It’s not exactly a case of sibling rivalry, but it’s hard not to compare Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson when it comes to their music. Big brother far surpasses little sister in popularity and record sales, thanks mainly to his reign as King Of Pop in the 1980s, but this is about the quality of their music, specifically in 2001; the first year both released a new album since Janet’s debut got trounced by Thriller. She’s basically been on the come up since then while only Dangerous nears the level of Michael’s 1982 magnum opus. In this new era of All For You and Invincible, it seems Janet has begun to eclipse her brother.
It’s not a blowout by any means. Both are good albums, but Janet’s is consistently good while Michael, whose signature vocal style and unprecedented ad-libs make him the better singer, stumbles a few times along the way. If I were to compare the albums song for song, they’d be about equal, but the essence of an album is more than just its individual tracks. There’s order and flow to be considered. In that regard, Janet does better, partly because Invincible, though led by Rodney Jerkins, employs five main producers while All For You continues Janet’s partnership with Jimmy Jam And Terry Lewis.
Jam and Lewis are major music talents, at least in the soul groove genre they specialize in, and Rodney Jerkins doesn’t stand a chance against them. His music, on a Michael Jackson album, actually disappoints more than it impresses, leaving it up to the singer; my pick for best in the world of pop (popular) music; to lift the songs from mediocrity. Listen to the first three. The title song doesn’t even have a bassline. You Rock My World sounds great; not only is it the best song on the album, it’s one of Michael’s all-time best; but even it can’t outdo the title song of All For You, which happens to be Janet’s all-time best.
That song; five minutes of flirty fun; owes its party life, and much of its artistic credit, to a Luther Vandross (Change) cut from decades ago. Invincible, the album, is more original, sampling only a rap verse from The Notorious BIG and TV clips from The Twilight Zone. It’s no Thriller though. It’s not even Bad. It’s Michael Jackson’s worst album going up against what I consider to be Janet Jackson’s best. To be clear, All For You is the title of both her best song and best album. With that said, while I certainly prefer Michael Jackson as a music artist overall, deciding the better of these two albums isn’t hard to do.
my vote : All For You
1981 or 1982
1981 or 1982