WINDY CITY TIMES
by Gregg Shapiro
This article shared 1895 times since Wed May 23, 2001
On All For You ( Virgin ) , her first full-length studio album in four years, Janet Jackson continues her exploration of sexual subject matter, celebrates another of her female singer/songwriter precursors, and makes her own kind of dance music. She does it all sounding happier and more focused than she has in years. Working once again with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Ms. Jackson wants us to follow in her fleet footsteps on dance-oriented numbers such as the exhilarating title track ( with the fabulous Change sample ) and "Come On Get Up." Now that her hands are free of the velvet rope that bound them, Jackson delves into seductive sounds such as the graphic "Would You Mind," "Love Scene ( Ooh Baby ) ," and "Feels So Right," that succeed in titillating the listener. Like she did with Joni Mitchell on the track "Got 'Til It's Gone" ( from The Velvet Rope ) , Jackson gives Carly Simon the royal treatment on the blistering track "Son Of A Gun ( I Betcha Think This Song Is About You ) ," on which Simon raps, and her song "You're So Vain" is sampled. The rest of the tune is pure Janet&-;fierce, in your face, and fine. A considerably more empowered Janet Jackson emerges on this disc, as you can hear on the tracks "Truth" and "Trust A Try." I was also grateful that she included "Doesn't Really Matter" on the album ( now you can throw away the otherwise lame Nutty Professor II soundtrack ) .
If you're one of those people who would be embarrassed to tell anyone that you watched the WB TV series Popstars, then you'll probably have to order your copy of Popstars ( London- Sire/143 ) , Eden's Crush's debut disc on-line. You probably wouldn't want to be seen in the check-out line at Target with a copy of their album in your shopping cart. So, did we really need another girl group? Destiny's Child's new album should be on the charts by the time you read this review. The debut disc by Sunday, Whitney Houston's pet project, seems to be on hold. Sean Combs's girl group Dream sounds like anything but. This pre-fab five is less faceless than most of these types of faux-r&b groups because we had the opportunity to become acquainted with them during the course of the show. Too bad they're such unlikeable young women. As for the music, nothing except the single "Get Over Yourself" stands out as memorable, and I'm afraid that the only reason I remember that song is because it served as the theme song to the show that I, much to my shame and regret, watched on a weekly basis.
With the exhilarating "Overload," one of the most promising opening tracks I've ever heard on a 21st century girl group's disc, the Sugababes get things off to a brilliant start on One Touch ( London ) . With a beat that reaches into your chest and competes with your heart and vocals that are both spicy and sinister, it's a "one way ticket to a madman's situation."
"One Foot In" keeps things in step, but by the time you get to "Same Old Story," "Just Let It Go," and "Look At Me," it sounds as if Eden's Crush has crashed the party. Sugababes sweeten the deal with "Soul Sound" which sounds like a timeless pop song. "Lush Life" ( not to be confused with the Billy Strayhorn song of the same name ) and the snappy "Promises" should also satisfy your sweet tooth.
This article shared 1895 times since Wed May 23, 2001
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