Throwback Thursdays: Janet Jackson Control – 35th Anniversary

Throwback Thursdays

February 4, 2021, marks the 35th anniversary of Janet Jackson’s album Control. The themes of the album are empowerment, love and life.

The music is Pop, combined with R&B. The range of beats is incredible throughout this album. The sound, 35 years later, this record is still great to listen to because it’s catchy and timeless. The music was bold and innovative for the time. The compositions are fantastic. Janet Jackson, James Harris III, Terry Lewis did impressive work in producing most of the songs. Jellybean Johnson (You Can Be Mine), Steve Wiese and Monte Moir (Pleasure Principle), and Spencer Bernard (He Doesn’t Know I’m Alive) also did an excellent job in the production of the album’s music. The record starts with a fast then ends on two slow ballads that express their seriousness:  Let’s Wait Awhile and Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun). The transition from fast to slow in the tracklist is smooth and incredible. The music is timeless and unforgettable.

Janet Jackson’s voice is beautiful, impressive and bold. She sings with confidence and passion. She has a unique vocal style that is her own.

The lyrics are empowering and still relevant to the current times. The song Nasty, for example, is about standing up to men who harass, which can apply to the recent “Me Too” movement. The words are well-written, flowy and memorable. The album is about personal life experiences that are still important in modern times.    

For example, Control is about gaining independence from family, which some people desire to do as they hit adulthood. The same applies to another song entitled Pleasure Principle  (written by Monte Moir)Janet Jackson’s are also romantic, which is the case for the tunes You Can Be Mine,  When I Think of You and Let’s Wait Awhile. The first two are cheerful songs about being in love. The tune Let’s Wait Awhile is serious but sweet and talks about taking time to get to know one another in a new relationship. Melanie Andrews describes the complexity of relationships and mixed emotions in great detail. She co-wrote the tune with Janet Jackson, James Harris III, and Terry Lewi. Here’s also the other story, the partner taking the other one for granted in the couple, as described in detail in the song What Have You For Me Lately?.  

What’s impressive the rare topic of a girl not telling a guy how she feels, which one can hear in He Doesn’t Know I’m Alive (written by Spencer Bernard).  Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun) is the most profound piece of the album as it describes the perception of time and gives the valuable lesson to appreciate life as it happens. 

Janet Jackson, James Harris III, and Terry Lewis also did impressive work in writing Control, Nasty, What Have You Done For Me Lately, You Can Be Mine, When I Think of You, and Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun). The album is diverse in subject matter and is still relevant in contemporary times.  

The album Control is remarkable in its music and diversity of subject matter or different perspectives on classic topics such as relationships and heartbreak.

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