20 Y.O.

20 Y.O.

4.5 12
by Janet Jackson
     
 

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Janet Jackson sets the mood for 20 Y.O. with a spoken intro: "I've covered a lot in my 20 years and I've uncovered a lot in my 20 years / I want to keep it light / I don't want to be serious / I want to have fun." True to her words, it's a lighthearted, old-school electro-funk-leaning disc that celebrates Jackson's reign as a pop queen since 1986'sSee more details below

Overview

Janet Jackson sets the mood for 20 Y.O. with a spoken intro: "I've covered a lot in my 20 years and I've uncovered a lot in my 20 years / I want to keep it light / I don't want to be serious / I want to have fun." True to her words, it's a lighthearted, old-school electro-funk-leaning disc that celebrates Jackson's reign as a pop queen since 1986's Control confirmed that Michael's baby sis was all grown up. After her embarrassingly overblown "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl, Jackson's star wattage dimmed, as she was eclipsed by ascending stars Beyoncé and comeback kid Mariah Carey. The media-savvy Janet reclaimed the spotlight in advance of 20 Y.O.'s release by baring her newly slimmed and toned body in a racy spread for Maxim. Yet the lingering question remains: Does the album stand on its own merit? Well, yes and no. On the downside, Jackson won't wow too many fans with the nursery rhyme-like single "Call on Me," featuring Nelly, or the Prince-inspired "Love 2 Love," another breathy sex song. And oddly enough, on many songs Jackson sounds like she's struggling with a head cold -- or perhaps her deepening vocals reflect her true age of 40. Dig a little deeper, however, to uncover some genuine gems, including "This Body," a simmering, rock-and-crunk-tinged jam, and "So Excited," a percolating club jam worked around a sample of Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" and featuring naughty female rapper Khia ("My Neck, My Back"). Perhaps the disc's most celebratory track is the Jackson 5-reminiscent "Enjoy," a sun-kissed groove accented by children singing that finds Janet in fine spirits and vocals. Although 20 Y.O. may not be a career-defining album, it's a testament to Miss Jackson's staying power. She sounds more self-assured than on 2004's overproduced Damita Jo and back in control of her creativity.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Janet is 40 years old, but she has said that she feels half her age, and her breakthrough as a pop phenomenon occurred in 1986 -- hence the title of her ninth album. 20 Y.O. is her safest and tamest work since 1984's Dream Street, not only because she couldn't have possibly taken her sexed-up confessional routine beyond the tidbits and techniques divulged throughout 2004's Damita Jo. With only a few exceptions, 20 Y.O. provides further refinements of the fun, flirtatious, midtempo songs of her past several albums. This is not a problem. Even when there are clear instances where Janet, along with principal collaborators Jermaine Dupri, Johnta Austin, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis, are taking an extended ride on the electro-nostalgia bandwagon -- "So Excited" samples Herbie Hancock's "Rockit," patches of "Get It Out Me" resemble Afrika Bambaataa's "Looking for the Perfect Beat," "Show Me" might not have happened without the existence of Ciara's "Goodies" -- they are too fresh and infectious to be considered knock-offs. There are crafty analogues and references to various points in Jackson's past: "This Body"'s rock edge recalls "Black Cat" (though it's more of a strutter than a headbanger), "Daybreak" sparkles and glides like "Runaway" and "Escapade," and "Take Care" is a classic Janet ballad in the vein of "Come Back to Me." The parallels are natural enough that they don't seem all that premeditated. Almost as significantly, the album is roughly 20 minutes shorter than usual, with only a handful of interludes, so there's little meandering, in turn making it easier to become familiar with the curves. What really differentiates the album from its predecessors is that there's almost no trace of tension to be heard. It's all about fooling around and being in love. Janet's gang of assistants is on top of its game, and Janet herself has remembered that she doesn't have to be willfully explicit or eclectic to make a sexy and wholly enjoyable album.
Newsday
On "20 Y.O." she skips all that drama of breaking free and asserting herself. She also keeps most of the tie-me-up, tie-me-down sexual raunch of her recent albums in the closet. This album is all about dancing and returning to her R&B roots. No envelope-pushing, no genre-busting. Just irresistible grooves, catchy hooks and lots of Janet. Glen Gamboa

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2006
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
0094633041622
catalogNumber:
30416

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Janet Jackson   Primary Artist,Vocals
Bobby Ross Avila   Bass,Drums,Bass Guitar,Keyboards
Larry Corbett   Cello
Paul Jackson   Guitar
Jimmy Jam   Keyboards,Track Performer
Terry Lewis   Various,Track Performer
Josefina Vergara   Violin
Robert Peterson   Violin
Sara Parkins   Violin
Yang-Qin Zhao   Cello
Liliana Filipovic   Violin
Gerardo Hilera   Violin
Cheryl Kohfeld   Viola
Steve Richards   Cello
Rudolph Stein   Cello
Michele Richards   Violin
Issiah "IZ" Avila   Percussion,Drums

Technical Credits

Janet Jackson   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Brenda Russell   Composer
Bobby Ross Avila   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Jermaine Dupri   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer,Audio Production
Jimmy Jam   Producer,Executive Producer,drum programming
Terry Lewis   Composer,Producer
James Phillips   Composer
Manuel Seal   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Suzie Katayama   String Arrangements
James Harris   Composer
No I.D.   Producer
Danny Zook   Sample Clearance
Johnny Wright   Executive Producer,Management
John Horesco   Engineer
Johnta Austin   Composer
Matt Marrin   Engineer,Audio Production
Terrance "T-Love" Harris   Personal Assistant
Khia Chambers   Composer
Issiah "IZ" Avila   Producer
Kenneth Crear   Management
Benjamin Ward   Art Direction,Packaging
Jam & Lewis   Audio Production
Ian Cross   Engineer

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