Sleek, slinky jams from Janet Jackson and James Reid | Inquirer Entertainment

Sleek, slinky jams from Janet Jackson and James Reid

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 04:17 AM June 27, 2015

At long last, Janet Jackson’s seven-year hiatus is over—and, to borrow a line from “Let’s Wait Awhile,” she’s worth the wait!

It’s been awhile since Janet figured in that “wardrobe-malfunction” incident that the Guiness Book of World Records used to call “the most searched item in Internet history.” For some time, the controversy surrounding it inadvertently overshadowed the songstress’ hit-churning discography.

These days, the grapevine is busy speculating about the raging family feud over her brother Michael’s estate—and, more auspiciously, Janet’s long-awaited 11th studio album, reportedly called “Unbreakable.”


Early this week, with the release of its slinky lead single, “No Sleep,” the music icon returns with one of the catchiest R&B songs of the season: It’s a trend-defying makeout track that evokes a frisson of excitement and sexual tension as Jackson sings about rain and romantic rendezvous. She’s now 49 years old, but her voice sounds fuller and more stable.


Unlike Madonna and Mariah Carey, Janet has chosen to do what she does best. She refuses to pander to frivolous, fan-hooking musical fads by hewing close to the alluring and groove-heavy slow jams of “That’s The Way Love Goes,” “Spending Time With My Baby,” “Special” and “Twenty Foreplay.”

‘Reid Alert’

James Reid requires no hype, as far as his singing ability is concerned. His latest album, “Reid Alert,” benefits from his smooth, R&B-inspired vocal bends and curls. Aside from Thyro Alfaro and Yumi Lacsamana’s playful dance tune, “Huwag Ka Nang Humirit,” his six-track repertoire gets its boost from the popping riffs and soaring melodic progression of “Babalik,” the groovesome hooks of “Randomantic,” and the easy-on-the-ear harmonies of “Hanap-hanap,” sung with James’ perennial screen partner, Nadine Lustre.

James Taylor

Like Janet, James Taylor’s last record (“Covers”) was released in 2008—it’s been 13 years since he last waxed an album of originals via “October Road.”

Recorded in a barn, “Before This World,” which debuts at No. 1 (his first) on the Billboard 200 this week, recalls the warm sincerity and timelessness of “Fire and Rain,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and “Everyday,” but it also evokes a homey, folk-and-country patter (“Today, Today, Today,” “Wild Mountain Thyme”) that makes his music instantly accessible.


In “Stretch of the Highway” and “Watchin’ Over Me,” the 67-year-old performer sings about life’s unexpected adventures, the lessons we learn from them, and the uncertainties we face as we chase after the evasive “perfect ending” we imagine for ourselves!

The stunning love song, “You and I Again,” smolders with heart-warming nostalgia, while “Far Afghanistan” questions the presence of God in the lives of men who wage war against each other!

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TAGS: “Unbreakable”, James Reid, James Taylor, Janet Jackson, Music

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