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Discussion in 'Music' started by MarcusUdeh, May 1, 2004.
Did all the media coverage on Janet’s wardrobe malfunction cause Damita Jo’s lackluster sales?
No, the public misconception that Janet has no talent caused Damita Jo's "lackluster" sales. Although I find it funny that she sold more records in the first week than say, Beyonce, but the media called Damita Jo a flop and Dangerously In Love a hit based only on that. It was still Janet's second best opening sales week ever behind All For You (which had a #1 single at release vs. very little radio support at all for Damita Jo's singles, but of course that part was convieniently left out of all the media stories). And no, it wasn't the single choices, both Just A Little While and I Want You would no doubt have been hit songs at a different time. JALW is currently #2 on the Dance/Club play charts and I Want You is definitely a sleeper hit both on R&B radio and the few pop stations that will play it. People also think she has changed too much, they expect her to record Rhythm Nation over and over again every time she makes an album. Of course if she did that, people would just say she is copying herself, so she can't win. And for some reason people think that because Janet doesn't scream at the top of her lungs that she can't sing. In my opinion, her voice is pleasant to listen to and she can control it well. All in all, Damita Jo is a great addition to her catalogue that will go largely unappreciated because they believe ignorant reviews and articles that say the album is too sexual. This album is about love and it shows, but of course we Americans with our high morals will only notice her nipple and the 3 songs about sex.
Thank you for the insight Shawn. Also worth pointing out is the fact that she’s a Jackson and like the Kennedy’s people think they're worthy of public criticism.
I think Janet's career is just running its natural course given the way the industry operates today. She is following Mariah into irrelevence..not because she isn't talented, but because she's not as young, not as sexy and not as current as others like Britney and Beyonce. It's classic post-MTV stuff...Female artist makes it big. Female artist raises the sex quotient. Female artist gets bigger. Female artist waits too long in between albums. Younger female artist comes up. Older female artist becomes old news. Younger artist raises the sex quotient. Younger artist gets bigger. Older artist fades into irrelevence..rinse, repeat and so on. No different with Janet than what already happened to Mariah, what is happening to Christina and what will happen to Beyonce and Britney. Janet rode a system to huge heights, and now that same system has replaced her. Live by the sword, die by the sword. The good news for her is that she has a core of dedicated fans who recognize her talent and ability. The bad news is that this core isn't ever going to be large enough to give her the huge sales she once had. The spending dollars needed to give artists huge sales like that in large part come from teens...And to them, Britney and Beyonce are in, and Janet is just old.
Is it wholeheartedly possible for Janet to ever have Cher-like comeback relevance?
I agree with Carl 100%. Great post, bro. It's just the way of things. Not necessarily with the industry, because lord knows they infuse plenty of marketing money to sell her album, but also with public perception. Personally, I think after the Super Bowl incident people were just sick of hearing about her(I know I was) so if sales suffered it might be because people tuned her out. In which case the controversy hurt sales not helped. Over-saturation in the media, etc. Incidentally, I don't the album's title or the artwork helped.
Well I like the title; I do agree that the cover art and overall sexually explicit nature of the project might have proved boring. I truly enjoy this album myself. However lyrically it has no real substance. To be fair remember; she's not Joni Mitchell she just sampled her for a song. I hope this project does ship a million for platinum certification. Btw Telepopmusik helped produce the album's opening interlude.
Forget that question she already has a dedicated gay fan-base. The Japanese seem to not be able to let go of anything she releases. She'll be fine just not what nostalgia dictates in the loyalist minds.
Personally, if I wanted to listen to Janet sing about deeper issues or whatever classifies as substance to you I would put on The Velvet Rope or Rhythm Nation. Why can't she sing about love, and the islands, and how sometimes she thinks about her ex? Is that nothing? Is love not THE deepest issue in most everyones life? "Truly" is one of the most achingly beautiful songs she has recorded, it brings me to tears. As much as I love the darker themed songs on Rope and Nation, they do not evoke the same emotions. You all make very good points, it's just a shame to me I guess.
I think there's something to be said for a mature artist like Janet to bypass the whole sexual aspect of selling anything. Face it; you're old, lass. Not just music industry-wise but in terms of years on this planet. To keep using the sex object aspect is foolhardy, I think, which is why I think the album cover was the wrong direction to take. It also didn't help when Justin pulled her top to reveal a sagging boob. Hmmm.. sagging boob=sagging sales?
Now you know that ain't right :b
The time will come when she is ready to cover up. She started late, she's having fun. If growing older means I have to cover up my pierced nipple and stop enjoying sex, I pray it shall never come. Since when is 37 old anyway? And by the way, if we're going by the true meaning of the word "sag", then all boobs sag. Hey, at least she proved they're real.
In the music and film industries when your competition is the likes of Britney, Avril, and what ever other new and much younger talents come along(and they are usually quite young these days), 37 is especially old, mature, how ever you want to classify it. The prime example is Mariah. At some point she failed to evolve her image and decided to remain a sex kitten. Janet seems to be following the same path. Btw I'm into older women but it's all in the way it's packaged to me. There's 'classy mature' and there's 'desperately trying to be young' mature.
Well, I guess that's society today. 14 year old girls are allowed to snatch up all the naval-bearing shirts they like, but people who are actually old enough to make their own decisions are "trying to hold onto their youth". But anyway, we are getting slightly off-topic now. Damita Jo isn't selling bucketloads because the world is largely inhabited by people with bad taste. Just look at all those albums Usher is selling. Talk about serving the ego.
I know this is going to sound a little crazy but I judge an artist for their music, not for their looks. I like the new Damita Jo disc but I also like The Verve and Radiohead, their singers are quite homely. And age means nada if the music is still good. Take George Michael's new Patience CD - it's outstanding!
According to janet-xone.com "Just A Little While" will hit #1 on the Dance/Club play charts this week, which makes this her 16th #1 Dance/Club single. Quite impressive considering the the only person with more #1's on that chart has released twice as many albums and singles as her, Madonna. I'm not sure about Madonna's exact number though, can anyone help me out?
Damn this is crzay Shawn; why was I about to post this same thing? Are a member of velvetworld
Thanks Gary. I think the industry for popular music pretty much revolves around MTV. MTV was once Janet's own personal promotional machine, but since MTV has devoted itself to Britney, Janet doesn't get a lot of play from them. Still penty of money goes into and toward promoting Janet, but the push is just way smaller. I think if Janet Jackson would change her aim, she'd have greater success finding her available audience. You basically said as much in your comments about her album cover and suggestion she ditch the sex kitten thing. My point is that Janet is still aiming for the MTV audience and that's her mistake IMO. To a 15 year old MTV viewer, Janet Jackson looks like she's copying Beyonce. Ironic, but true. Club goers apparently still like Janet, so maybe it would make sense for Janet to make an album that was 30% targeted to the club going age demographic and 70% targeted to people older than that...Instead of targeting 30% club goers and 70% MTV viewership.
I like the way you think.
Me too John. But popular music today is in large part guided by image, not music. I wish I could find an article I read about a year ago which reported on popular MTV artists who essentially had their entire careers sculpted around their image and appearance. The ones I remember most were Pink and Avril Lavigne. Pink was initially pushed as an R&B singer, but when that didn't sell as expected, they put her back in the musical incubator and she re-emerged as the edgy, psudeo punk that she is today. Avril Lavigne was supposed to be a pop singer inititally, but they changed their minds after recording some demo songs and video because they felt she'd come off better as a skater chic. She wasn't sexy enough to be a Britney or a Christina, so they found a niche for her look. The article had a lot of interesting insight into how todays pop stars are crafted by their image and appearance and how the music they eventually stand behind is basically just an add-on.