Used to be there was a time when a person couldn’t figure out which song on a Janet Jackson album wouldn’t become a hit single.
Of the nine tracks on Control, only three weren’t played to death on radio.
But sometime in the early 1990s, Janet discovered her body, and her music turned seductive, risqué and, sadly enough, somewhat predictable.
Her exploration of sex continues on All For You, and nowadays, it’s hard to figure out which songs are singles, because most of them sound like filler.
The album starts off well enough with the insanely catchy title track and the equally rump-shaking “Come On Get Up.” After that, All for You starts to crash, moving from one lush, sexy ballad to another.
Janet’s endeavor is clear: put this music on and screw like rabbits.
But don’t to put this album on for long commutes or for casual listening.
When Janet decides to pick up the pace, she missteps with “Son of a Gun”, a reworking of Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” that doesn’t really go anywhere, or with sampling the Ventures on “Someone to Call My Lover”, an action that speaks for itself.
There are some interesting moments on the disc. The mistitled “China Love” centers around a nice Indonesian gamelan sample. And “Would You” features the best fake orgasm since that infamous scene in the deli in When Harry Met Sally.
(The embarrassment factor of “Would You” decreases with each subsequent listen.)
Toward the end of the album, Janet regains the momentum established by the first few tracks of the album, but as a purely listening experience, the gesture is too little, too late.
In context of fuck music, however, a rousing finish makes for good post-coital mix.
Hmmm. Maybe I’m wrong about this album. Maybe All for You follows the arc of seduction — partying, pairing off, fucking, then small talk while waiting for the other person to get the hell out.
If that’s the case, then All for You is genius. But if it’s not, get this album only for those occassions when you’re digging into someone else’s pants.