Rumors of Janet Jackson’s imminent return have been circulating for months, culminating in an official announcement last month straight from the singer’s lips that she’d reunited with longtime collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for the first time since 2006’s disappointing 20 Y.O. and would be releasing her first album in over seven years on her own Rhythm Nation record label. We got the first taste of the fruits of those labors today with the release of the forthcoming album’s lead single, “No Sleeep.” Opening with requisite thunder claps and a rumbling bassline, the track feels initially underwhelming, an unassuming, if not soporific, R&B slow jam rather than the clattering, bombastic comeback banger one might have expected from the dance-pop legend. Once the “plush,” throbbing groove—accented by long, sinuous organ stabs—and sensually tossed-off verses kick in, though, “No Sleeep” reveals itself to be an effortless slow burner reminiscent of 1993’s “That’s the Way Love Goes.” While the single doesn’t quite match that song’s taste-making reinvention, Janet and company get an extra “e” for effort. Listen to “No Sleeep” after the jump:
Jackson’s as-yet-untitled new album, her first since 2008’s Discipline, is due out this fall. The singer’s Unbreakable World Tour kicks off August 31st in Vancouver, BC.