Twisted Elegance: A look at Discipline

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 11:37 AM

Title: Discipline
Artist: Janet Jackson
Release Date: 2.26.08

It's classic me, with a modern twist... -Janet

A new deal, a new label, and a team of new producers were the ingredients Janet Jackson put together to formulate her newest concoction: Discipline. After nearly 2 decades as one of the top hit makers on Virgin Records, Miss Jackson signed a new deal in August 2007 with Island Def Jam, following longtime beau Jermaine Dupri in a similar move. There she aligned herself with producers Rodney Jerkins, Ne-yo, The Dream, Tricky Stewart and Dupri for what appears to be one of her best albums in years.

Although Discipline comes with a more modern sound, it’s a classic Janet formula: heavy bass-thumping dance tracks, smooth ballads, mellow mids, and a signature baby-maker or two for good measure. It’s laced with playful and futuristic interludes that narrate the albums concepts. The album opens with the smash urban single ‘Feedback’, produced by Jerkins and follows into ‘Luv’ a metaphoric car wreck resulting in an open heart. If you’re ready to dance, skip ahead to the house-infused ‘Rock With U’, produced by Jermaine Dupri and it’s following number ‘2Nite’. The latter features 80’s synth beats and a funky groove. The ballads on this album are a clear departure from Janet’s cooing and whispering which plagued some of her previous albums and feature many layered vocal harmonies.

If there was ever a song to raise an eyebrow, it’s definitely “Greatest Ex Ever”. And yeah, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a memory ridden walk down the aisles of time to the best lost one of all. The album’s most sensual cut is the Ne-yo produced title track that, as only Janet can, transports you to the most enticing S&M fest your ears can handle without auditory overload: Blindfold me daddy, it’s better when I don’t know what to expect… I need some discipline tonight (Daddy make me cry…). ‘Can’t Be Good’ was also produced by Ne-yo and has a mid-tempo feel as does the album’s closer ‘Curtains’, a nod to the dozens of fans that have had the opportunity to be a part of Janet’s live performances around the globe. This track delves into fantasies beyond the close of the curtains for a more intimate show. The only guest appearance is by Missy Elliott on the hip-hop/dance track ‘The One’, where Janet’s harmonies sit atop an infectious beat, served up with a side of Missy’s raps. We can only hope for an equally impressive video from this creative duo (Son of a Gun anyone?).

Overall, Discipline is a great opportunity for Janet to once again dominate the airwaves. For longtime fans, there’s not much new content lyrically, but there’s definitely a new sound and bigger, better vocals. New fans will find themselves buying her ‘classics’ without a doubt and anticipating her next step. She’s designed over two decades since she first took control and, with that kind of discipline, one thing is clear: Janet Jackson isn’t going anywhere.


1 Comment

  1. ricey Said,

    AAawwww I know im way late but this review was so good :) It makes me want to listen to it again LOL

    Posted on November 17, 2008 at 1:56 AM


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