All for You (Janet Jackson album)

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All for You
Studio album by Janet Jackson
Released April 16, 2001 (2001-04-16)
Recorded 2000–01
Genre
Length 73:01
Label Virgin
Producer
Janet Jackson chronology
The Velvet Rope
(1997)
All for You
(2001)
Damita Jo
(2004)
Singles from All for You
  1. "All for You"
    Released: March 13, 2001
  2. "Someone to Call My Lover"
    Released: June 26, 2001
  3. "Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)"
    Released: December 11, 2001
  4. "Come On Get Up"
    Released: November 13, 2002

All for You is the seventh studio album by American recording artist Janet Jackson. Released on April 16, 2001 by Virgin Records, its development and theme was rooted in Jackson's separation from husband René Elizondo, Jr, experiencing dating for the first time. Unlike The Velvet Rope, which saw Jackson tackling darker issues such as domestic violence and depression, All for You showcased an upbeat dance-pop sound, incorporating rock, house, and funk, as well as soft rock and Oriental music. Its composition focuses on passion, romance, and intercourse, also discussing themes of betrayal and deceit. The explicit language and sexual content of several songs drew media controversy, causing the album to be banned in several countries.

All for You was well received by music critics, who commended its upbeat nature and the sonic innovation of several songs. It was also considered one of her sexiest albums and among the best of her career. The album received three Grammy Award nominations, including "Best Pop Vocal Album," winning "Best Dance Recording" for its title track. It became Jackson's fifth consecutive album to debut at number one in the United States and had the biggest opening week sales of her career. Upon its release, it also had the second highest first week sales from a female artist in SoundScan history. It reached the top five of most countries internationally and was the biggest selling international album of the year in Japan.

Three singles were released following "Doesn't Really Matter", a single from the soundtrack of the comedy film The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, which starred Jackson. Lead single "All for You" became one of Jackson's most successful singles and broke multiple airplay records. It was the biggest hit of the year, peaking atop the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks. "Someone to Call My Lover" also achieved success, reaching number three and within the top ten and twenty in many countries internationally, while "Son of a Gun" attained moderate success. "Come on Get Up" was released as a promotional single in Japan. The album campaign was ended prematurely following financial losses from other artists on the Virgin label, despite its success. All for You was the year's twelfth biggest selling album worldwide. In support of the release, Jackson embarked on the All for You Tour, which ranked her as the year's third most successful touring act.

In promotion for the album, Jackson was declared MTV's inaugural icon, receiving a televised tribute titled MTV Icon: Janet Jackson. The special honored Jackson's legacy within music and popular culture, in recognition of "one of the most influential and beloved tastemakers in contemporary pop." Upon the album's success, Jackson was thought to surpass the influence of contemporaries such as Madonna; considered the primary influence to several upcoming artists who emulated her artistry. Jackson was presented numerous career accolades, including the American Music Award's "Award of Merit," TMF Award's "Lifetime Achievement Award," and Recording Academy's "Governor's Award." The album and its various singles have been cited to influence artists such as Britney Spears, Rihanna, Kylie Minogue, BoA, Christina Aguilera, and Katy Perry.

Conception[edit]

In 2000 Jackson separated from René Elizondo, Jr, exposing their secret nine-year marriage to the public as he filed for divorce, leading to intense media scrutiny.[1][2] Amidst the separation, Jackson began recording her seventh album. MTV News reported Jackson had nearly completed work on the "upbeat, fun and carefree" record, in contrast to the darker tone of her prior release.[3] Producer Jimmy Jam stated, "This record now, even though it may not be the best of times in her personal life, she feels that the future is bright... She's excited about music and about life in general. She's excited about what the next year will hold for her, and that's the tone she's set for herself and [the album]."[3] Jam added, "In the history of Janet, the records that are the happy records, that make people smile, have always traditionally been the more successful records.. going back as far to songs like 'When I Think of You' to 'Doesn't Really Matter.' This continues that tradition, with kind of a nod to the dance music of the '80s."[3] Virgin Records' president Roy Cooper stated, "The new album is very bright, it's very upbeat and dynamic. She wanted to make an album that was rhythmically strong as well as melodically strong. She also wanted as explosive and strong a start as possible, and this certainly qualifies."[4] Explaining its concept, Jackson said:

Recording[edit]

Jackson planned to record with The Neptunes and Basement Jaxx during the album's initial stages.

All for You marked the first time Jackson enlisted additional producers aside from Jam & Lewis since the release of her breakthrough Control, collaborating with Rockwilder. After recording exclusively with the duo, Jackson felt the desire to recruit new talent, explaining "I think it was The Velvet Rope that brought all of that to some sort of completion for me... it was very cathartic for me doing that — I felt it was OK to go out and explore other producers." She pursued Rockwilder upon hearing Method Man and Redman's single "Da Rockwilder," desiring uptempo productions in a similar vein.[6] Jackson also collaborated with The Neptunes, being among the first artists to work with the production team. Several confirmed titles included "Boys," "Ecstasy," "My Big Secret," and "What It Is."[7][8] However, the songs did not make the final album, with "Boys" later recorded by Britney Spears and "What It Is" recorded by Kelis. Spears released "Boys" as a single in remix form with Pharrell Williams, referencing Jackson's hit "Nasty" during several lines and citing it as her favorite song to perform.[9] Additionally, Spears' single "I'm a Slave 4 U" was originally written and produced for the album.[10] "My Big Secret" was later recorded for Spears' In the Zone album, though wasn't released.[8]

Upon expressing admiration for the Basement Jaxx's debut album Remedy, Jackson contacted the house duo to collaborate.[11] Jackson was offered to record the Jaxx's single "Get Me Off" for the album, though declined.[12][13] She would later record several unreleased songs with them for her following album, Damita Jo.[14] An unreleased collaboration with Jay-Z was recorded.[15]
Outkast also featured on an unreleased remix of "Someone to Call My Lover."[16] Jackson had planned to record a duet with Aaliyah, intended to appear on All for You in addition to Aaliyah's self-titled album released several months later, though was unable to proceed due to scheduling conflicts.[17] A collaboration with Missy Elliott titled "Nasty Girl 2000," an updated cover of Jackson's hit "Nasty," was intended to feature Jackson and additional vocals from Aaliyah, but was not recorded.[18] Jackson also desired to collaborate with British singer Robbie Williams.[19] The album intended to feature a house and hip-hop direction during its early stages, with other potential collaborators including Dallas Austin, Swizz Beatz, Diddy, Missy Elliott, Teddy Riley, Kandi Burruss, and Darrell "Delite" Allamby.[20][21] However, the collaborations did not come to fruition due to scheduling conflicts while filming and periodic illness throughout recording. An unreleased song titled "New Beginning" appeared in initial press releases but was not included on the album.[3]

Music and theme[edit]

"At times we all use our work to get through personal things, and in that regard the albums and the part in Nutty Professor II were really successful in giving her the incentive to strengthen herself. And I think through it she managed to find this sort of feeling that 'I'm OK with myself, and I have people who love me.' Because she wasn't thinking all that well of herself then."

Jimmy Jam talks about Jackson recording All for You.[22]

Following her divorce, Jackson decided to record an uptempo, optimistic album rather than songs about sadness or anger. Producer Jimmy Jam said, "You go through all these emotions and then you come out of it on the other side and say, "I'm going to be okay and I have a lot of things to be thankful for,' and that was the overriding feeling in her life when we were making this album."[23] Its concept focuses largely on the demise of her marriage to René Elizondo, Jr. and subsequent embrace of the single life, experiencing dating for the first time. It also contains themes of sensuality, deceit, and betrayal. Jackson said, "It’s a different thing for me. Growing up, I never dated. I’m doing that now, experiencing that whole life."[24] Its upbeat tempo intended to reflect Jackson's self-esteem, described as "a work in progress." Jam commented, "She doesn't see herself the way other people see her. You know...gorgeous and sexy and all that. That isn't the kind of person she is. Although she is closer to feeling like that person now than she was 15 years ago. Or even three of four years ago."[25] Jackson commented, "I look back at pictures of myself from four years ago and I see the unhappiness in my eyes. But I'm in the greatest space now... I believe we have choices and paths, and it's about choosing the right path, the promising path."[26] While recording, Jackson listened to artists such as St. Germain, Buena Vista Social Club, Thievery Corporation, Basement Jaxx, Outkast and Papa Roach.[11][27]

John Mulvey of Yahoo! Music noted, "All For You is a concept album of sorts, rooted in Jackson's traumatic separation from husband and collaborator René Elizondo, Jr.. It begins tremendously, with a bunch of party tracks illustrating a newly-free woman checking out men on the dancefloor. Soon, the action moves to the bedroom, and some amusingly explicit shagging tracks, before a virulent suite detailing what a bastard her ex is. Finally, there's a soppy phase heralding a new life and the prospects of new love."[28] According to Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic, the album is divided into three segments: divorce, industry, and sex.[29] However, MTV News perceived All for You as "dominated by two themes: the liberation that comes with ending a bad relationship, and sex," blending elements of pop, funk, R&B and rock.[30]

Songs[edit]

The album's interludes consist of Jackson's recorded asides, placing clips from her one-sided conversations between the tracks.[25] Its introduction finds Jackson impersonating actress Fran Drescher.[20] The opening track, "You Ain't Right," is a scathing attack on a former associate, thought to be directed at her former choreographer, Tina Landon.[31] It uses piston-like rhythms, drum machines and synthesizers; its production likened to "a thick sci-fi stomp that suggests a Garry Glitter glam-rock anthem crossed with the soundtrack from Blade Runner."[20][32] "All for You" is an uptempo dance song utilizing elements of disco and funk.[20][33] In a nightclub setting, Jackson encourages a man to approach her and imagines an erotic fantasy, admiring the man's "package" and desiring to fornicate.[34] "Come on Get Up" follows with a "synth-frenzied splendor," fusing tribal house and dance-pop.[35] "When We Oooo" consists of a mid-tempo arrangement, emphasizing Jackson's layered vocal harmonies as she describes a sexual encounter.[3][34]

Jackson incorporates orchestral and symphonic music with hard rock in "Trust a Try," regarded as "avant-garde."

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"China Love" uses traditional Oriental textures such as chimes and tablas, as Jackson rhapsodizes about past-life romance and new age ambiguities.[31] Jackson had written the song about her own prior identity in another time, in which she was told to be the daughter of an emperor in love with a warrior, unable to sustain relations when forced to marry into royalty.[36] "Love Scene (Ooh Baby)" is an ambient ballad incorporating flourishes of electronica and guitars, performed in a falsetto to "exquisitely carnal effect."[20] "Would You Mind" depicts Janet confessing a graphic list of myriad sexual desires, conducting a heavy-breathing seminar followed by a risqué "performance evaluation" over a "spacey electro thump."[37][38] It was described to feature "more moaning than a hospital emergency room," with Jackson singing, "I'm gonna kiss you/Suck you/Taste you."[37] Throughout the song, Jackson requests sexual intercourse, oral sex, and internal ejaculation; as she instructs her lover, "Oh, yeah, baby, just like that."[20][33] Its erotic nature was regarded as the album's most controversial track in numerous reviews. Jackson expresses a lack of sexual satisfaction in following interlude "Lame," unable to climax.

The "avant-garde" aura of "Trust a Try" fuses elements of mock-operetta and hard rock with classical music, dance, and hip-hop. In the song, Jackson delivers an "angry aria" of betrayal.[39] Its "rock 'n' roll sass" is laced with theatrical vocal arrangements, electric guitars, violins and cinematic strings.[3][31] The following track, "Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)" features spoken vocals from folk singer Carly Simon and interpolates Simon's hit "You're So Vain." Its composition excoriates an unfaithful lover for attempting to extort money, described as a "mean-spirited duet that rails against enemies."[31][40] Jackson unveils anger and deceit, saying "Thought you'd get the money too / Greedy motherfuckers try to have their cake and eat it too." In response to critics regarding it about her divorce, Jackson explained it was directed towards several people, while Jimmy Jam revealed it to be written in regards to music executives and lawyers.[41] On the ballad "Truth," Jackson discusses a failed romance with former paramour, Rene Elizondo Jr.[40] Jackson said, "'Truth' is really me talking out loud to myself about the relationship. I felt the need to address it on the album, but just once."[22]

"Someone to Call My Lover" is a soft rock song, described as an "innocent daydream for the perfect man built over the acoustic guitar." Its speaks of the yearnings for "love and togetherness," desiring to find a new companion. It uses a guitar motif sampled from America's "Ventura Highway."[29] "Feels So Right" is a mid-tempo ballad using a "fluffy" eighties-influenced texture.[31] "Doesn't Really Matter" is an uptempo dance song, incorporating slight flourishes of oriental music and strings. Jackson speaks of disregarding physical appearance, choosing to love the person inside.[34] Released as the theme for Jackson's second film The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, it features an alternate introduction and instrumental breakdown not included in the single edit. The closing track, "Better Days" is a "sweepingly orchestrated" ballad melding soft rock and electronic music, shifting to uptempo during its chorus. It incorporates slight elements of drum and bass during its second verse. It ends the album on a note of uplift, featuring a strong vocal with a guitar solo and "striking" strings.[31][33] Regarding the song, Jackson said, "I feel light and almost giddy about untying the knots that were choking me, restraining me, preventing my growth... I'm interested in making strides, taking chances, finding my own way in my own time."[5]

Singles[edit]

"No other song has conquered all reporting stations in its first week at radio, let alone mastered three formats in one week."

—Kevin McCabe of Radio & Records on the success of lead single, "All for You."[42]

"Doesn't Really Matter" was released a single from The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps soundtrack on May 27, 2000. It peaked atop the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and was the biggest international hit of the year in Japan.[43] The song was later included on All for You with slightly altered production. The album version was performed at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards.[44] The title track was released as the album's lead single on March 23, 2001. It broke several airplay records upon its debut, being the first song in history to be added to every pop, urban, and rhythmic radio station within its first week of release, and also had the highest first-week audience impressions in history.[42] It was also the highest debut for a single not commercially available in the United States and France.[45] It became Jackson's most successful single in the US since "That's the Way Love Goes", staying at number one for seven weeks.[43] Internationally, the song reached the top ten in most countries worldwide.[46] Its music video received four MTV Video MTV Video Music Awards nominations, including Video of the Year and Best Female Video.[43]

"Someone to Call My Lover" was released as the second single on June 26, 2001. It was also a success, peaking at number three on the Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks. The song became a top ten and twenty hit internationally.[47] It earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.[48] The third single, "Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)," was remixed to feature Missy Elliott and additional vocals from Carly Simon. It peaked at number twenty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100,[43] and the top fifteen and thirty of many countries internationally, also reaching number thirteen in Europe.[47] Its single version was later included as a bonus track on the album's re-release. "Come On Get Up" was intended to be the album's fourth commercial single, but was canceled following the conclusion of Jackson's world tour. It was released exclusively to radio in Japan in November 2001, where it reached number seven in airplay.[49][50] "Trust a Try" was also intended to be released as a single, with Jackson saying, "I'll get around to "Trust a Try," because I love that song."[51] A single version was prepared but was not released.[52]

Marketing[edit]

Justin Timberlake presented a music video tribute to Jackson on her promotional Icon special.[53]

A month prior to the album's release, MTV aired an inaugural special entitled MTV Icon: Janet Jackson, declaring Jackson the network's first musical icon while celebrating her career and influence in pop culture.[54] Jackson was honored "in recognition of her place as one of the most influential and beloved tastemakers in contemporary pop... The show will eloquently demonstrate the impact that Janet has had, not only on her worldwide audience, but also on a generation of performers who will pay tribute by covering her songs."[55] Jackson stated, "When I heard that MTV wanted to honor me with the show "Icon," I was speechless. I really was. It is an awesome thing—I feel young. There's still so much more that I want to do, need to do, for myself in this business. And I was just so surprised. But a wonderful surprise."[56] Numerous artists paid tribute to Jackson and commemorated her success, including Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Aaliyah, Tommy Lee, Michael Jackson, and producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. It featured performances by 'N Sync, Pink, Buckcherry, Usher, Outkast, Mýa, and Destiny's Child. Jackson performed "All for You" and "You Ain't Right" at the finale.[57] The event was the highest rated television show of the night, ahead of all broadcast and cable programs among the youth demographic.[58] Promotional ads for the special depicted Jackson's music, videos, and sexuality shocking conservative audiences and families, using the tagline "The world wasn't always ready for Janet. We are."[59][60][61]

All for You was released on April 23, 2001. Its artwork features Jackson lying in a suggestive pose, the central portion of her anatomy is covered only by a white sheet.[33] For promotion, Jackson performed on various entertainment shows, including Top of the Pops, CD:UK, Wetten Dass, Hit Machine, ECHO Awards, and the TMF Awards. She appeared on Larry King Live and The Late Show with David Letterman, attending the Rosie O'Donnell Show the following day. She also gave interviews to BBC Radio 1 and NRJ Radio while in Europe. In April, she appeared on MTV's TRL and MuchMusic before presenting on VH1 Divas. Jackson later presented at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, also paying tribute to late singer Aaliyah. Jackson was awarded numerous career accolades throughout the campaign, including the Billboard Music Award's "Artistic Achievement Award," American Music Award's "Award of Merit," and Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award's "Wannabe Award." Jackson was selected to appear on the cover of the premiere issue of Blender, launched as an alternative to Rolling Stone.[62] A limited edition deluxe version of the album was released in November, including a bonus DVD featuring Jackson's complete videography (excluding releases via other labels and collaborations), interviews and behind the scenes footage, spanning from the promotion of janet. to the making of All For You.[63] Furthermore, Microsoft Network launched an ISP service titled "Janet on MSN", with Jackson also given her own online radio station.[64]

Several additional songs were intended for release, including "Come on Get Up" and "Trust a Try." However, Virgin Records was reported to temporarily cease promotion for all artists on the label following large financial losses from Mariah Carey's Glitter project and recording contract, although this was denied.[65] The following year, Jackson was selected to perform at the Super Bowl XXXVI Halftime Show, though allowed U2 to perform in order to tribute the events of September 11 and due to traveling concerns following the tragedy.[66][67] She would perform at the event two years later, in which her highly controversial Super Bowl Halftime Show performance incident occurred.

Tour[edit]

In support of the album, Jackson embarked on her fourth world tour, the All for You Tour. The first dates were announced between July and October, in Canada and the United States.[68] The North American leg wrapped in November in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Several dates were scheduled in Japan the following year, although the tour's European leg was required to be canceled immediately following the events of September 11 attacks, when many dancers were unwilling to travel citing safety concerns. Jackson said, "I have agonized over this decision. Like most people, the events of Sept. 11 have troubled me enormously and I remain concerned about the foreseeable future. If anything happened to anyone on this tour, I could never forgive myself."[69] An appearance at the 2001 MTV Europe Music Awards was also canceled due to the tragedy.[70] It was the sixth highest grossing tour of the year, also ranked the third most successful by Pollstar.[71][72] Its broadcast on HBO received over 12 million viewers, among the network's highest ratings,[73] and increased album sales by fifty percent.[74] It was later released on DVD as Janet: Live in Hawaii.[75]

The tour received positive reviews, with Craig Seymour from Buffalo News writing "her All for You tour marked another milestone for the veteran artist, who proved to be more comfortable with own ability to command an audience than ever before."[76] It was considered an influence to many of her followers, adding "Jackson remains one of this generation's most exciting performers in concert, easily triumphing over the likes of young upstarts Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Destiny's Child."[77] The Los Angeles Times stated, "Not only is Janet emulated by the type of show she puts on by the current teen-fab (that she made popular years ago), she still does it better than the 19-year-olds."[78] In comparison to her contemporaries, the publication added, "Madonna even in her prime was unable to move at the fast and crisp pace of Jackson... From the T-shirts to the tour book to the concert itself, Janet outdid the Material Girl by a mile."[78]

Controversy[edit]

Jackson longs for sexual intercourse and orgasm in "Would You Mind," causing the album to be banned by law officials in several countries.

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Despite explicit language and sexual content, initial album pressings did not contain a Parental Advisory warning, and thus, a clean version was not offered.[34] Several months later, the album was reissued with a Parental Advisory label, along with several bonus tracks; two remixes of "Son of a Gun." The clean version retained the remixes of "Son of a Gun," but omitted "Would You Mind" in addition to censoring "Love Scene (Ooh Baby)," "Trust a Try," "Better Days," and the original version of "Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)."[79] Regarding the content, Jackson stated "I do understand that for the younger audience, All for You is a pretty heavy record. For them I've made an altered version. I've been asked to watch my mouth a little, but hell no! This is me, this is what I want to do, so accept it. I don't want to live my life controlled by other people."[80]

Upon its release, All for You was banned in Singapore after the Publications Appeal Committee decided the album's lyrics, in particular "Would You Mind," were "not acceptable to our society." The country's law officials had previously banned Jackson's prior album, The Velvet Rope, due to three songs containing lyrics about homosexuality.[81] Several retail chains, including Wherehouse Music affixed their own "explicit content" labels to the album. RIAA president Hilary Rosen stated, "We don't think retailers should have to do that. That's the label's responsibility, and EMI [Virgin's parent company] has assumed that responsibility."[79] In response to the incident, Jackson said:

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (73/100)[83]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[29]
Entertainment Weekly B[20]
Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[84]
The New York Post positive[85]
The New York Times positive[86]
NME 5/10[35]
Robert Christgau B-[87]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[33]
Slant Magazine 2/5 stars[31]
USA Today 3/4 stars[88]
Yahoo! Music UK 7/10 stars[28]

All for You received generally positive reviews from music critics.[83] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 73.[83] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic favored All for You over her last studio album, The Velvet Rope, calling it "alluring, easily enveloping the listener." Erlewine added, "This is her sexiest-sounding record, thanks to Jam and Lewis' silky groove and her breathy delivery, two things that make the record palatable."[29] Tom Sinclair of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a 'B' rating, saying, "Despite a few missteps, All for You is about as good as modern diva-pop gets, with a higher ratio of worthy-to-mediocre songs than might be expected... it adds up to a lot more than most female singers have done for us lately."[20]

Anthony DeCurtis of Rolling Stone gave the album three-and-a-half out of five stars, declaring it "just as fresh, familiar and appealing as you've come to expect from Jackson, and that's no small achievement."[33] Gene Stout of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer called All for You "one of the best of her career," while John Mulvey of Yahoo! Music UK referred to it as "her most unnerving and plausible character thus far."[28][89] Mulvey added, "This is a much more satisfying album than The Velvet Rope, even if most of the songs are overlong and a few juggle satin sheet-cliches with self-help ones to numbing effect. Nevertheless, All for You stands as a monument to the positive effects of divorce."[28]

Rating it three out of four stars, Steve Jones of USA Today commented. "the singer is in a sexy, fun-loving mood [...] While she overdoes the between-song interludes here, she never fails to get you to move. When it comes to burning up a dance floor, she is still Ms. Jackson."[88] Jon Pareles of The New York Times stated, "Ms. Jackson luxuriates in textures as dizzying as a new infatuation," commended the album as containing "songs so baroquely sumptuous that they're virtually experimental." Pareles added, "Boudoir ballads undulate in torrid slow motion while Ms. Jackson moans like a phone-sex operator, and uptempo tunes hark back to disco, splice mock-operetta to hard rock or, in Better Days, conjure an easy-listening 1960's-pop apotheosis." Her vocals were also praised, saying "Countless overdubs of Ms. Jackson's voice turn her into an airborne choir; computer rhythms thump and sizzle." He concluded saying the album "isn't as immediately melodic as Ms. Jackson's previous albums, but it compensates for lost catchiness with unabashed strangeness."[86]

Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine called it "generally upbeat and positive," commending her return to making "fun and cheery pop music."[31] The Tech stated, "All for You as a whole makes for fun listening. Bouncing from orgiastic sex music to bubble gum pop music to soulful ballads, the album contains a true range of music... At any rate, bubble gum pop, easy as it comes, gets a twist with Janet, elegantly escorted with acoustic guitars and the whole gamut of computerized yet natural-sounding instrumentals. Perhaps what sells the album, more than the songs, is Janet’s voice and her innovative (and frankly, courageous) use of beats and harmonies. Janet’s voice is as pristine as ever, and, never outshined... she overpowers every track."[90]

Accolades[edit]

Upon the release of All for You, Jackson was awarded Billboard's "Artistic Achievement" award.[91] Jackson also received four nominations at the Billboard Awards ceremony.[92] She had also been the recipient of the American Music Award's "Award of Merit," awarded to artists who provide "outstanding contributions to the musical entertainment of the American public,"[93] and the Recording Academy's "Governor's Award." Janet received three nominations on the 44th Annual Grammy Awards, winning Best Dance Recording for "All for You", and nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Someone to Call My Lover."[48] She received the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and was nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Album.[94] She was also presented the "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the TMF Awards.

Commercial performance[edit]

All for You debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 605,128 copies in its first week.[107] It made Jackson the first artist to have five consecutive number one albums debut atop the chart, and was the largest opening sales of her career.[108] At the time of its release, it had the second highest opening sales from a female artist in SoundScan history, only behind Britney Spears's Oops!...I Did It Again, and tenth highest overall.[109][110] As of 2014, the album has the fifteenth highest first week sales by a female solo artist. It placed at number two in its second week, with 310,000 copies sold. In its third week, it sold 215,000 copies, placing at number three.[111] It sold 149,000 copies the following week, achieving an estimated total of 1,279,128 copies sold within its first month of release.[112] It also opened at number one in Canada, with first week sales of 37,200, and South Africa.[113]

All for You was a commercial success internationally, debuting within the top three of Australia,[114] Belgium,[115][116] France,[117] Germany,[118] Greece,[119] Switzerland,[120] and the United Kingdom.[121] It also opened within the top five of Denmark,[122] the Netherlands,[123] Japan,[124] Norway,[125] and Sweden.[126] It debuted within the top ten of Austria,[127] Italy,[128] New Zealand,[129] and Spain,[130] and the top twenty of Ireland and Poland.[131][132] It peaked at number two on European Top 100 Albums.[133] In February 2014, it debuted at number thirty-nine on South Korea's Gaon Chart.[134]

The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on May 18, 2001, denoting 500,000 units sold.[135] The same day, its certification was raised to double platinum, denoting 2,000,000 units sold.[135] It was certified Gold in Australia, Belgium, Denmark,[136] Finland,[137] France, Germany, New Zealand,[138] Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.[139] It was certified triple platinum in Canada and Japan, where it became the biggest selling international album of the year, and quadruple platinum in South Africa.[140][141] It was revealed to be the twelfth highest selling album of the year worldwide.[142] As of September 2009, All for You has sold 3,107,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[143] It also sold an additional 100,000 copies through BMG Music Club.[144] According to the artist's website, it has sold nearly eight million copies worldwide.[145]

Legacy and impact[edit]

"On Janet Jackson’s latest disc, “All For You” – the follow-up to her ’97 hit disc, “The Velvet Rope” – the wispy-voiced singer is sailing uncharted waters for female pop, acting flirty, talking dirty and leaving the blond chicks in the dust... And that’s the beauty of this album and Jackson as an artist – there is a clear willingness to experiment."

—Dan Aquilante, The New York Post [85]

The album achieved several chart records, attaining the second highest first-week sales for a female artist in SoundScan history at the time. Lead single "All for You" became the first song to be added to every pop, urban, and rhythmic radio format within its first week of release, and was the highest debut for a single not commercially available in both the United States and France.[42][45] It had the highest debut and largest opening airplay figure on the Radio Songs chart, debuting at number nine with an audience impression of 70 million.[146] It was also the biggest selling international single of the year in Japan.[140] The album received three Grammy Award nominations for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Someone to Call My Lover," winning Best Dance Recording for "All for You." The album won Top Pop Album of the Year at the Japan Gold Disc Awards.[103] Billboard ranked All for You at number 141 on the "Top 200 Albums of the Decade."[147] Sputnikmusic placed it at number 43 on their list of "Best Pop Albums of 2001."[148]

All for You received three Grammy Award nominations, its title track winning for "Best Dance Recording."

All for You received praise for its sonic innovation and subsequent influence. Piers Martin of NME said, "Busy yourself with those nappies, Madge - this is what it really feels like to be a girl. All For You finds Jackson in predatory mode, keen to reclaim both in the boudoir and on the dancefloor territory which is today dominated by pneumatic mini-Janets like Britney, Christina and J-Lo."[149] People Magazine ranked it among the year's best albums, stating, "Take that, Britney! Move over, J.Lo! With a new generation of dance-pop divas following in her fancy footsteps, the baby Jackson shows who is still in control with this all-encompassing album that bounces from hip-hop to rock to classical—even during the same song—without missing a funky beat."[97] Dennis Kelly of The Morning Call added, "If imitators such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, et al., are quiet the next few months, it's because the Queen of Pop has sent them back to class with new material to study."[150] Charles Taylor of Salon exclaimed Jackson "has turned into a more interesting figure than Madonna, and a maker of better music."[151] The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan announced Jackson to be the highest paid recording artist in history, signing a contract with Virgin Records worth $90 million, and was declared to have surpassed the influence of Michael Jackson.[152] MTV News also noted the album's first week sales nearly doubled those of Michael's Invincible, released later that year.[153]

Steve Burgess of Salon stated, "Janet Jackson may well be the beneficiary of contemporary pop’s Lilliputian landscape," surpassing "her less-talented peers." Burgess added, "More often, though, a Janet Jackson song on the radio is a deluxe buffet set up on a compost heap. Pass the sauerkraut."[154] Dan Aquilante of The New York Post wrote, "Jackson has written a 14-song manual that explains not only how you can please her, but lists the rewards in store for those who manage the task... While Mothers Against Everything will be appalled by Janet’s dirty pillow talk, many adult ears will find it very sexy, wrapped around the listenable Lewis/Jam beats."[85] Jackson also received MTV's inaugural Icon tribute. The Sun Sentinel stated, "Before Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, there was Janet Jackson, with her choreographed songs and trendsetting fashion," with the special intended as a "star-studded salute to the singer-songwriter-actress."[155] MTV News added, "Pop Lolitas-of-the-week may come and go, but this Jackson, it seems, is forever."[156]

Influence[edit]

Critics have observed Rihanna and BoA to be influenced by the album.

Entertainment journalist Kelley L. Carter regarded it among "the most influential albums to be released since 2000," declaring it "set the tone for much of what we’re hearing on the radio from current female pop stars. Anything Rihanna, Beyoncé and Britney are doing right now, was heard on this album." Its fusion of "old-school pop sounds" with rhythmic influences are thought to be frequently emulated; adding "She sang about female empowerment, even though hers is a voice that is lightweight, and it demanded that you take listen to it."[157]

The "funkier and hipper" style of Britney Spears' third album Britney was thought to emulate All for You with "reasonable success" in multiple songs.[158][159][160] Spears' song "Anticipating" was considered to be directly influenced by the album's title track.[158][161][162] Two singles from the album, "I'm a Slave 4 U" and "Boys," were originally written and produced for All for You; the latter also recorded by Jackson. Spears also recorded another unreleased Jackson song titled "My Big Secret" for her fourth album, In the Zone, though it did not make the final release.[8] Spears' single "Toxic" drew comparisons to Jackson's "Trust a Try," using similar production elements. Several years later, Spears was reported to request the album during photoshoots.[163] Kylie Minogue's "Sexy Love," from her twelfth studio album Kiss Me Once, was considered to bear "more than a passing resemblance" to "All for You" in its "straight-up, discotastic" nature.[164] The upbeat riffs and vocals of Katy Perry's single "Birthday" were also thought to evoke Jackson from the All for You era.[165] Korean singer BoA sampled Jackson's vocals from "You Ain't Right," in which Jackson whispers "Good evening, ladies and gentleman," throughout her single "Rock With You."[166] Pop singer LIZ, signed to Diplo's Mad Decent label, stated, "I kind of gravitate towards the gloss on this album. 'Doesn't Really Matter', 'Someone to Call My Lover', 'All For You' are all bonafide smashes. Not only that, but they make you feel GREAT. I hope to write timeless songs like this one day."[167] The composition of Beyoncé's fifth album Beyoncé was regarded as partially based on All for You, in addition to her previous album The Velvet Rope.[168]

Critics regarded Australian singer Kylie Minogue to draw influence from the album's title track.

Rihanna's fifth studio album Loud and single "Only Girl (In the World)" drew several comparisons to All for You, with critics noting its sonic transition to an upbeat dance sound from prior release Rated R in a similar vein to Jackson's contrast from the darker tone of The Velvet Rope. Eric Henderson of Slant Magazine stated, "like Janet's album, Loud is a step away from its über-personal, melodrama-drenched predecessor."[169] Throughout the campaign, Rihanna also evoked Jackson's Velvet Rope era imagery.[169] Ne-Yo's "Say It" was thought to resemble the album's sensual ballads.[170] Record producer Rockwilder revealed Jackson to be his first pop collaboration and an essential part of his career, leading him to work with Christina Aguilera for the singles "Lady Marmalade" and "Dirrty."[171] Rolling Stone likened the production of Aaliyah's self-titled third album to the record.[172] Sal Cinquemani of Slant observed several songs on Usher's 8701 to recall "bona fide Janet Jackson tracks" similar to the album.[173] Christina Milian's debut album was considered to be heavily influenced by the album.[174] The sensual content and interludes of Missy Elliott's This Is Not a Test! also drew comparisons to the album's exploration of similar themes.[175] Following All for You being reissued with a Parental Advisory warning and clean edition, Jennifer Lopez's sophomore album J.Lo received a similar treatment by Epic Records, thought to be influenced by Jackson's decision after media emphasis was placed on its explicit language and content.[176] Several months after the album's release, teen pop group No Secrets recorded a song titled "Janet," citing her
as their primary influence.[177][178] In 2012, French musician Canblaster cited "Better Days" as a song which evokes happiness during personal distress.[179]

Several album tracks gained notoriety within the entertainment industry, in particular "Would You Mind" due to its racy composition and explicit sexual content. Erotic Revolutionaries author Shayne Lee called the song "a bold and proactive sexual manuever for even a twenty-first century woman," adding, "she tells her man she's going to kiss, touch, lick, taste, bathe, ride, and feel him deep insider her. She ends the song by requesting that he come inside of her and let his juices flow deep in her passion."[180] Its shock value was considered "enough to make Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby" sound like Christian rock."[181] Its explicit lyrics caused the album to be banned in several conservative countries such as Singapore.[81] The song was used in films such as stoner comedy How High.[182] Its "gravity defying and mouth watering" live rendition was regarded among the most controversial performances of her career.[183] In 2012, it was ranked the steamiest song of her discography; an anecdote saying, "This song is so racy people use it as a euphemism when talking about what they did the night before when children are present."[184] In 2013, it was declared a "classic cut," thought to have "aged pretty damn well over the last decade and change. With its minimal beat and risqué lyrical theme, it wouldn’t sound entirely out of place coming from one of today’s more adventurous crooners."[185] It has also received various covers.[185] "Trust a Try" also received critical focus for its innovation, called a "bold musical move" which "begins with the intricacies of a string quartet before falling into metal attack"; thought to be "within spitting distance of the avant-garde."[181]

Track listing[edit]

Standard/CD/Cassette/MP3 download
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro"       1:00
2. "You Ain't Right"  
4:32
3. "All for You"  
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
5:29
4. "2wayforyou" (Interlude)     0:19
5. "Come On Get Up"  
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • Stinson
  • Rockwilder
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
4:47
6. "When We Oooo"  
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
4:34
7. "China Love"  
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
4:36
8. "Love Scene (Ooh Baby)"  
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
4:16
9. "Would You Mind"  
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • Stinson
  • Rockwilder
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
5:31
10. "Lame" (Interlude)     0:11
11. "Trust a Try"  
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • Stinson
  • Rockwilder
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
5:16
12. "Clouds" (Interlude)     0:19
13. "Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)" (with Carly Simon)
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • Carly Simon
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
5:56
14. "Truth"  
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • James Wright
  • Stan Vincent
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
6:45
15. "Theory" (Interlude)     0:26
16. "Someone to Call My Lover"  
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • Dewey Bunnell
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
4:32
17. "Feels So Right"  
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • Stinson
  • Rockwilder
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
4:42
18. "Doesn't Really Matter"  
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
4:24
19. "Better Days"  
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • Jackson
  • Jam & Lewis
5:05
20. "Outro"       0:09
Total length:
73:01
Sampling credits

Re-release[edit]

All for You (DVD Edition)
Video by Janet Jackson
Released November 20, 2001
Janet Jackson music video chronology
The Velvet Rope Tour – Live in Concert
(1998)
All for You (DVD Edition)
(2001)
Live in Hawaii
(2002)

All for You was re-released with two additional remixes and a limited edition bonus DVD. It was announced on October 21, 2001 via Billboard, and released on November 20, 2001. The new version features alternate artwork in addition to the "Flyte Tyme" single edit and Diddy remix of the album's third single, "Son of a Gun."[70] It also includes a bonus DVD of Jackson's videography. It was intended to include a twenty-four page photo booklet of Jackson's All For You Tour, however, it was omitted for unknown reasons.[70] The re-release contains the edited version of the album and omits the song "Would You Mind."

The DVD, titled Janet: The Virgin Years, includes fifteen music videos released throughout Jackson's involvement with Virgin Records, including the album's hits "Someone to Call My Lover" and "All for You." It also includes exclusive tour audition footage, in addition to behind-the-scenes clips and Jackson's performance on MTV Icon: Janet Jackson.[70] Promotional footage for each of her albums are featured, focusing on interviews and touring.[189]

Track listing
  • Note: Re-release contains edited version.

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[203] Gold 35,000^
Belgium (BEA)[139] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[204] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[205] Gold 25,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[137] Gold 0[206]
France (SNEP)[207] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[208] Gold 150,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[209] 3× Platinum 600,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[138] Gold 7,500^
South Africa (RiSA)[141] 4× Platinum 200,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[210] Gold 20,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[211] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[135] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
Japan[212] April 16, 2001 EMI
Germany[213] April 20, 2001
United Kingdom[214] April 23, 2001 Virgin Records
United States[215] April 24, 2001

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]