Spencer reviews Janet Jackson’s latest album, Unbreakable:
There’s precisely one song that might endure in the list of Jackson classics: “No Sleeep,” the comeback single that’s enjoyed a solid run on the R&B charts. It’s about as far away from Rhythm Nation’s juxtaposition of hard beats with Jackson’s soft, breathy voice as you can get—here, as they did for many of her ’90s and 2000s albums, Jam and Lewis pair gentle with gentle, keeping time with a slow, swinging snap (I prefer the bonus version tacked to the end of the album, in which the rapper J. Cole doesn’t barge in, but oh well).
She’s not political here, either, singing about staying up 48 hours with a lover. But you can imagine the song being employed by listeners to set the mood for the very same, glorious fantasy situation that Jackson’s lyrics describe; for them at least, she will have succeeded in changing the world through song.
Have a track to recommend? Drop me an email.