Janet Jackson – The Velvet Rope (Ltd Edn Deep Red Vinyl 2LP)
First-Ever U.S. Vinyl Release
The Velvet Rope (1997) was Janet Jackson’s true coming of age masterpiece. Trip hop, electronica and rap were added to the Janet palette here as she sought to push out even further towards tackling sexual issues. Facing up to her own journey towards overcoming personal problems and the pressure of her profile The Velvet Rope succeeds on every level, from visceral to cerebral. The album includes her biggest hit, “Together Again,” “I Get Lonely,” the dance sensation “Go Deep” and the hip hop smash “Got ’til It’s Gone,” but the overall impression is not really about point scoring, rather an integrated piece of work that stands up to rediscovery today. This time utilizing collaborations/samples with Vanessa-Mae, Joni Mitchell and Q-Tip, Janet also branched out in terms of assists – you’ll find Mike Oldfield, Trevor Horn, Ashford and Simpson, Rod Stewart and Archie Bell among the credits.