness her sexuality in popular culture. "Sex" itself as subject is not immature. Most of the reviews for whatever reason try to blur the line between the pop beats and the perceived over-sexuality of the content and paint that as Janet trying to keep up with her younger counterparts. It makes no sense. Black women do not stop being sexy or sexual when they hit 40 and quite honestly it pisses me off that the way Janet is regarded points to this conceit.


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