LISTEN: Janet Jackson Gets Us Through With “Gon’ B Alright”


After hitting us with “No Sleeep” and the Missy Elliott-featuring “Burn It Up,” today Janet Jackson released Unbreakable, her first album since 2008’s Discipline. And while those early tastes showed us that the rigors of that eight-year-old album didn’t fracture her ability to groove, they also didn’t prepare us for the big-band party that is “Gon’ B Alright,” buried near the very end of her nineteen-track album.

“If you love someone, you better tell ’em now,” she teases at the song’s opening before opening to a big-tent refrain. “We all need a little love when we’re down in the dumps,” goes that chorus, but then, the whole thing feels like a chorus—there’s a little Aretha hidden in the HOO!-ing backing vocals, a little Sly Stone in the baritone that snakes in and out, a little Stevie in the clanking keyboards, even a little Earth, Wind, and Fire in the stadium-ready horn chart. It’s not that you’ve never heard anything like this; it’s that you’ve never really heard it all at the same time before.


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