Iconic. Innovative. Influential.
These are three words that would best describe Janet Jackson.
Today’s From The Vault pick is an demonstration of the indelible imprint she has left in our beloved Pop Culture. ‘I Get Lonely’ from 1997’s ‘The Velvet Rope’ is this week’s selection.
The work of then-fantastic four Ms. Jackson, Jam & Lewis as well as Jackson’s ex-husband and frequent collaborator Rene Elizondo, ‘Lonely’ is an authentic R&B track that sees Janet lamenting over being away from an estranged lover. A classic Janet “baby-making song”, its dramatic horns and sultry bass make for a sexy-sensual atmosphere which contrasts – in the best way possible – with Jackson strong yet vulnerable vocal delivery. The singer’s trademark harmonies are in full force as well. A triumph.
Releasing the track as a follow up to Dance-Pop mega hit ‘Together Again’ was quite the bold move at the time, but turned out to be a risk worth taking as it became the diva’s 18th consecutive Billboard Top 10 smash – peaking at #3 – and claiming the top spot of the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B chart. In the UK, the R&B jam fared rather well too reaching the fifth position of the Official Singles Chart.
As it is often the case with the stage-blazer, the accompanying visual for the tune is as memorable as the tune itself. The Paul Hunter directed music video presents a flame-haired Janet in various futuristic sets including one where she – alongside her female dancers – engages in some silky smooth choreography, proving yet again that she is no one-trick-pony who can only do intricate high-octane routines.
From the fashion and hair & make up to the choreography, it is indeniable how impactful this video has been and is continuing to be: Britney’s ‘Me Against The Music’, Kelly Rowland’s ‘Motivation’, Rihanna’s ‘LOUD’ era look anyone?!
We won’t state again how seriously we’re anticipating Ms. Jackson’s return to chart glory. For today all we will do is salute yet again a tremendous artist who’s vision and audacity helped change the entertainment landscape forever.