I won’t dwell on the unfortunate incident that happened to Janet is 2004, but I will however bring to your attention a song that many casual fans will not have heard due to the blacklisting that Janet faced post aforementioned incident. Today’s song of the day is I Want You from the Damita Jo album. The cut featured (amongst others) John Legend and Kanye West on writing duties, with West co-producing the song with Janet’s longtime producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. This of course back when Kanye made good music and not bad life choices.
The song was released in April 2005 as the second single from Damita Jo, and whilst the blacklisting may have caused it to fair not so well commercially, that does not take away from its significance as part of Janet’s discography. I Want You was the first time we heard Janet adopt a Motown sound so explicitly. Sure there had been Motown samples used on previous work – namely the janet. album – but this song is unapologetically Motown inspired, something Janet had previously shied away from due to her brother’s iconic connection to the genre. It also features a vocal delivery I feel is braver than most of the Janet ballads that had come before.
Sadly she has never performed I Want You live on any of the four tours since the song’s release causing it to be all but forgotten by most casual fans. However, with the man who sought to destroy Janet’s career post-Super Bowl receiving some much deserved karma right now and Janet receiving accolades and recognition in abundance, perhaps there is still hope for songs such as I Want You as the general public begin acquainting themselves with the work of Janet that since 2004 has been so unfairly hidden from them.