This is Janet Jackson’s first album on Island, the first since the Control era made without long-time producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and her most modern and club-friendly in a long time. The label’s trying to borrow a bit from the Rihanna playbook by pairing her up with the teams behind her last two big hits for a couple of tracks in a similar vein. But the real star is probably Rodney “Darkchild” Jenkins, who’s behind leadoff single Feedback as well as several others with single potential.
A few lines from a couple songs and some suggestive presentation guarantees that a significant amount of the reaction to Discipline, Janet's tenth studio album, will feast upon the singer's lack of judiciousness when it comes to expressing her sexuality. Leave the teasing and explicitness to the teens and younger twenty-somethings -- not the grown women -- right? Janet should get back to making sunny, uncomplicated songs like "Escapade" and pretend that the occasional-to-frequent salaciousness extending back to Control never existed. She should do that and, while she is at it, act her age.
Even though The Incident occurred some years ago, Janet Jackson is still picking up the pieces from the nipple slip seen around the world. After two albums that floundered both commercially and artistically, Jackson has switched labels and dumped her old collaborators. Out goes Virgin and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis; in comes Island/Def Jam and new producers including Rodney Jerkins and Ne-Yo.
Two years ago, we hoped that Janet Jackson’s producer/boyfriend, Jermaine Dupri, would help her pull off the post-Nipplegate comeback she desperately needed with the release of her ninth CD, 20 Y.O. After all, Dupri not only produced three of the biggest hits on 2005’s The Emancipation of Mimi — the miracle that resuscitated Mariah Carey’s all-but-dead career — he was also an executive at Jackson’s then label, Virgin. But lukewarm reviews greeted 20 Y.O., and sales quickly petered out.