Janet Jackson conceived her new album, "20 Y.O.," as a celebration of the joyful liberation and history-making musical style of her 1986 breakthrough album, "Control."
Janet Jackson conceived her new album, "20 Y.O.," as a celebration of the joyful liberation and history-making musical style of her 1986 breakthrough album, "Control." That musical declaration of independence launched a string of hits, an indelible production sound and an enduring image cemented by groundbreaking video choreography and imagery that pop vocalists still emulate.
For the new album, Jackson reunited with producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and was joined by her boyfriend, Jermaine Dupri, to craft a musical reflection of who she is today and how the artistic promise of "Control" has been fulfilled some two decades later.
"This album takes me to a place where I haven't been in a while: R&B and dance," Jackson tells Billboard. "I give that credit to Jermaine. I like to say he brought the country to the album, while he says he brought the ghetto [laughs].
"But the dance element was the one thing I was adamant about having," she continues. "The album also features samples from music that inspired me 20, 25 years ago. There are also some midtempo songs and some of what everyone calls my 'baby-making songs.' Basically, the album is everything that's always been a part of me, but with freshness to it."
In addition to lead single "Call on Me" featuring Nelly, the album also features "Show Me," which Jam calls a "happy record," "With You," which Dupri calls a bona fide smash, "So Excited," a sexy fantasy called "My Body" and "Get It Out Me."
"It was really a collaborative effort, and that's what made it so nice," Jackson says. "Jermaine would run into the studio and talk about the songs Jimmy and Terry had done on someone's album. Then Jimmy would start playing the song, and Jermaine would say, 'You know what? Let's do something kind of along those lines as a base.' He understood them, he understood me and vice versa."