The “trendy” thing for artists to do is to “sneak drop” a new album, or release fully-completed projects with little to no warning or promotion. While she certainly wasn’t the first to do it, Beyoncé’s self-titled album in 2013 set the benchmark for rappers, singers, producers, your momma and your cousin too to spring their music up on us like jack-in-the-box. The thing is, since everybody seemingly does it now it’s not exactly exciting when it happens at this point.
However, I have been very excited for the return of one Janet Jackson. Musically absent since the tragic death of her brother in 2009, Janet returned to our ears in a surprising manner: by telling us that she was doing so. Not only that, she released a medley of singles – the J. Cole-guested “No Sleeep,” the uptempo “Burnitup!,” the lusty “S.E.X.L.I.N.E.S,” and the album’s title track – which have all been, in short, amazing.
She has finally released her eleventh studio album, Unbreakable, today (October 2nd). At 19 tracks, Janet eschews the kaleisdoscope of producers found in her last album, 2008’s Discipline, and instead reunites with her longtime producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to craft the sonic landscape of Unbreakable. Limited to just two guest features, J. Cole and Missy Elliott, the album is almost throwback-like in its pure R&B grooves (she even interpolates her own 1997 single “I Get Lonely” on “Dammn Baby”) but with a more modern feel. Stream Unbreakable below, and cop a copy on iTunes.