Three days before the release of her first album in seven years, Janet Jackson will perform at the Smoothie King Center. The pop and rhythm-and-blues star brings her “Unbreakable” tour to the arena Wednesday, Sept. 30.
Jackson’s record company, Rhythm Nation, is releasing “Unbreakable” Friday. Her 11th studio album, it reteams the singer with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the production-songwriting team with whom she’s recorded 46 charted recordings.
“It’s wonderful to be creating again with Janet,” Jam and Lewis said in a press release. “From songwriting, producing, arranging, singing, dancing to acting, she deftly does it all and truly personifies the word ‘artist.’”
Jam and Lewis added that the new album is “a gift to all of the fans who have stood by her. If you want to know what’s on her mind, you only have to listen.”
The album also features autobiographical lyrics in which Jackson opens up about her late brother, Michael, for the first time.
“Unbreakable” arrives six months before the 30th anniversary of Jackson’s Jam-and-Lewis produced breakthrough, “Control.” The five Top 5 hits from “Control” made Jackson one of the ’80s’ biggest stars. “Control,” her third album, includes the Jackson signature hits “Nasty,” “What Have You Done for Me Lately” and “When I Think of You.”
The singer’s nearly 30 years of chart success makes her the second-most successful member of the Jackson family. She was still a big-selling artist when she previously appeared at the Smoothie King Center (then called the New Orleans Arena) in September 2001.
Reviews for Jackson’s “Unbreakable” tour report that it follows the military precision seen during her previous tours.
John Serba of mlive.com reported that Jackson segued seamlessly back to the ’80s, “in tight sync with a group of nine female dancers. Now, as then, she has attitude and energy to burn.”
The “Unbreakable” tour set list features 32 songs, including hits from “Control,” “Love Will Never Do (Without You),” “Rhythm Nation” “Miss You Much,” Jackson’s 1995 duet with her brother, Michael, “Scream,” and songs from “Unbreakable.”
“I’m proud to have stayed in the game and survived,” the singer said of her longevity. “And I’m proud that I’ve remained true to myself. But if you go back and listen to the music, you’ll hear how that self is always changing.”