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Rhythm Nation 1814

Janet Jackson

1989

Rhythm Nation 1814

Album Summary

Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Janet Jackson, released on September 19, 1989, by A&M Records. Although label executives wanted material similar to her previous album, Control (1986), Jackson insisted on creating a concept album addressing social issues. Collaborating with songwriters and record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, she drew inspiration from various tragedies reported through news media, exploring racism, poverty, and substance abuse, in addition to themes of romance. Although its primary concept of a sociopolitical utopia was met with mixed reactions, its composition received critical acclaim. Jackson came to be considered a role model for youth because of her socially conscious lyrics. As with Control, recording for Rhythm Nation 1814 took place at Lewis and Jam's Flyte Tyme Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota where they worked in seclusion with Jackson to complete the album. Noted for its use of sampling and utilizing heavily swung synthesized percussion throughout its production, the record encompasses a variety of musical styles, such as new jack swing, hard rock, pop, dance and industrial music. Songs range from mechanized dance rhythms to soft balladry, giving it appeal across multiple radio formats. It is the only album in the history of the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart to have seven commercial singles peak within the top five positions. It is also the first album to produce number one hits on the chart in three separate calendar years, beginning with "Miss You Much" in 1989, "Escapade" and "Black Cat" in 1990, and culminating with "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" in 1991. Rhythm Nation 1814 became Jackson's second consecutive album to top the Billboard 200 and was certified 6× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It became the best-selling album of 1990 in the United States and has sold an estimated 12 million copies worldwide. Due to its innovative production and lyrical exploration, critics have come to regard it as the pinnacle of Jackson's artistic achievement. Music scholars note the record garnered her a level of cross-cultural appeal unmatched by industry peers. Considered a "landmark" album, it has also been cited as an influence in the works of numerous music artists, setting stylistic trends in the years following its release. Visuals in music videos and live performances further elevated Jackson's superstardom. The 30-minute Rhythm Nation 1814 film, a film depicting two aspiring musicians whose lives are disrupted by substance abuse, aired on MTV to promote the album. Jackson's Rhythm Nation World Tour 1990 became the most successful debut concert tour by a recording artist at the time. She was regarded as a fashion icon, with various attire the album's promotional tour and music videos being emulated by youth. Jackson received nine Grammy Award nominations, becoming the first woman to be nominated for Producer of the Year and winning Best Long Form Music Video for Rhythm Nation 1814. Jackson received the MTV Video Vanguard Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her significant contributions to popular culture. Her handwritten lyrics to the album's title track "Rhythm Nation" as well as her militaristic uniform for its music video have been preserved by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2021, the Library of Congress announced it selected the album for preservation in the National Recording Registry as part of the class of 2020, deeming it "culturally, historically, or artistically significant."

Wikipedia

Rating

2.95

Votes

4534

Genres

  • Pop
Reviews
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Thu Jul 08 2021
2

I don't think this is a bad album. Honestly, it's a pretty good one. But I didn't like it too much. The weird over production on an album that's sort of trying to display the hardships of the world. Just this whole, over the top rich celebrity singing about the woes of poor people. Just feels so fake and I sorta hate it for that. It's not bad. Just seems dated and out of touch even though it's supposed to be in touch. She can sing pretty damn well though.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

Fuck the low reviews i love this album and it’s incorporation of the real world.

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Fri May 28 2021
5

Wow! So good. Thoughtful, powerful, well-produced. Loved listening to the whole thing.

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Tue Dec 28 2021
2

An hour of Janet Jackson, are you serious? uggghhh. This is like pop music on steroids, which I guess is kinda cool? But it does get old. If it only went for half an hour it'd be a 3, but here we are. 2/5.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

Great!

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Sat Jul 03 2021
4

Solid dance jams

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Wed May 12 2021
4

Lots of singles, good concept album

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Sat Jun 12 2021
4

Really enjoyed this! The interludes in between practically every song was something I hadn’t seen before, but I thought it fit the flow of the album. Really enjoyable!

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Cool sounds, never realized Janet has such range

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Mon Jul 19 2021
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Rhythm nation, State of the world, Love will never do, Escapade

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Fri Jul 30 2021
4

I don’t really like this style of overproduced studio showcase, but it is so well done for what it is. Wavering between a 3 and a 4. I’ll go with the 4 because… my god did she ever get the short end of the stick after the Superb Owl.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
4

I don’t think I’d ever listened to Janet Jackson before this but it was a pleasant surprise. Most of the songs were catchy but it got verrrry preachy in parts

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Thu Jan 27 2022
4

good album, much better than I remember, a lot of good songs.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
4

Good fun, positive vibes. Makes really nice Cities: Skylines background music if anyone was curious

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Fri Feb 25 2022
4

Good album 💿

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Fri Nov 12 2021
3

I like it when major artists figures their shit out in public, especially when they rationalise it with--like the title says--rhythm. Also, when they show the decency to just *feel* something about it ('Livin' In A World'). I don't expect Janet had much to add around homelessness or literacy, but if every time we opened our mouths we had to drop something groundbreaking, we'd all be fucked. Also, for an hour run time, it flies by.

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Thu May 06 2021
2

Pop comercial.

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Sat Oct 23 2021
2

Ei uppoa tämä genre, eikä tämä Janetin levy ollut mitenkään poikkeus. Miksiköhän tässä oli niin paljon noita interludeja joka välissä? Tuli mieleen Missy Elliotin levy, jossa kanssa oli paljon välihöpinöitä. Kai se on joku mustien naisten juttu, että kun on kerran päässyt studioon niin on kiva purkittaa omaa ääntään. Levyn biisit olivat sellaista Jackson-kamaa, että hyvin pystyin kuvittelemaan siihen laulajan tanssiesityksen mukaan. Ei ihan pahinta kuraa, mutta en minä tätä enää jatkossa tule kuuntelemaan.

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Thu Nov 25 2021
2

Do I really need Janet Jackson lecturing me for an hour about all that's wrong with the world? No. Having said that, did I enjoy listening to this? Also no, not really. No disrespect to Miss Janet, but this is just not my thing. 2 stars.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
1

What's not to like when a giant pop star gains a conscience and then decides to tell you all about it? Everything. It sounds like a hot mess. Parts of it are like people have got the button on their sampler stuck. Best Tracks: Rhythm Nation; Miss You Much; Escapade

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Fri Mar 11 2022
5

Girl.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

Great, fun album.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
5

Great album

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Mon May 17 2021
4

Me gustó mucho el disco. Nunca escucho Janet Jackson. Es uno de esos artistas que tenes abajo del todo en la lista de "gente que algun dia voy a escuchar". Es muy notorio la influencia de este disco en artistas de pop-comercial que existen hoy en dia. Como una Madonna negra. El apartado tecnico es bastante elaborado para ser un disco de pop de finales de los 80's cuando los artistas descubrieron que todo se podia hacer "apretando unos botoncitos de mierda" y sacar un exito del otro lado. No le quita credito siendo que no todos saben QUE botones y CUANDO apretarlos. Salta a la vista enseguida con el primer tema que no querian hacer algo parecido a MJ pero lo suficientemente distanciado como para que se pueda parar por si mismo... Excepto en Rythm Nation que parece sacado de Dangerous. Lo voy a poner en rotation en mis playlist porque es un buen departure del overly-produced pop que se escucha hoy en dia.

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Sat Jul 31 2021
4

A little overproduced in some areas, but Janet has an amazing voice and some poignant lyrics that make this a catchy and enjoyable listen.

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Thu Aug 05 2021
4

This is a really good album. Not really my thing but the songs are catchy and danceable all while providing a social commentary (although sometimes a little corny). That was probably the whole point so mission accomplished. Unlikely that I'll listen to it again though.

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Fri Aug 27 2021
4

I admittedly didn’t ACTIVELY listen to this album but it made decent “feel good” background music. Overall I’d say it was a neutral to positive experience but nothing really stood out to me

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Fri Oct 29 2021
4

Interesting album with many interludes

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Fri Nov 05 2021
4

It's a good record, I think if it was half as long I would have given it 5 without blinking.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
4

This one really brings me back in a good way to when I was starting to become more aware of music outside of my parent's collection. I remember alot of these songs quite well. Makes sense as there were so many singles from it. They are really having fun with the new capabilities of the sampler all over this record. I think it was really brave of her to go for a concept album that doesn't avert it's eyes from some harsh realities immediately after her first breakout success. And the fact that this became even more successful makes it all the sweeter. I love when artists are rewarded for brave choices and it proves pop audiences don't always want formulaic pap.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
4

Finally something more comfortable after a series of weird stuff. Music-wise it's pretty catchy and rhythmic, full of energy. And of course... who can reject dancing beats! Love Will Never Do -- a yay Livin' in a World -- even better Come Back to Me -- a big yay

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Thu Dec 09 2021
4

A near perfect example of the r and b genre, Rhythm Nation 1814 spawned hit after hit and solidified Jam and Lewis’ reputation for producing high quality, radio friendly tracks. And Janet Jackson is such a powerful presence - bold vocals and charisma to spare . Although the social consciousness of her album is over stated, at least there is an attempt at something to say. An album that spawned many imitators and flipped urban music to the mainstream. Really massive record.

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

My second listen in the last few years after scoring this album at a Yankee Swap. Has inspired me to check out a few others from this era: Control (1986) and Janet (1993).

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Thu Feb 10 2022
4

Guilty pleasure and some great tracks (always liked "Miss you much"), albeit a tad overproduced. Hadn't ever listened all the way through.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

Har lyssnat om några gånger nu och jag tycker att detta är bra. Lagom mix av pop och synth. Blev förvånad, då jag egentligen inte haft några tankar kring Janet alls.

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Fri Mar 18 2022
4

Good pop album. Really borrows from mj, but still a really enjoyable listen.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

Knew a couple of the singles but this is immense. Seriously impressive pop, the production is next level (give or take a few of those late 80s synth sounds). Can I become a Janet Jackson fan at my age?

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Wed May 25 2022
4

I was actually fearing this one for being 80’s and 1 hour long, but I was already 12 songs into it when I realized all those fears were quite uncalled for. Good record.

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Fri May 27 2022
4

Fantastic album. If you weren't there when this came out in 1989, it was such a huge deal. People lost their minds over this music, it was so fresh and powerful. It's not as fun as Control, but I think that's intentional. The album has its share of bubbly love songs, but Janet also wants to make a statement here. And she is in perfect voice. As a concept album, it's a bit of a fail, with less than half the songs addressing social issues, the only connecting thread being that series of vague interludes. I don't know if this album is specifically to blame for the trend of putting interludes on albums, but I suspect it. I'll give Janet a pass because it's kind of wrapped up in her style, but the interludes don't add a thing to this album, with the exception of the final one ("Livin'...In Complete Darkness" - minor quibble as well, it's not an interlude if nothing comes after it). Thankfully, she kept them brief. I feel like the album would have been tighter and more effective if they had limited the number of ballads, but it's a small complaint. I really enjoyed listening to this. Fave Songs: Alright, Rhythm Nation, The Knowledge, Lonely, State of the World

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Thu Jun 02 2022
4

Never listened to the album all the way through. The singles from it were monster hits and were everywhere, so I knew coming into this album that it would be good. Layering the concept on top bumped it up a few notches for me. 4/5.

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Mon Jun 13 2022
4

Everything up to Miss You Much is five stars, funky and powerful and just brilliant. Everything after that is good - kind of Prince on a budget good. For shame, I'd never taken Janet Jackson seriously - on the strength of this album, I do now!

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Wed Jun 22 2022
4

Rhythm Nation 1814 manages, somehow, to be a satisfying and frustrating listen at the same time. I swear it's all down to the sequencing. The top of the album is loaded with squelchy bass-heavy stompers; the tail consists of twinkly dream-pop, its influence palpable in acts like We Are King. Somehow, the two dullest songs - 'Love Will Never Do' and 'Livin' in a World' - find themselves sandwiched back-to-back. Somewhere amidst all this is 'Black Cat', one of my favourite songs by any of the Jackson clan. Despite some individual clunkers, RN1814 is not boring as a listening experience. It's lopsided for sure but this gives it a mildly eccentric character. And hey, it contains some excellent pop.

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Sun Jul 24 2022
4

The music is very much of its era, and the political lyrics are a little on the nose, but this has aged surprisingly well for all that.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
4

i genuinely don’t understand why this has such low reviews?? this is an album that deals with huge issues so beautifully. janet did so well with this album, it is perfect. highlights: rhythm nation, state of the world, love will never do (without you), black cat

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

Absolutely amazing production on this album. Couple that with a killer set of pipes and you get a very solid pop album. Rhythm Nation and Escapade are timeless jams. Rest of the album is more than solid. It’s not the type of music I listen to daily but I recognize excellent pop when I hear it.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
4

Tough one to rate, this album. Overall, I quite liked this record, though nothing really stood out after two listens. It also took some readjusting to the 80s production style, with the pretty harsh drum machine and synth sounds, but it did sound funky in the right places, and the slower parts were done tastefully. So it may have sounded a little dated listening to this in 2022, but it kind of worked for me.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
4

Had high expectations in 1989, as JJ's previous album of a few years was simply perfect, with classic singles (Nasty, What Have You Done For Me Lately, The Pleasure Principle, When I Think Of You etc) and OK perhaps a little filler... But was quiet a bit disappointed when RN1814 came out - in particular the singles of RN18 were merely ok-ish and less catchy. Overall the album turned out to be quite decent though. The signature sound of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Now listening to it again, I still think it is a very solid album, on the high 3 star / low 4 star end. Final vote: 3.5 -> 4, due to great 80s production.

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Wed Oct 19 2022
4

Not heard this in years. Still pretty great, although goes a bit downhill at the end.

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Sun Oct 23 2022
4

Outstanding! 4.5/5

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Sun Oct 23 2022
4

Janet’s masterpiece (and perhaps Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’s as well), a sprawling exploration of societal problems set to a mix of new jack swing, industrial rock and hip hop. Only the over abundance of interludes and a slightly dragging back half keep Rhythm Nation from 5 stars.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
4

8/10 pretty good, not my favorite tho of this type of genre of music, I prefer the bigger guys like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Anita Baker still this is pretty fun and I do appreciate it

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Wed Nov 16 2022
4

One of the greatest pop stars of the 80s and 90s, but I always placed her beneath Whitney. However, I was really impressed by her performance here. Hugely influenced by Madonna, she's loud and energetic carried by a strong old school hip-hop production style that would characterize the short-lived New Jack Swing movement (most of it would just be generic pop trash). Still very 80s with the punchy beats, spontaneous synths, and the use of samples almost like another instrument (biggest example in mind is the female shrieking sample used in a few songs). In fact, the whole album gives off 80s TV guide and workout video feels. The interludes really enforce these images, and they're so short-lived they serve to both provide breaks between these spacious and energetic tracks without dragging on to be annoying. I really enjoyed all the songs, although I do admit I got a bit exhausted by the time we got to the last few ethereal nostalgic tracks (which I did still really like, gave off vaporwave vibes). No bad tracks though. The only track I would cut is "Alright", but I did wish the record could further be slightly shorter somehow.

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Fri Nov 25 2022
4

Unrepentant 80s dance pop cheese platter.

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Fri Nov 25 2022
4

Pop production at its most '80's, upbeat dance tracks with great hooks, hard-hitting lyrics. Not a perfect album but close.

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Mon Nov 28 2022
4

A little dated, but still a bop.

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Tue May 25 2021
3

I know she's supposed to be the proto-Beyonce or whatever, but...meh. Best track: Miss You Much

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Tue Jun 01 2021
3

Album contains a couple of Janet Jackson's top hits. The album contains many songs but many are forgettable. That being said many songs are linked to the previous song.

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Mon May 24 2021
3

Interesting and very socially aware for a pop album, but that also makes songs like "Escapade" stand out as off-key. Not bad but a weird one overall.

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Fri May 14 2021
3

another snapshot of its time. i'm not sure i really liked it, or that i ever really cared for janet - but boy, did her producers work hard on this one! overall, not for me, but her talent is easy to spot.

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Thu May 20 2021
3

"Not to say that I'm in love with you But who's to say that I'm not" (Miss you much) "The people we learn from Forge the ideas we become" (Livin' in a wolrd) Me ha resultado muy interesante 1. cómo está montado todo el disco como un continuo 2. que sea un disco tan reivindicativo desde el primer segundo. La verdad es que no conocía mucho de la música de Janet Jackson y ahora me da pena.

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Thu Jul 08 2021
3

It was a nice enough R&B album without ever really having a wow moment. Its way too long too like a lot of albums from Genre. 3/5

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Wed May 05 2021
3

I've not listened to Janet that much. It sounded a bit like Michael, but she added her own flair. Good album and good sound. Not quite my cup of tea but I could listen to it occasionally.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
3

Love an album with a bit of social commentary. A lot of the themes in this are still very relevant today. The album definitely has a very distinct 80s sound but I liked it. As with a lot of these albums it was just too long for me not to start losing interest.

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Thu May 06 2021
3

Ne visi a mano stilius, bet funky efektukai

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Thu May 06 2021
3

Its another Michael Jackson Álbum. It shouldn't be in this list. Uniform and nice fade between Songs.

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Wed May 12 2021
3

Pretty nostalgic to listen to the album. Never was much of a fan, but was kind of fun to re-live some of the 90s

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Thu Jun 03 2021
3

It just makes me want to live in the 80s and drink Pepsi. I wish there was more of a sense of humor or irony to it. It's just very straightforward.

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Wed May 12 2021
3

classic RnB

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Tue Jun 08 2021
3

Too long !

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Sat Jun 12 2021
3

Not the best Jackson, not even in the top 5.

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Wed Aug 04 2021
3

Surprisingly enjoyable listen. 3.5 🌟

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Thu Aug 05 2021
3

dated, naive, but pretty brave for its time and some catchy tunes. i won't go back but enjoyed. 3

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Sun Aug 15 2021
3

Good stuff, almost a 4

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Wed Aug 18 2021
3

Een paar goeie nummers, de rest is maar 'meh'

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Fri Aug 27 2021
3

Favs: Love Will Never Do (Without You), Escapade, Rhythm Nation Mehs: All the Interludes Janet Jackson sounds happy on this album, and that makes me happy. Fun tween bop pop. I'm not sure I'd have it on this list, but I did enjoy listening to it again.

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Fri Aug 27 2021
3

Maybe its nostalgia but I enjoyed this album.

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Mon Aug 30 2021
3

Surprisingly enjoyable listen with good songs and infectious rhythms. Her singing is frankly nondescript for me and given this genre perhaps below par but the songs are what's important to me. 3.5 🌟

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Mon Sep 06 2021
3

Souns a lot like Michals music Intresting use of interludes Cretiv beats and drumsounds

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Tue Sep 07 2021
3

First half of the album had some good beats and interesting layering - New Jack Swing apparently. The second half was all ballad all the time, which I can do without.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
3

Such a great voice for 80s music.

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Fri Oct 29 2021
3

People of the world today Are we looking for some gated drums We are a part of the rhythm nation People of the world unite Brisk electro-beat, we can get it right One time We are a part of the rhythm nation

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Fri Oct 29 2021
3

Great album, I've enjoyed it less as I've got older, but in the early 90s I listened to this over and over. Rhythm Nation and Miss You Much are still top songs.

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Fri Oct 29 2021
3

When Janet says bass bass bass then hits you in the feels with a tin pan full of treble you know it is a brink of the 90s release. (I did a few dance moves when I saw this selection. Stomp slide, stomp slide... 😂) Let JJ take you on an escapade. Like a moth to the flame, I actually settled in and enjoyed the second half of the album.

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Tue Nov 02 2021
3

I paused my project for a bit because I was tired of listening to pompous guitar dudes every day, so it was nice to reactivate and come back to this. Good production and overall sound; it really does feel like an ‘album’ rather than a collection of hit singles. Not sure it belongs on this list but whatever, I had fun.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
3

Definitely going for the Michael Jackson sound. Percussion is pretty fun, liking the general LinnDrum sounds here. I appreciate the conscious themes as well, although I don't feel like the commentary goes far enough. Lyrically it just sounds like mentioning problems, but not pointing to the issues that cause it. Some may prefer this approach, but I feel like institutions and people need to be called out, otherwise it feels like feel-good-activism, like by just acknowledging the issues of things is enough. It is a good sounding album for sure, though. Great pop, but generally not my vibe. Although those orchestral hits with the LinnDrum definitely do something for me.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
3

I don't really enjoy this but I respect where she is coming from. Very 80's sound.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
3

these beats are so funny. the most 80s thing ever

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Wed Nov 24 2021
3

3.5 for sure. Great sound, energetic, bit of nostalgia.

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Thu Dec 16 2021
3

Album pop correct. Consistent mais rien qui se démarque tellement

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Thu Dec 16 2021
3

Uff

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Thu Dec 16 2021
3

5/10

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Wed Dec 22 2021
3

Not really my thing, but didn't find it an ordeal to listen to. The synth and drum machines sound very dated but, tbf, they're used well. Fave track - "Rhythm Nation" still slaps.

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Fri Dec 24 2021
3

Queen

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Wed Dec 29 2021
3

Decent beats but other than the hits, nothing too memorable on this album. Very similar sounds on all of the songs.

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Sun Jan 02 2022
3

I like her. Super fun and catchy stuff.

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Mon Jan 03 2022
3

Prettyyyyyyyyy, Pretttyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, Prettttttttttttttttttttttttttttttyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy good

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Mon Jan 03 2022
3

Conpetently made funky 80s pop. Enjoyable, but not too much else. Also very dated, although that didn’t bother me

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Wed Jan 05 2022
3

Interesting to listen to such a prominent album which I'd not listened to previously - OK but it didn't grab me. Production is very of its time.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
3

This isn't an album I'd listen to all the way through, but there are multiple tracks I like a lot. My favorites are Rhythm Nation, Escapade, and Black Cat, with an honorable mention to Miss You Much.

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Sun Jan 16 2022
3

I'm genuine surprised by how much I enjoyed this album. Velvet Rope has sort of smothered the genuine ...well not charm, more like excitement, of 1814. It might be that the mechanised aspect of the lead video and production lumped it, mentally, with the proto-techno of the time (this demands unpacking – another time, another time...). Anyway.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
3

Super-tight 80s pop but never reaches the high of Rhythm Nation, which is a shame as it's the second track on an album over an hour long. A couple of tracks attempt to be topical/meaningful, but like many 80s/90s "we gotta do something" songs, they fall flat and are not redeemed musically either. Janet is at her best with uptempo pop, and this has some great examples

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Wed Feb 09 2022
3

Who doesn't love a little bit of Janet now and again?

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Wed Feb 09 2022
3

Fresh and funky pop, politically powered. Bit too earnest for my liking but of the age and danceable

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Thu Feb 10 2022
3

High 3. A little repetitive.

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Sun Feb 13 2022
3

A lot of well known songs and the whole album has an 80s feel to it. It was a good listen. I probably would not choose this album to listen to again but I would listen if it was chosen.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
3

Texterna är så pinsamma att jag knappt klarar av att lyssna men groovet är kanon

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Wed Feb 23 2022
3

"Rhythm Nation 1814" is the sound of Janet Jackson reigning supreme at the close of the 80s, harnessing her momentum to become unimpeachable for the next five years. Load a follow-up to your commercial breakthrough with emergent hip-hop and industrial influences to make a smash-hit? Why not! Throw in an arena-ready hard-rock number and release it as a single? Let's go for it. Go full-on social commentary, and solve all the world's problems by singing about them? Sure, we can at least try. I'd never heard this album in full until now, but it's undoubtedly a blockbuster. Framed by a tolling bell and spoken word pledges on the state of humanity, it's also interspersed with 5-10 second transitions from the sound of a TV switching channels (Roger Waters eat your heart out) to pointed commentary ("Get the point? Good, let's dance"). "Rhythm Nation" itself is a killer opening, giving rise to new-jack swing and driven by seismic, steely industrial beats and slapped bass. It also signified a new dance phenomenon for the MTV generation, immortalised in its imperial music video. All that aside, it's simply a great track: powerful beats, towering confidence from Jackson, and an addictive, rapid hook answered by a unison of voices declaring their part in the Rhythm Nation. None of the rest of it scales the same heights, but the singles "Miss You Much" and "Escapade" play well as affectionate tributes to Prince in his mid-80s prime: Jackson pulls them off with every bit as much pomp, grace and accessibility. "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" hangs itself on an atomic mid-tempo beat before breaking into an amazing second-half, where layers of vocals expressing the title as a chant, a melodic plea, an affirmation. And "Black Cat" is a total surprise that completely works, with the smooth reverb-filled distorted riffs found in arenas the world over in the late 1980s. Where many hair-metal bands would hinge their career on recreating the same sound again and again, for Jackson it's just one more string to her bow. There are quite a few comments on this page- and made by critics at the time- that "Rhythm Nation 1814" lacked subtlety, that the preachy messages were misguided and out-of-touch from a celebrity who had been rich all her life. Jackson herself laudably acknowledged this years later, in her 2015 album "Unbreakable". In truth, "State of the World" and "Livin' In A World (They Didn't Make)" may not be the most eye-popping songs on the record, and could have been made more eloquent. Many of the lyrics aren't exactly ground-breaking ("The Knowledge" is the most throwaway, with its break of "Prejudice: No. Ignorance: No. Bigotry: No."). But, at least Jackson stood up to her label by insisting on including songs which addressed universal matters of prejudice and poverty. She chose to use her platform to discuss more than her millionaire lifestyle, and who knows how many philanthropists and world-changers she might have inspired in doing so? For me, it's actually the move away from the industrial beats and high-energy that sinks the Rhythm Nation torpedo in its final act. Instead, the last three numbers see it move in a warmer, silkier direction. Perhaps it was an intentional sequencing move, or maybe the record was just front-loaded with the strongest hits. For me the closing three ballads just aren't as bold as the songs earlier in the record (bar some gorgeous nu-soul harmonies in "Come Back To Me"). "Lonely" and "Someday Is Tonight" are just a little too long and aimless, however well produced and sung they are. They don't quite have the same edge I enjoyed in the rest of the album, at least on the first couple of listens. As with so many of the other albums I've marked down on this site, "Rhythm Nation 1814"'s main fault for me is its length. It's easy to see how it could have improved if a couple of tracks were shaved off here, a couple of choruses removed there. But in its prime, running through that middle stretch of tracks, it's unstoppable, and one can only surrender to the Rhythm Nation.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
3

first listen man she sounds so much like Michael

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Wed Mar 16 2022
3

Objectively a great album, but not for me. Attention tailed off every time. Rhythm Nation was great, but then I just slowly lost interest and started doing other things. Don’t think it’s the albums fault though. Dancy poppy.

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Fri Mar 18 2022
3

(Sigh!) I always had a troubled relationship with the Jacksons, all of them. I acknowledge their talent and that they have made quite some great music over the decades, at the same time, I don't exactly know what it is, but there is something about their celebrity status that bugs me profoundly. But let's discuss this album. ...  (Crickets)  ...  I played it several times. The first time I was really impressed from the start. Then  Social concerns. Check.  Dancefloor. Check.  Heartbreak. Check. Romance. Check.  Did I forget something?  Ah yes!  Empowerment through sexuality. Check. Remember when Latoya was believed to be Michael in disguise? A ball? Does anybody have a ball here? I need to practice against a wall. Oh thanks, Mate. Boing... Boing... Boing... What is this, why do I feel so restless suddenly? For fuck's sake, I thought I took my meds this morning! Oh yes, I did, the bottle of pills is empty. Should I worry? Got a cig? Hold on there. Do you think I should worry? I think I should. Lighter, yes, thanks. But... Worry about what? Ah yes, that's what I wanted to say! I got distracted while listening to this album. Several times even.  OK. I am becoming increasingly lazy at doing this. Impatient as well. Whatever. Geez! How long IS this one? 

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Wed Mar 30 2022
3

Production sounds dated but also inextricably linked to this album. Some great songs.

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Thu Apr 21 2022
3

Interesting sound (although definitely “of the time”), somewhat of a concept album that’s connected by a bunch of interludes. Overall it’s an interesting cohesive listen, but the amount and frequency of interludes weakens it’s appeal for relistens.

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Wed Apr 27 2022
3

The interludes were an interesting addition. I enjoyed her voice and the dance vibe of the songs. The lyrics were kinda meh and every song could have been about a minute shorter. The last few songs were less enjoyable, I felt the didn't match the vibe.

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Wed May 04 2022
3

Istodobno zastarjelo i futuristički. Debelo predugo traje za ovako intenzivan zvuk baziran samo na ritmu. Black cat joj je jedna od najboljih stvari

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Mon May 09 2022
3

Showing it age.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
3

Some great songs, too much sampling.

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Wed Jun 22 2022
3

I associate this sound with most late 80s pop and yet I think maybe all of that sound was in this album. Maybe a little bit in 'Control'. But anyway, there is some filler here, for sure, but for an album that was intentionally going for socially conscious subject matter, this is pretty strong. Rhythm Nation, Miss You Much, Escapade, and Black Cat all work for me. Come Back to Me has some sort of comforting '89 dentist office feel to it. I don't know - mostly this works.

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Sun Jun 26 2022
3

Janet aura beau tenté de copier son frère, la prestation n'en demeure pas moins lamentable. On se met à regretter tout l'album de ne pas avoir le vrai Jackson en chair et en os, en lieu et place de cette pâle imitation familiale.

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Sun Jun 26 2022
3

Cet album a conclu de manière positive une très belle sortie à vélo au cœur d'une région située à quelques pas seulement du domicile d'eltrapeze, mon ennemi juré et rival de toujours.

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Wed Jul 20 2022
3

Decent pop album

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Sun Jul 31 2022
3

Drum machines that slap

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Thu Sep 08 2022
3

A nice album, good rhythm. I could see myself listening to this again, although the lyrics are a little pedantic at times. This was before my time, so I also didn't recognize the hits unfortunately.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
3

It's all right

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Fri Sep 16 2022
3

Not my favorite but didn't hate.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
3

Really enjoyed this!

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Mon Sep 26 2022
3

Weird tired vibes on sunday, lost on run in mt pleasant, shoe sizing in the rain, pink clouds, decent, dinner

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Wed Oct 05 2022
3

Not music I typically resonate with so hard for me to judge.

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Wed Oct 12 2022
3

10/11/22 Couple solid songs … I liked the energy and how aggressively 80s it was lol.

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Fri Oct 28 2022
3

Non male, bella voce bell'atmosfera, peccato perche' sono un po simili

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Sun Oct 30 2022
3

Typical album of the late 80s with some good tracks and some fillers. Not bad in the end.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
3

Reminded me a lot of Michael. But I was probably subconsciously comparing the two. Had the same fun energy as Michael

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Thu Nov 10 2022
3

Miss You Much and Love Will Never Do (Without You) are pop perfection. The rest of the album I could take or leave. Can't stand all of these annoying interludes, I don't like being preached at when I'm just trying to listen to some music. It's just really bloated too, this could have been trimmed down to half the tracks. Keep the pop hits and ditch the highfalutin bullshit. I love Janet, respect to her for insisting on making the kind of music she wants, this just isn't her best album. Iconic moment in time for her? Absolutely. Did it age well? No, not really.

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Sat Nov 19 2022
3

It's OK. But not my kind of music.

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Wed Nov 23 2022
3

New Jack swing is a genre that had a brief heyday in the late 80's and early 90's, arising partly from Prince's Minneapolis sound and increasing popularity of hip hop. Fusing these funk grooves and drum samples with r&b songwriting and sensibilities provided a new sound that can only be described as transitionary for African American music. While others would come before her, Janet Jackson would be the first big star to embrace this new genre. Rhythm Nation 1814 is bombastic. Drums are hard-hitting and synths are in your face. It's incredibly cool and also incredibly dated. Jackson is a great singer regardless, and I think she's a generally good fit, though she consistently needs backup vocals to help her stand out against the notably loud drums and synths. I can also do without the ballads. 80's ballads are especially bad, though this comes with the exception of the closing track Someday Is Tonight, which is a lush track that caps things off superbly. Writing is hit or miss. Livin' in a World (They Didn't Make) tried to appeal to youth culture and weaves in a news broadcast about children being shot, puts a real damper on the whole thing as we move into the next song that brings back the big drum samples. I don't think Jackson's socially-conscious lyrics are wholesale bad, just corny and not well-delivered. I think that Rhythm Nation 1814 is a well-developed album with some spotty moments. I appreciate it's purpose and it's place in the western popular music canon, but it's not a genre I see myself returning to anytime soon.

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Thu Nov 24 2022
3

Just a very boring album. Every song sounded the same, nothing had any standout potential, and way too long

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Thu Nov 24 2022
3

Such an average and boring album of recycled 80s pop and hip hop sounds.

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Thu Nov 24 2022
3

Expertly produced, dancy album, that was a mega-seller in its day. For me it falls a bit flat, as there are hardly any songs that I would like to re-listen to. Also, the first half is very repetitive. 2.5/5

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Mon Jul 12 2021
2

Kyllä tän kuunteli, mut en näe itteäni kuuntelemassa toista kertaa

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Mon Jul 12 2021
2

Ei osu meikläisen mukavuusalueelle eli väärän kohderyhmän arvio levystä on vmp.

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Mon May 24 2021
2

Couldn't hear much of Jackson. Inoffensive

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Sat Jun 12 2021
2

Funky

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Sun May 09 2021
2

I mean, it is just one song. That goes on too long. And very saccharine ballads on side 2.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
2

Meh. Not my bag. Some of it is well written. Some not so much. I'm not much of an R&B fan, especially, slow R&B ('cept Barry). Just doesn't speak to me.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
2

never realized how activist this pop album was, got industrial vibes off it too

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Tue Jun 15 2021
2

Really not my thing, though I'm not sure I'm in the best headspace for listening to new music today. None of this album was memorable for me, sorry Janet.

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Wed Jul 28 2021
2

Michael Jackson tava com uma cara diferente

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Thu Jul 29 2021
2

Overproduced non sense of the 80's is not missed on this one. The hits are the only ones I enjoyed for nostalgic purposes.

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Mon Aug 09 2021
2

Well produced but for the most part generic sounding pop. Black cat is a stand out though.

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Tue Aug 17 2021
2

I cannot ever see myself listening to this album again. If someone puts it on or has a few songs on their playlist, I wouldn't complain, but this album doesn't really bring anything new to the table in terms of eighties music I like. Some of the songs kind of have the vibe of "I just did acid for the first time" which is definitely tired and done by the eighties. Also listener beware: the gated compression drums are on every track, and that only gets more apparent and tiresome over the 64 minute runtime. Conceptually, I think the album is kinda reaching a dystopia kind of feeling/vibe, but I think it falls short with how dated the instrumentation sounds. Funnily enough, I think "Sex Packets" by The Digital Underground has more to say about societal issues and dystopian themes than "Rhythm Nation 1814" does. Another issue I have is that there are a ton of interludes on the record, but none of them are really long enough to say or add anything to the album experience. Highlights: 2, and 14.

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Fri Aug 27 2021
2

I'll tell your mama I'll tell your friends I'll tell anyone I want this shit to end.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
2

Not for me

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Fri Oct 08 2021
2

80s lively heavy on the choreo

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Sat Oct 23 2021
2

Kovasti on samantyyppistä äänimaailmaa kuin veljensä tuotannossa. Liekö harkittua vai tahatonta. Ei tämä kuitenkaan ihan kauhean kovaa itseeni iskenyt. Slovarit toimii hyvin, mutta vähänkään räväkämmät biisit ovat vaan yksinkertaisen tylsiä. Kakkosen ja kolmosen välimaastossa taas kerran keikutaan. Tällä kertaa tuomio menee alaspäin.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
2

Aside from being too long and too repetitive, this was okay.

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Thu Nov 25 2021
2

Nothing noteworthy, and not for me.

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Thu Nov 25 2021
2

Didn't dislike it as much as I thought I would, but not for me

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Thu Nov 25 2021
2

Very well produced, but still not me.

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Wed Dec 15 2021
2

sister jackson

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Sun Dec 19 2021
2

Por lo visto en su momento lo petó, pero yo no le veo la gracia a este disco.

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Sun Dec 19 2021
2

Pop comercial.

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Fri Dec 24 2021
2

Concept sucks but her heart was in the right place. Janet can sing

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Mon Jan 03 2022
2

Fine!

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Fri Jan 07 2022
2

bad

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Thu Jan 27 2022
2

Some toe tappers, maybe a song or two I might dance to if I was drunk at a wedding or something. Otherwise... not my thing

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Thu Feb 17 2022
2

bra ljud men inte så speciellt intressant???

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Mon Mar 21 2022
2

nah

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Sun Mar 27 2022
2

I just wasn't into this at the time and really haven't time for it now. It's just not me although I guess she's trying to make a social commentary which is commendable but the music is so cliched and dated now. It's not that it's THAT bad, it's just a bit naff 30-odd years later.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
2

Good for its time

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Thu Apr 14 2022
2

Pop datado

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Fri Apr 15 2022
2

I wish the lyrics were just as dated as the production, but unfortunately that's not the case. There's still something charming about the sound, I just don't care to hear a whole album of it.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
2

Okay. Not amazing.

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Wed May 11 2022
2

Like the message, can't stand the music

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Wed May 11 2022
2

Started fairly strong but really dropped off toward the end. Early tracks were decent dance jams, but the last three or so were slow ballads. I found it hard to get through the whole thing.

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Thu May 19 2022
2

C'est vraiment le genre d'album qui me donne mal à la tête d'écouter avec ce drum machine qui n'arrête pas de tout le long. Plus de 60 minutes de ''tube'', l'album a un concept mais c'est tellement diluer dans la grosse rythmique pop et électronique que c'est trop. Elle s'est chanter, ca c'est certain, mais son concept de nous parler de la misère du monde avec un album qui ressemble sonne comme un arc-en-ciel.... je trouve pas que ca fit et en plus, considérant qu'elle vient d'une famille royale de la pop... on repassera... Apres 10 chansons, j'ai l'impression d'en être encore à la première. Je comprend qu'il y a des hits, si on écoute séparément une chanson de tout l'album c'est bon. Mais un album concept aussi saturé, c'est over produit... Quand même ce n'est pas mauvais... 2.75.

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Fri Jun 17 2022
2

False and artificial-sounding from the first note. Yes, there are some likable (even infectious) grooves (e.g., “Rhythm Nation,” “Alright”) and some sweetness here and there (“Love Will Never Do,” “Livin in a World,” “Someday is Tonight”). But the heavy-handed (to put it mildly) production and canned beats mostly overwhelm the musicality such that there’s a distinct lack of soul that makes this feel utterly disposable and mostly forgettable.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
2

Very dated, classic 'Orchestral Hit' midi sample littered throughout. Interludes are just plain annoying.

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Tue Aug 02 2022
2

Not good, not terrible, but surely more terrible than good.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
2

Janet I’m sure you’re lovely, but just leave it to Micheal, i didn’t really enjoy that! 2 stars because she was singing about pressing issues in the states at that time! Bumped her up from a 1

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Wed Sep 14 2022
2

Buen Pop 80ero, pero el mismo sonido en todo el album

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Fri Sep 16 2022
2

This was entirely disappointing. Glimpses of talent towards the end of the very loooong album, but they’re not worth waiting for, and cliché statements made about love, racism and such. She should leave those to her brother.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
2

Bloated, dated and self important.

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Wed Oct 05 2022
2

All I could think about during the album is the running man and parachute pants. She was saying some stuff of substance for sure. Would like to go 2.5.

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Wed Oct 05 2022
2

Janet dropping those sick beats. Then other not so super stuff. It’s all about the dancing.

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Wed Oct 12 2022
2

High production value pop which doesn't sound quite bad but it's supposed to be a concept album and it fails on that level. The style doesn't fit the message and all and the lyrics are just so meh. Basically a rich celebrity just saying "The world is bad, bad things are happening, it's so sad, why is world like this".

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Sun Oct 30 2022
2

80s Pop wie er im Buche steht. Klingt für mich teilweise von track zu track sehr ähnlich. Produktionsweise war in den 80ern glaube genau auf diesen Standard ausgerichtet. Siehe Michael.

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Thu Nov 03 2022
2

Michael's little sister basically portrayed the world in the '80s, particularly the crimes, wars, drugs, poverty, and the weird pop obsession to synthetic drums. Only the last one is portrayed well.

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Mon Nov 14 2022
2

Coincidentally a couple days ago I watched Adam Neely talking about how this song literally broke laptops back in the day, and why. Completely interesting worth a watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y3RGeaxksY Overall I found the contrast between the lyrical content and the cold but bouncy vibe to be, well, weird. I think the songs generally succeed as dance music but are less successful as social commentary. I don't fault the attempt, it just didn't really work for me. Honestly this is what I expect AI generated music to sound like in the future when we have AI generated music. 2.5 stars.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
2

Over produced, to slick. Not for me

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Tue May 11 2021
1

Una pérdida de tiempo. Una copia del sonido de su hermano con cosas penosas como estrofas en español en el tema Lovely. Totalmente prescindible para mi gusto.

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Mon May 17 2021
1

Lo que más me gustó de este álbum es la tapa. 1/5

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Sun Aug 08 2021
1

No no no nopes

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Thu Aug 12 2021
1

Runs a little thin on my hart- nothing jumps out as need-to-hear

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Tue Aug 17 2021
1

I really don't like this 90's pop stuff; it all felt really samey. All the slow songs were extremely similar. In addition, all the fast songs were the same just with different tempos. The drum beat was exactly the same, and it got really annoying listening to it.

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Tue Aug 17 2021
1

Just pop

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Fri Sep 10 2021
1

Not my cup of tea

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Fri Sep 10 2021
1

Inte så bra! Texterna är samhällskommenterande, vilket så klart uppskattas, även om det blir lite väl övertydligt ibland. Som denna del i "The Knowledge": "One, two, three, four Prejudice: no Ignorance: no Bigotry: no Illiteracy: no" Andra låtar har mer konventionellt kärleks- och danstema. Stora trummor och dansvänliga R&B-beats som tyvärr låter vääääääldigt daterade. Inte ett sound som har åldrats väl. Mycket låter som något teaterensemblen i en 90s-high school-film skulle sätta upp. Livin' in a World (They Didn't Make) är en lugnare låt som har en fin refräng, även om texten även här är jobbigt övertydlig. Den följande låten, Alright, är helt ok, och Janets sång låter ibland som Robyn (???). Låtarna är även för repetitiva och för långa, de flesta runt 5 minuter. Ville under lyssningen helst bara att albumet skulle ta slut. Bästa låt: Alright.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
1

I guess this is pretty good if you like Janet Jackson. The first track was surprisingly not as bad as I was expecting, but it was downhill after that. The overly used drum machine sound became tedious and annoying in the end.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
1

Bloody awful

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Fri Dec 10 2021
1

The idea of a pop concept album is interesting but this is not for me at all.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
1

One of the worst (and funniest) albums I've ever had to sit through. Half poor attempts at cliched Madonnaesque pop, half awful awful awfulllllllllllll """"""social commentary""""""" written by someone who has been stupid rich from the age of about 4 and maybe heard What's Going On on the radio once a few years back. Dreadful, terrible, awful but sometimes hilarious.

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