Damita Jo - Janet Jackson
Damita Jo Image
Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 63 Ratings

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  • Summary: The nipple-baring superstar's first album in three years features production from Dallas Austin, Babyface, Kanye West, and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. The obligatory boring ballads aside, the results are astonishing.
  2. 80
    What's titillating about Damita Jo isn't some easy flash of sexuality, but the varied soundbeds that Jackson and her producers create to house her love games, and the confidence with which she plays. [May 2004, p.116]
  3. At 22 tracks, "Damita Jo" has its fair share of hits and misses.
  4. For the most part, the songs are stylized set pieces--the furthest thing from steamy R&B--and they evaporate as you listen to them. [9 Apr 2004, p.83]
  5. That it'll be her most scrutinised release is a problem, because its stilted, wearying, obsessive concentration on an uncomfortably forced notion of it's creator's sexuality means it's the only album she's made in the last dozen years that doesn't merit such focussed attention.
  6. Finds her flailing club-footedly some twelve steps behind contemporary R&B, whispering distractedly through a seemingly unending array of interludes and phoning in songs that even Mariah at her most barely-there would dismiss as a trifle on the insipid side.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 51
  2. Negative: 5 out of 51
  1. Nov 19, 2012
    9
    This is my 3rd favorite Janet album of all time! I believe this was too criticized but I absolutely love it. Like all albums, I like some tracks more than others. However, most of the songs in my opinion are solid and right on. My favorites are All Nite (Don't Stop) and Island Life. I do not understand why people got so upset about the Superbowl Wardrobe Malfunction (which was an ACCIDENT) and the fact that she used sexual terms. Let's go back to janet. in 1993. That's the album that dubbed Janet as a sex symbol, but no one had an issue with it then. Now that she gets slightly more explicit, she's suddenly disastrous. Only true Janet Jackson fans love this album. The only songs on this album I have an issue with are Sexhibition, Warmth, and Moist. I like them, don't get me wrong, but they are really almost disturbing to listen to (coming from a person who is absolutely comfortable about sexual terms). Those songs I'll only listen to if I'm listening to the full album. The rest of the album, though, I really love! Great work by the best singer of all time, Janet Jackson. Expand
  2. May 29, 2013
    8
    After being demonized by American press for her infamous nipplegate (in which Justin stay alive totally fine), this tempting album by Janet Jackson suffered great commercial flop. But the truth is that this is inevitable her best work in the 2000s. Other than the title track and the movie associated "Doesn't Really Matter", "All For You" (a.k.a the ultimate filler collection) is hardly a satisfying work for such an artist that used to probe into the deepest side of human being, and even the further on plastic R&B 20 Y.O. plus the pre-Lady Gaga era electropop Discipline, none of them reached the height to impress listeners and critics like her old works.

    "Damita Jo", on the other hand, is way more sensual than "All For You" while much more straightforward than "janet.". The reason you don't find such detailed expression like "My hands wrapped around, stroking up and down" in albums like "janet." and "The Velvet Rope" is that the sexuality expressed in these albums are supposed to be tied together with humanity, while the big leap forward found in "Damita Jo" is that she both revealed and created a complete personality of Janet's alter ego, or if you prefer, just the more private side of her life.

    Musically this album is nothing about vanguardism. Some of the materials you may find include 70s disco and 80s R&B ballad which not only are obviously abandoned old materials, and definitely would not hit, even without all the controversy she undergo a few months ago. Let's look at it with another perspective: This album, with all the modern soul elements, have a great consistency, which is great enough to say it's very precisely crafted. Even with all type of futuristic material you can imagine, "Discipline" failed to category itself as a classic, because "Damita Jo" already achieved the state that all the music elements can link up with each other, while expressing a complete personality of our lovely Damita Jo.

    The only other female singer that made her way to demonstrate her life within Music in such a detailed way is Mary J Blige. But ask yourself, are you actually interested in Mary J Blige's sex life? Most likely not.
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