written by: Carla Bynum
Unbreakable offers the familiar Miss Jackson sound but it shows us another side of her that we haven’t seen in a while. This album isn’t sexually charged like some of her previous works; instead, this album focuses more on love and compassion instead of lust.
Earlier this year, Missy Elliott made waves when she stole the show during Katy Perry’s half-time performance at Super Bowl XLIX. She reminded us that she still knows how to get the party started and make you want to bust a move, and that is no different here. “BURNITUP” is a funky dance song about letting loose and dancing all night as if nobody is watching.
Miss Jackson calls out all the unoriginal artists on the track “Dammn Baby.” She has already established her lane and loves switching up, which she proves on this album. She encourages all the unoriginal artists to follow her lead and get their own identity.
She channels her late brother, the King of Pop Michael Jackson on the next song. She is living life her way and it will get her to where she desires to be, “The Great Forever.” She refuses to focus on what other people think of her because their opinions mean nothing to her and she won’t change for anyone.
Jackson wants to lift her voice and be a part of the revolution on the song “Shoulda Known Better.” She addresses the stories on the news and how she wants to help get real solutions for the issues black people are facing.
On the song “After You Fall,” Janet proposed the question, “Who’s going to be there after you fall?” When you are in a low point in your life, who can you trust to be there to catch you and help you get back up?
For the first time since the passing of her brother MJ in 2009, Janet opens up about her feelings. She reminisces on how they used to sing and laugh together when they were younger and how singing got them through everything. She admits that her life feels empty without him but she knows that “Broken Hearts Heal” and become even stronger.
Love is taking over her like a tidal wave on the song “Night” and she’s in pure bliss.
J Cole joins Miss Jackson for the remix to her album’s first single “No Sleeep.” She’s missing her man and daydreaming about what will happen when they are reunited. When they do meet again, they won’t get any sleep. She wants to show him how much she misses him and she expects him to do the same. Cole raps about being on tour away from his lady and how he misses the warm house and home cooked meals. He can’t wait to get back home to show his woman how much he misses her.
Janet has a beautiful vision of the perfect world where she can live off of love. In her perfect world there will be no hunger, jealousy, abuse, war or hate. She wants her man to help her make her dreams come true on the song “Dream Maker/Euphoria.”
Everybody wants “2 Be Loved” and true love will always prevail. She wants to feel needed and loved and wants to live in her lover’s heart and mind forever.
Even with distance between them, she knows that her lover can save her. Whenever she thinks of him she’s in paradise and wants him to take her away to a place where love has no fear on the song “Take Me Away.”
“Will you live up to the promise of you,” is the questioned asked on the short and encouraging song “Promise.” You are a beautiful flower that hasn’t bloomed yet, she sings. What is growing inside of us may be a surprise. The song has a smooth and mellow sound and will make you want to meditate and do yoga…or maybe it’s just me.
Janet sings “Lessons Learned” on the next track about the different roles than women can play in relationships. In verse one, the lady is torn between which way she should go. She is alone and confused and while her man plays a part in the bad in their relationship, she blames herself. The second verse is about a codependent lover who doesn’t want to think of the fights, pain, and scars of her relationship. She only wants to think about the love in his heart.
She encourages listeners to lend a helping hand on the song “Black Eagle.” The black eagle is the strong and powerful king of the sky who protects all things with his watchful eyes. She dedicates the song to the people who have been ignored with blind eyes and cold shoulders. “We all need to do better,” she sings on the track.
Janet is “Well Traveled” and has received love all over the world. The only place she will miss is a place she hasn’t visited yet. She doesn’t want to go to this place because once she does; there will be nowhere left for her to go.
The last song on the album, “Gon’ B Alright” has an upbeat Jackson 5 feel. She encourages listeners to put love in everything they do. If you love someone, she wants you to tell them right now. If you’re down in the dumps, all you need is a little love and you will be alright.
Unbreakable has a different feel than some of Miss Jackson’s previous works, but not surprisingly so. It makes sense that this album is focused more on love since she did marry her beau, Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana in 2012. She is in love and she wants everyone to know it. This is a feel good album that will make you want to hold on to that someone special in your life.
Recommended tracks: “No Sleeep,” “Unbreakable,” “Dammn Baby,” “Broken Hearts Heal,” “Black Eagle,” “Dream Maker/Euphoria”