Album Review: Unbreakable – Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson, the younger sister of the Jackson 5, has been a prominent figure in pop culture for years. Trying to make her own legacy, one that had nothing to do with the rest of her famous family, proved to be hard enough. But Janet did the near-impossible: she made a name for herself and became more known for her music than her siblings. Most of Janet Jackson’s music is pop-based, and her most recent release, Unbreakable, is no different.

The album cover
The album cover

The first and title track, Unbreakable, begins with a robotic, female voice stating, “Side one.” in a monotone, a reference to old records and cassette tapes. This refreshing track combines the old-fashioned feel of classic pop with the more modern beats and vocal techniques. Although Janet Jackson is forty-nine years old, she has the talent and capabilities of someone much younger, and represents many adults in the industry, rather than the twenty-somethings that are commonly dominating the charts. The second track, BURNITUP!, features Missy Elliott, and is a much more modern style. Jackson’s vocals in this song closely represent those displayed by her late brother, and pop culture icon, Michael Jackson. The next track, Dammn Baby, sounds more like a modern hip-hop/pop song than one sung by a forty-nine year old. Janet Jackson blows everyone else out of the water with not only her talent, but her stunning take on music. The Great Forever, the fourth track, is another song seemingly inspired by Michael Jackson’s style of music and inflection. With a more disco vibe than the rest, it’s catchy and classic. The seventh track is called Broken Hearts Heal, and is very clearly a tribute to Michael. Proclaiming, “It was in summer that you left me,” (Michael Jackson passed away in June), and, “Inshaallah, see you in the next life,” Broken Hearts Heal is sure to fill anyone and everyone with nostalgia for the Jackson 5. Inshaallah is an Arabic phrase that translates out to “God willing”, so Janet is talking about how although she misses her brother, she hopes to see him in the next life. Promise, the thirteenth track, is a one minute long, piano snippet that goes straight into Lessons Learned. No Sleeep, the last track, was the first song released off the album, and features softer vocals, prominent synth, and pretty harmonies.

Janet and Michael Jackson, respectively
Janet and Michael Jackson, respectively

Although Janet Jackson is known for being Michael Jackson’s younger sister, and is no doubt proud of her family and heritage, the singer has become a timeless icon for females in the music industry – and we hope for many more years to come.

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