Janet Jackson
Rhythm Nation 1814


4.0
excellent

Review

by Zachary Powell USER (64 Reviews)
February 16th, 2008 | 13 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rhythm Nation comes with hits so big and production so fresh, you would think it'd be a contender for best album of 2008, much less 1989

The eighties were just wrapping up and another Jackson was putting the final touches on her big decade. Her first three albums saw moderate success and put her out of her brother's shadow and into the mainstream. Rhythm Nation put the exclamation point on her career, it exploded her into the public eye through the medium of thematic videos and a record amount of singles. The album itself is powered by the quality invested in it, top notch production from Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and a musically diverse collection of songs flowing with the natural talent Jackson possesses make for a work of many natures. Rhythm Nation is the concerned lover (*Black Cat"), the socially conscious activist ("State of the World", and the fun loving youth ("Escapade") all in one nicely packed black and white package.

"We are a nation with no geographic boundaries/bound together through our beliefs" introduces the piece with "Pledge". The sentiments are heavily reflected with the first song and eventual number two single, "Rhythm Nation". The song itself combines (as mentioned) heavy, fast paced production and a group sung chorus; the end result is a catchy, smart single which would appease the Jackson haters and delight the fans, sure she has this extraordinary song, but her perceived image of being a one hit wonder still lingers at this point, does Rhythm Nation 1814 have anything else to offer?

As it turns out, yes. "State of the World" keeps the upbeat motion that Rhythm Nation begins, but with more of a socially conscious twist. It shares with the preceding track a groovy beat and dancability, but takes it to another direction lyrically and shows the caring side of Janet Jackson. While it is her forte, dance pop is not the only thing being played and expressed here, "Black Cat shows a shining contrast to that. Propelled by a Jellybean Johnson face melting guitar solo and Janet delivering lines with sharp riffs, rock and roll lives and gives the listeners a fresh new style to enjoy. What all three of these songs have in common, and the big picture of the album overall, is that they are all hits. "Black Cat", "State of the Nation, "Rhythm Nation", "Miss You Much", "Love Will Never Do (Without You)", "Alright", and "Come Back to Me" all reached the Billboard's top 5 and displayed the musical and commercial popularity peak that Janet Jackson reached in this album (since the 80's only featured good music).

Another thing that has helped out this album stay so fresh is the way it is paced. A twenty track album would lead you to believe it's an eighty minute pop marathon with no room for breathing or memorable moments. Instead, the interludes actually help it by giving videos context to shoot it in, and also allows people to take a step back and absorb the surroundings in which this album was recorded under. A cultural time capsule of fine pop music this is, Rhythm Nation 1814 shows us how it earned that year of reference (the year the Star Spangled Banner was composed) as on the 18th of September 1989, Janet Jackson showed her own nation of groove. And it was good.



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user ratings (43)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalikane
February 16th 2008


851 Comments


It's pretty crazy that this is almost 20 years old. I remember the video fairly well. It was totally boss.

Zmev
February 16th 2008


983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes that video is awesome. Her and a bunch of military guys hauling ass in an abandoned factory in black and white is class.

Neoteric
February 16th 2008


3243 Comments


sup zmev

i see you're filling in your duty of staff now :]

Eliminator
February 16th 2008


2067 Comments


didnt know zmev was on staff

Neoteric
February 16th 2008


3243 Comments


he used to review loads then just probably got a life or whatever

Zmev
February 16th 2008


983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Working/schooling full time takes a lot of my time. I felt inspired to review this because there were no Janet Jackson albums in the database even.

McP3000
February 16th 2008


3941 Comments


Ewww

she makes me gag

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2008


15740 Comments


You make me gag.

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

citizeninsane
June 14th 2008


131 Comments


stupid question: how much do yall think a vinyl record of this would go for?.........just hypothetically?.............


(i found one at an old antique store.....)

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
September 27th 2008


16089 Comments


10-12 dollars. There were tons made.
Lol at being late

sadmafioso
September 27th 2008


318 Comments


yeah john bought three copies

Meatplow
April 24th 2011


5524 Comments


excellent album

BigHans
October 17th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

BLACK CAT NINE LIVES SHORT DAYS LONG NIGHTS LIVING ON THE EDGE NOW YOURE GONNA DIE.



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