Video Vibes: Janet Jackson Feat. Daddy Yankee - Made For Now (2018) August 18, 2018 12:21
After another long hiatus Janet is back with her recently dropped single Made For Now, a very poppy dance beat track featuring Latin rapper Daddy Yankee. While I've always had a soft spot for Janet (Miss Jackson if you're nasty) I have to admit this song is incredibly underwhelming and disappointing, let me explain.
In the 1980's Janet Jackson was the staple of American R&B, as the genre evolved from soul music of the 60's and 70's with artists like the late Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and many others, and replaced by a more sensual sound with artists like Janet and the countless that followed in 1990's. Unlike her brother, Michael, she stuck to R&B and dominated it for the better of two decades, her career finally taking a hit when the genre once again starting changing in the early 2000's.
Since 2004's Damita Jo any real commercial success for her music seemed to be long gone, and the multiple personal battles and long gaps in between albums didn't seem to help either. 2015's Unbreakable seemed to come and go without a blimp even though it did chart at #1 on the Billboard 200 and several publications named it one of the best releases of 2015, but selling around only a 250,000 copies in US is far from stellar. Three years later she's back again and the result is a very standard and bland cookie cutter two verse lyric and chorus repeated over and over again with a Latin rapper inserted in the middle. Let's just cut the crap and be honest, this isn't groundbreaking in the least, and if it wasn't Janet Jackson and we compared it to the hundred plus other songs that have used the same exact formula in the last five years this song would be lost in the mix so fast no one would know it ever existed!
Set aside the fact these songs are incredibly basic and I'd argue can be churned out in a month or less, because everyone is making them. Most of the song she simply repeats the phrase "Not for tomorrow, we're made for now, look around we're made for now" over and over and over again, to the point that ironically the featured artist, Daddy Yankee, actually has more lyrics in the song than Janet herself! If you like your songs with one verse repeated over and over again that's fine, I have a few records with a playback loop I'd like to sell you! I enjoy a good beat myself but I expect more from an artist like Janet Jackson whose been in the business thirty plus years, and is in a place in her career where she has nothing to lose in taking some risks and doing something different than everyone else. But conforming to an already stale formula of essentially looping yourself isn't going to revive her career, it might stir up her popularity for a while with the YouTube masses, but translating into album sales in six months to a year likely won't happen, as their attention span and translation into actual sales usually isn't there. It may be a catchy song that will stay in people's heads for a couple weeks but it will quickly be replaced by the next song that uses the same exact formula.
So while the comments on YouTube act like this is the second coming of her career, I sit here wondering has the state of music really dropped this far? I'm only in my early 30's so I hate to sit here and sound like the bitter old man who just mutters "music's not what it used to be", but that's not even the point here. I could give you multiple examples of current artists who put out this type of music and it's ten times better, there's half a dozen of them in Romania alone and they actually sing! Janet is barely even singing in this song! I only wish the best for her and her career, and I'm not trying to be a "Debbie Downer" here, I'm trying to be honest and unbiased, trying to look past the fact its Janet Jackson and that I think more people are willing to accept some mediocrity because of that. She's capable of so much more and if she has to stoop to using a tired formula to revive her career I don't have much hope of any long lasting revival. It's more of what we've seen from her in the last decade, a decent song, she'll eventually release an album and then suddenly disappear for another three plus years.