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Janet Jackson - “Unbreakable” (Single Premiere)

Janet Jackson - “Unbreakable” (Single Premiere)

on Sep 03 in Janet JacksonR&B

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OK… I needed to listen to this a second time cuz I spent most of the first spin feeling salty cuz Jan decided that now wasn’t the time to drop the studio of version of “Burnitup!”, the Missy featured potential banger she debuted the other night during her Unbreakable Tour kick-off.  Now that I’m officially not in my feelings, I can really get into this lil’ nugget and appreciate it for what it is rather than what it isn’t.

The intro to “Unbreakable” had me a wee bit confused at first (though I love that vinyl album shoutout “Side 1” business) cuz it’s reminiscent of the Velvet Rope slow jam cut “Anything”, so I thought I’d perhaps been suckered by some click hungry YouTube troll who intentionally mislabeled the upload.  However, that vocal kicked in and reassured me that this was indeed new ish from Miss Jackson If You’re Nasty.

Let’s get into that vocal for a moment—- “I’ve been listening…” is a popular refrain that Jan has adopted on social media for this project and she apparently ain’t lying cuz momma shutup all those who said she whispers too much on records with a clear as bell almost acapella intro this time around.  She spends the rest of the track making the most of her modest voice—- complete with those Jam & Lewis trademark stacked vocals—- and singing with a confidence I haven’t heard from La Doublé J in a looong time.  Lyrically, “Unbreakable” is a love letter to those who ride or die for Janet (family, friends, fans) as she asserts that her love is “everlasting” and something that will “endure”.

Jimmy Jam places those oh so Jacksonian vocals atop of a laid back mid-tempo groove that should resonate with R&B and Hip Hop heads alike; in fact, “Unbreakable” sounds like the older sonic cousin of the Kanye-produced “I Want You” from 2004’s Damita Jo album.  The real surprise, though, comes at the very end of the song—- A fake fade out dissolves into a buttery smooth beat where Janet addresses us directly and states that there is much to talk about and basically serves us one of her beloved interludes (take that, anti-interlude critics) without flat out calling it that.  Oh, and those “I found a friend"s sprinkled throughout those final moments?  They kinda rocked my soul a lil’ bit.

With two tracks released in full (“No Sleeep”, “Unbreakable”), a snippet of another (“The Great Forever”) and that Missy joint that kinda bumps despite the muddled audio tour clips online, it’s sounding like this new Janet album will probably be her best in years.  A couple of next level videos and some choreo that checks these other girls out here trying to be her and I’ll be happy.  I constantly say that if these legends are gonna come back, they need to do it right and it sounds like Janet, like Stella, finally got her groove back.

 

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