Showing posts with label janet jackson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label janet jackson. Show all posts

Monday, September 3, 2018

the top ten best hit songs of 1993

So I'll freely admit of the Patreon-requested years for which I cover the year-end Hot 100, we haven't really encountered a 'bad' year for the charts, the sort of years that even with the benefit of hindsight and nostalgia cause us to wince in the face of the memories. The closest that I've covered in this territory throughout the five years I've been on YouTube have been 2016 and maybe either 2010 or 2014, and even then, both of the latter have strong enough redeeming moments to knock them into quality.

1993 is not one of those years - perhaps not the worst the Hot 100 has had to offer, but definitely the sort of transitional early 90s year where the best stuff wasn't charting, most of the good stuff was starting to get overexposed, music legends were falling apart in slow motion, and the rest was a wasteland of formless mush. Thank god R&B and new jack swing were mostly holding up and that g-funk was cutting a swathe across hip-hop, because rock had lapsed into parody, the pop-rap of the early 90s was trying and failing to keep up, and punk and country were nowhere to be seen, despite the advent of riot grrl and the neotraditional country revival in full swing. Even grunge, widely hailed as the breakthrough sound by music critics of the early 90s, had little to no traction in 1993 - and before hip-hop can raise a triumphant flag here, there was no way in hell that the best of that genre was getting to pop radio in the face of an avalanche of easy listening pablum left over from the 80s and artists who should really know better! No In Utero, no 36 Chambers or Ain't No Other or Buhloone Mindstate, but hey, you got Kenny G!

Now what that means is that the best of 1993... look, it's all over the place, especially as some of the chart oddities have aged better than what was big at the time, and while there are a few classic cuts from this era, in comparison to stronger years this particular top ten is substantially shakier - and as always, the songs have to have debuted on the year-end Hot 100 in 1993... which actually didn't result in any cuts from this list, and thank god for that, as it's pretty thin. But hey, let's start off with...

Thursday, October 15, 2015

video review: 'unbreakable' by janet jackson happy now?

I kid, really, I actually enjoyed this way more than I was otherwise expecting. But it's not the only review dropping tonight, so stay tuned!

album review: 'unbreakable' by janet jackson

Well... okay, sure, why not?

You know, I'm surprised there was so much demand for me to cover Janet Jackson. I guess I shouldn't be, considering that for a good decade from the mid-80s to the mid-90s, the queen of R&B was cranking out albums that could easily be held up as high points in the genre - and keep in mind her brother Michael was just as active in this period. From the autobiographical Control that saw her seize control of her career to the more political and surprisingly relevant Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 in 1989 to the more experimental and sexual Janet in 1993, there was a period where Janet Jackson could do no wrong in her blend of incredibly tight pop and R&B. And the amazing thing is that these albums hold up - yeah, there are some synth tones and drum effects that sound dated, but not nearly as many as I was expecting.

But then R&B faded away from prominence in the late 90s and by the time it came back in the 2000s, Janet Jackson was still charting hits, but the critical acclaim wasn't coming the way it used to... mostly because the albums were of middling quality at best. The records were getting raunchier and that does work for a certain thrill, but at some point it just started feeling overdone and repetitive. It didn't help her career took a body blow thanks to that Super Bowl performance - of which the reaction was way blown out of proportion and says way more about puritanical American culture than anything else - and her albums throughout the latter half of the 2000s seemed all the more desperate to retake the spotlight. But by then R&B was fading out in favour of pop again and in 2009, the brother who had always hung over Janet's career in the eyes of the public died tragically, so Janet took a break from recording new music. Instead, she did some work for film, stage, and philanthropy, got a divorce and remarried, and only returned with a new album released on her own label this year.

And to some extent I had no idea what to expect. For as influential as Janet has been throughout the course of her career, modern R&B is a very different place than it was in the 80s or 90s or even 2000s, and I was concerned how her breathy vocals had managed to last under the wear of over thirty years in the industry. But when I heard 'No Sleeep', the lead-off single for this album, I had every reason to believe there'd be quality here - and frankly, it's only been my insane schedule that's prevented me from covering this sooner. So how is Unbreakable?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - august 15, 2015 (VIDEO)

Yeah, I was away for a bit. Long weekend, got a haircut, shit happens.

Next up, B. Dolan, then it'll depend which leaks first. Stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - august 15, 2015

So I think last week was a bit of an anomaly when it comes to the summer slowdown - a glut of new tracks and very minimal changes within the chart itself. This week made more sense - a whole slew of shuffling and not many new arrivals, which reflects the pretty sparse release schedule right now, especially when it comes to mainstream album.

Friday, July 3, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 11, 2015

And that happened. Whew, glad that episode is over with.

Next up, I finally talk about Vince Staples. From there, Czarface, Between The Buried And Me, I've got my work cut out for me. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 11, 2015 remember when I said last week I had a sense of foreboding that something bad was coming, that I couldn't quite feel it and it hadn't quite happened yet, but it was on its way? Yeah, I'm starting to wish these bad feelings didn't come up so much, because sure enough...