All For You, Janet Jackson Virgin Records America

Janet Jackson”s newest album, All For You, follows in a vein similar to her 1997 release Velvet Rope. She departs from any remnants of her “Let”s Wait A While” days and opts for something less innocent, delivering an album that ranks lower than any of her previous releases.

Those releases were all excellent because they showed versatility and maturity on Janet”s part. This album, while still good in its own right, repeats themes found in Velvet Rope. However, songs like “Truth” and “Son of a Gun,” a duet with Carly Simon, reflect recent developments in Janet”s personal life, specifically her divorce from a secret marriage to Rene Elizondo. “Son” is a direct slap in Elizondo”s face. Janet openly taunts him, claiming he won”t see any of her money.

On the flipside, Janet provides a radio friendly vibe on a few tracks, something absent from Velvet Rope. The widely played “All For You” and last summer”s hit “Doesn”t Really Matter” appear to lighten an album that could be viewed as overzealous in its dealings with sex and Janet”s personal issues.

Although it may seem like I”m touting Ms. Jackson”s latest endeavor as a signal of her demise, I do like it, even if it falls short of her previous efforts. It looks as if once again Janet and her production crew of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis can prepare for a platinum plaque. All For You is pleasing enough to gain that honor.

Grade: B

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