Results for Janet Jackson

interviews

Herb Alpert

Whipped Cream & Other Delights Jim and Greg are delighted to be joined this week by legendary trumpeter Herb Alpert. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass scored a string of instrumental hits in the '60s, from "The Lonely Bull" to "Casino Royale" to "A Taste of Honey." His 1965 album Whipped Cream & Other Delights became a staple of record collections all over, which was helped by its iconic, risqué cover. He even scored a surprise #1 hit as a vocalist with the Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition "This Guy's In Love With You." But Alpert's remarkable career goes well beyond his own recordings. Along with his partner Jerry Moss, he cofounded the venerable label A&M Records, signing a diverse roster including the Carpenters, Cat Stevens, Joe Cocker, The Police, and Janet Jackson. Through his philanthropic foundation, he's donated millions toward music education. And if that's not enough, he's also an exhibiting sculptor. At age 81, he's still going strong, with a brand new album called Human Nature. Herb Alpert discusses the genesis of his signature double-trumpet sound, being mentored by Sam Cooke, and his ethical approach to owning a label.

Go to episode 565

Common

This week on the show Jim and Greg meet with rapper Common, who happens to be visiting his hometown. Common is currently touring to promote his sixth (and, some would say, best) album, Be. Jim and Greg note that most hip-hop artists don‘t have his kind of longevity. In fact, Common is at an age where he has started to balance his career with fatherhood. Greg, who visited the set of Common’s sultry video shoot for the song "Go," asks him how he‘ll be able to present his more adult side to his daughter. Fans of Common’s videos should also check out his most recent, and most cinematic, "Testify."

Common actually performs "Testify" live for our hosts. This song was produced by longtime collaborator and fellow southsider Kanye West, and includes the producer's signature use of soul samples. For Be, Common also worked with ?uestlove of The Roots and rapper and producer J Dilla, who passed away just weeks before this interview. Dilla, or Jay Dee, has been a mainstay on the hip-hop scene, producing songs for De La Soul, Pharcyde, Janet Jackson, and D'Angelo. Dilla also worked with Common on Like Water For Chocolate, producing one of his biggest hits, "The Light." As Common explains, the loss of his friend and former roommate will be life-changing. And in his memory, the rapper does some freestyling over Dilla instrumentals — a first for Sound Opinions.

Go to episode 26
reviews
UnbreakableUnbreakable available on iTunes

Janet Jackson Unbreakable

For the first time in seven years, Janet Jackson has released a new album called Unbreakable. At the beginning of her career, she faced the challenge of stepping out of the shadow of her older brothers, which she did with the help of Minnesota songwriters and producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. They worked together creating her signature rhythmic pop sound on many of Janet's most famous albums, including Control and Rhythm Nation 1814, and teamed up again for Unbreakable. Greg thinks Jackson's last record, 2008's Discipline, was probably her worst ever but she rebounded with a solid mid-career album. He appreciated that Janet stopped wasting her time with weak and overtly sexual material, and instead made music that is more true to her authentic self. Greg especially enjoyed the track "BURNITUP!," featuring one of his all-time favorite artists, Missy Elliott. He gives the record a Buy It. Jim agrees and highlights the strengths of Jam and Lewis' electronic, modernized sound. He thinks Janet is as confident and talented as ever. It's a double Buy It for Unbreakable.

JimGreg
Go to episode 515
DisciplineDiscipline available on iTunes

Janet Discipline

Onto the next Jackson…Janet also has a new album out called Discipline. After listening to the S&M-inspired title track, Greg explains Janet appears to be erotica-obsessed on the entire album. He thinks she's become more and more one-dimensional over the last decade and wouldn't recommend anyone purchase this latest effort. Jim agrees. He doesn‘t think there’s anything wrong with an adult woman exploring her sexuality, but Janet's exploration is overdone and sad. Discipline gets two stern Trash Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 118
20 Y.O.20 Y.O. available on iTunes

Janet Jackson 20 Y.O.

Janet Jackson ("Ms. Jackson if you're Nasty") has a new album out this week as well. Its title, 20 Y.O., comes from the number of years that have passed since Jackson's seminal hit Control. Janet is back with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as well as boyfriend Jermaine Dupri, and she uses the first track of this album to remind the listener of the tough topics she's covered in the past 20 years including,“racism, spousal abuse, empowering women.”Of course, 20 Y.O. isn‘t really about any of these things. Rather, it’s only about one thing: sex. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but Jim and Greg expected more creativity and more of a statement from a woman who was essentially demonized by many following the now-famous wardrobe malfunction of 2004. Boring production + boring lyrics + boring singing = a double Trash It for Ms. Jackson.

JimGreg
Go to episode 46
St. ElsewhereSt. Elsewhere available on iTunes

Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere

St. Elsewhere is the debut album from Gnarls Barkley, the imaginary front-person for a project helmed by vocalist and rapper Cee-Lo Green and producer Danger Mouse. Gnarls describes himself as the pen pal of long-deceased rock critic Lester Bangs, soul singer Isaac Hayes, and Violent Femmes singer Gordon Gano. He also claims to be the lover of both Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey and the man who taught Kraftwerk English. Most importantly, though, he has become a British phenomenon. The first single, "Crazy," went to number one on the UK singles chart after simply being released as a download, and Jim and Greg hope that the hype can be sustained stateside. Both critics love the combination of Cee-Lo's half-preacher, half-freak vocal style and DJ Danger Mouse's eclectic production choices. St. Elsewhere gets a double Buy It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 23
news

Music News

After all the hubbub caused by the“Nipplegate”scandal, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has now tossed out the FCC's indecency fine against CBS. The network aired Janet Jackson's famous wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show and was subsequently fined $550,000 by the FCC. The court ruled that the FCC acted arbitrarily and can't change 3 decades of policy without due cause. Jim and Greg are curious to see how this decision will impact broadcasting and music performances on television in the future.

Go to episode 139

Music News

Online social forum MySpace.com is the number-one most-frequented web site in the U.S., according to internet traffic firm Hitwise, placing MySpace above Internet giant Yahoo. And while these stats are sometimes dubious, the influence of MySpace on the youth market, and particularly on music fans, cannot be denied. The website, which started as a rather grassroots way for bands to post their music and communicate with fans, caught the attention of major labels and media insiders. It was purchased by Rupert Murdoch last year, and is already being copied by the likes of Walmart.

Record labels seem to be trying everything under the sun to make their products stand out. Two recent gimmicks caught Jim and Greg's attention. The first was by pop diva Janet Jackson. Ms. Jackson hasn't been heard from in some time and is hoping that her upcoming album, produced by boyfriend Jermaine Dupri, could be her big comeback. Her label, Virgin Records, wants fans to get in on the marketing as well. They're leaving it up to the public to create the album art for 20 Years Old, due out in September. Fans are limited to Jackson-approved photos, though, so you won't be seeing any of this in record stores.

The second pop star stunt comes from Jessica Simpson. The ex-newlywed recently released the single "Public Affair," and besides playing it on MTV, airing it on the radio and selling it on iTunes, the Simpson camp is also offering a customizable version. Fans who want to feel close to Jessica (or, rather, her backing vocalists) can purchase versions of the track with their names inserted into the lyrics. There are about 500 names to choose from, so thankfully it wasn't hard to find“Jim”or“Greg”— but those with unusual names will have to wait a few weeks. Sorry, Suri.

Go to episode 34