Janet Jackson - The Velvet Rope
Critic Score
Based on 5 reviews
1997 Ratings: #44 / 87
User Score
Based on 723 ratings
1997 Ratings: #11
Liked by 112 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Entertainment Weekly

Tempting as it may be to compare the album to similarly sultry stuff like Madonna’s Erotica, it’s much closer in spirit to the unabashed emotionalism of Joni Mitchell’s Blue. That’s because the most revealing moments here have to do with loneliness and vulnerability, not sexual preference.

90
Slant Magazine

The Velvet Rope is a richly dark masterwork that illustrates that, amid the whips and chains, there is nothing sexier than emotional nakedness.

70
Rolling Stone

Pared down, The Velvet Rope would have brushed up against brilliance. Still, it’s a testimonial to the record’s merits that it’s ultimately stronger than Jackson’s sense of self-importance.

60
The Guardian

Disquietingly, it amped up the sex alongside songs about domestic violence, depression and her eating disorder. While the former was as unconvincing as ever, the latter were pretty compelling.

50
AllMusic

The Velvet Rope, is sexually explicit, offering tales of bondage, body piercing, and bisexuality. Not that you'd necessarily know that from listening to The Velvet Rope, since the album sags with endless interludes, murmured vocals, and subdued urban grooves .... For an album that wants to push the limits, it sounds surprisingly tame.

TJ_King
83

I actually didn't know about Janet Jackson's existence until 2018 when going around this website to find artists to listen to. The reason for this is back in the early 2000's I wasn't really surrounded by people that listened to R&B artists and I was just a kid, yet when I decided to check what she was about after I found out about her, it was said that she has had a great influence in the R&B genre and went on to influence artists like, Beyoncé, Brittney Spears, Rihanna, Justin ... read more

koxtil
98

Where has this been all my life?

Honestly, I liked this record more than the trio of MJ's best work (Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad) and his whole music career.

Dabzilla
65

21 Albums to Listen to Before 1,000 Part 11: The Velvet Rope

Before I hit 1,000 Albums, I plan to listen to 21 albums that I feel are essential. I will write a short review of my feelings for each record.

'The Velvet Rope' is a record of many highs that are brought down by some unfortunate decisions within this record's track list. Janet has a soft and silky voice that adds a much needed melodic component that completes each instrumental. Of which are genius. The instrumentals here are ... read more

tymps
90

+ velvet rope, you, go deep, free xone, together again, empty, what about, i get lonely, rope burn.

ANTIDOLLX
99

in the process of unveiling the velvet curtains that separate the world and Janet Jackson, “The Velvet Rope” is a deep look into her as individual beyond being the world’s biggest pop star (at the time).

a rich, smooth, and rhythmic masterwork that, like previously mentioned, lets us explore much beyond the tip of iceberg and simultaneously lays the groundwork for a lot of future contemporary r&b that would emerge roughly fifteen to twenty years later, taking heavy ... read more

bobbyhabnay
100

janet is underrated

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Track List

1Interlude: Twisted Elegance
0:42
84
2Velvet Rope
4:55
95
3You
4:42
90
4Got 'Til It's Gone
4:01
92
5Interlude: Speaker Phone
0:54
82
6My Need
3:44
90
7Interlude: Fasten Your Seatbelts
0:19
81
8Go Deep
4:42
95
9Free Xone
4:57
89
10Interlude: Memory
0:04
73
11Together Again
5:01
95
12Interlude: Online
0:19
65
13Empty
4:32
93
14Interlude: Full
0:12
81
15What About
4:24
93
16Every Time
4:17
81
17Tonight's the Night
5:07
88
18I Get Lonely
5:17
91
19Rope Burn
4:15
90
20Anything
4:54
87
21Interlude: Sad
0:10
72
22Special
7:54
85
Total Length: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Year End Lists

#15/SPIN
#30/Consequence of Sound
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Added on: August 13, 2014