Song of the Moment

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Janet Jackson - The Velvet Rope

My second Hump Day post is another Suggestion from the Box. This time it's follower Ashley and her request for me to listen to this album - and most specifically Janet featuring Q Tip and 'Got Til It's Gone'. I'm 99% positive that I've heard this song in the past, but like I've stated before, I'm not exactly Janet's number one fan. I've always respected her music - mainly because she's so iconic, but it's just not something I personally groove to. But hey, anyone who can step out of the shadows of the King of Pop and make a huge splash in the industry - big props. In the grand scheme of Janet, this is her 6th studio album and it came out in 1997. The album is a modest 3x platinum for Janet. Just a note from listening to it a couple times - it's very up and down. There are songs - some of the beat-y and uptempo, then it's just some slow spoken word type things (rap music would call them "skits"). Janet calls them 'Interludes'. It's very odd. And I haven't heard the sound of connecting to the internet via dialup in years. If you wanted to hear it again, check out track 12. I had high speed internet in 1998, come on Janet. Get with the times. As a whole, I can see why the sales of this record dipped for her by comparison to earlier records. It doesn't really have that classic Janet dance jam. And the mood type tracks - frankly, aren't any good. They're not memorable and it's just vocal. Usually I'm more than okay with that, but Janet's voice isn't exactly angelic. In terms of just the song that Ashley asked about - it's a bit of a saving grace. There are literally three tracks on this album I might listen to, that being one. Q-Tip does a nice job on it, and it's a good twist on a classic track. Like the beat over the vocal, and it's a track you could hear on the radio today and it would sound current. That's always a plus. Anyways, I'd skip this. But you know my stance on the Jacksons.

1. Interlude: Twisted Elegance
2. Velvet Rope
3. You
4. Got 'Til It's Gone
5. Interlude: Speaker Phone
6. My Need
7. Interlude: Fasten Your Seatbelts
8. Go Deep
9. Free Xone
10. Interlude: Memory
11. Together Again
12. Interlude: Online
13. Empty
14. Interlude: Full
15. What About
16. Every Time
17. Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)
18. I Get Lonely
19. Rope Burn
20. Anything
21. Interlude: Sad
22. Special

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Got Til It's Gone
2. What About
3. Every Time

2.25 out of 5 stars


  1. I 100% respect your viewpoints on this review but I just gotta disagree with you on this one and not just because I like Janet's work.

    This album from what I know wasn't necessarily meant to consist solely of dance tracks. I think it's more of a self reflective type deal. I feel it more-so talks about things that, at times, we internalize rather than honestly communicate to those we trust. Come on B, the interlude "Twisted Elegance" shouts that practically to a tee. I'm not one to full pay attention to record sales cause I don't think that alone can fully reflect reception. But since were on that subject, I believe that 85%-90% of the time, the sole reason for an albums success in terms of sales lye on that good single or two that gets airplay, recognition and talked up, then the rest isn't fully up to par. At times those albums that truly discuss reality don't get digested by more folks than they do.

    As far as the dance sound we've come to know with her, I think the track "Go Deep" is slammin. It may not have a definitive choreography but I think it's more of a solo thing anyway. I think the songs "Velvet Rope", "You", "Got 'Til It's Gone", "I Get Lonely" and the hidden track "Can't Be Stopped" are all like that.

    "What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" (lol) your stance on the Jackson's.

    Whewwwwww, what a rant......

  2. Well sure. I totally understand where you're coming from. If you love an artist, you love an artist. Janet simply doesn't do anything that I really go nuts over.

    And I normally like when artists break from their norm and do something different. This just didn't have anything that stuck in my head. You know? Like Kanye doing his latest - or Radiohead jumping into electronic. Those were more memorable off the top of my head.

    I respect Janet, you just wouldn't catch me listening to her.

  3. Thanks for the post. It's good to have music you're passionate about! Clearly Janet is one for you!

  4. now, you may have had hi-speed in 1998 mr. g-dale, but a lot of people still did NOT, including me! i would venture a guess that at that time, more people still had AOL dial up than had hi-speed cable or DSL, so the dial up noise (awful as it still is) would have been with the times.

    and i totally agree with ihadsomelagears.

    this album isn't my favorite janet album either, but it's still good, and i like it more than any of her more recent stuff. my top three would be 'got til it's gone' then 'together again' then 'go deep.' the video for 'together again' is probably in my all time top 3 janet videos. and janet has a lot of 'interludes' on her albums, so the don't bother me. i'm used to them.

    now, you should review the original joni mitchell album that janet sampled in 'got til it's gone.'

  5. I agree with you as well Janis!

    I can remember being in the living-room with my cousin when he first got his WebTv box or whatever it was. I remember vividly hearing that dial up noise, though WebTv may have been slightly different, not 100% on that.

  6. There is no question dial up was still the big hitter in 1998. But I had high speed, so I'm guessing Janet Jackson did too.

    I don't take issue with your adjusted Top 3. I wasn't overly crazy about my other two, they just stuck out most.

    Put that in the Suggestion Box!

    Wow...WebTV. That takes me back...