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Janet Jackson - Damita Jo


Review: Jack Foley

THE Jackson family just can't seem to stay out of controversy at the moment.

Michael's current court woes aside, Janet is making a fair stab at doing things sensationally, as exemplified by her revealing turn at the Superbowl, in which her nipple was 'accidentally' exposed by Justin Timberlake.

Anyone who listens to her latest long-player, Damita Jo, might think the incident was less of an accident, and more of a stunt, for this soulful diva is clearly in touch with her sexual feelings at the moment.

The album is a frank, sexy, ever so explicit love serenade, featuring Janet at her raunchiest (heck, she even appears on the album's cover semi-naked, so there's no getting away from the nipples at the moment).

Tracks such as Sexhibition, All Nite (Don't Stop), Warmth and Moist are all about sex, and nothing less, with some seriously sexy vocals to back up the smooth beats.

Jackson sounds like a tease, throughout, a lyrical nymphomaniac, whose breathy vocals aren't above wanking you off in a car, or recounting the memory of a particularly kinky episode.

Make no mistake, this is R&B for the late-night crowd, packed with lyrics that are designed to make your mother blush.

There are the inevitable ballads, which lend the album a cumbersome feel at times, but there is so much to admire here, that it's difficult not to get excited at other points (and we're not talking sexually!).

Tracks one to four, for example, are brimming with polished energy, packed with snappy rhythmns and a playful, flirty disposition that can't fail to put a smile on your face.

My Baby features Jackson at her most girlish, whispering sweet 'baby, babys' through the chorus, as Kanye West chips in with a neat little rap, while the funky Like You Don't Love Me is a frustrated number, in which the R&B temptress urges her man to deliver some rough sex.

Yet, no matter what the track, the lyrics are rife with sexual references, from the 'just keep me coming baby', on the sickly sweet Spending Time With You (an example of the album at its blandest), to the X-rated Warmth, in which she urges her lover to pull over, and sings of 'my hands, wrapped around, stroking... nothing can compare to the warmth of my mouth'.

Sexhibition, too, just can't stop with the references, referring to sexplanations, sexploitation and sexation.

Still, if being raunchy helps Jackson to sound this good, then to coin a phrase, 'keep it coming baby'.

Track listing:
1. Looking For Love
2. Damita Jo
3. Sexhibition
4. Strawberry Bounce
5. My Baby (featuring Kanye West)
6. The Islands
7. Spending Time With You
8. Magic Hour
9. Island Life
10. All Nite (Don't Stop)
11. R&B Junkie
12. I Want You
13. Like You Don't Love Me
14. Thinkin' Bout My Ex
15. Warmth
16. Moist
17. It All Comes Down To Love
18. Truly
19. The One
20. SloLove
21. Country
22. Just A Little While

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