In the twenty-two years since Janet Jackson famously asked what we had done for her lately, Michael's little sister has compiled an impressive list of infectious, impeccably crafted (if ultimately empty) pop-funk hits that kept dance floors as full as her coffers.
On her new 23-track CD, Discipline, Janet has once again combined thumping bass, come-hither multi-tracked coos, and edgy synths into a magical mix that sets my toes tapping and makes my hips want to move in filthy ways.
Alas, when I say "once again," I mean literally once again.
It boggles the mind that after three years and God knows how many millions of dollars spent on trendy producers, Miss. Jackson ('cuz I'm nasty) has turned out a CD with only one great track, Feedback
The rest of the collection ranges from merely disposable and bland to completely wretched. (Sweetie, the ballad is NOT your friend. When will you ever learn?)
I have to say I feel a little sad for Janet tonight.
It's not that I ever thought she was some great genius or even a moderately talented singer. She certainly hasn't shown the uncanny knack to capture and reshape the hottest musical trends of the moment the way a certain M. Ciccone has done throughout her far more illustrious career.
But at her best, Janet was smokin' hot and a whole lot of fun.
These days, everything about her career smacks of effort and desperation.
It's just such a waste. She still looks amazing at age 42 (much as I will 363 days from today), and she hasn't lost any of her lithe Jackson moves. Okay, she married a hideous little troll, but I could overlook that if she put out just one more CD that is half as good as Rhythm Nation: 1814.
Instead, for nearly a decade she has abused us with embarrassing, caricatured depictions of her own sexuality and bored us with tepid grooves unworthy of someone with her surname.
I had thought that Discipline just might be Janet's long overdue return to form. Maybe she could do it again.
I guess I should have just spent $.99 on iTunes for the Feedback single instead of wasting $12 for the whole worthless disc.
That's just your WG, ever the optimist. Hey, maybe she'll get it right next time around.
When she's 45.
And we're all driving flying cars like the Jetsons.