'I never went anywhere, really'

AFTER FAILING to crack the million mark with her last two albums, Janet Jackson is wary of using the 'c' word to describe her upcoming release, 'Discipline,' which hits stores on February 26.

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Published: Mon 14 Jan 2008, 11:41 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:07 PM

"I think a comeback is when you leave and then you... come back," Jackson said with a laugh during a recent interview. "People are always quick to use that word 'comeback,' but I never went anywhere, really."

'Discipline' marks her 10th studio disc, and her debut release for Island Def Jam after more than a decade at Virgin Records. Her last album, 2006's '20 Y.O.,' stalled at 648,000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, while 2004's 'Damita Jo' moved 999,000.

After a round of underwhelming singles from those albums, the lead single 'Feedback' has been gaining momentum at urban and pop radio formats, thanks to its robotic bassline and voice-modulated effect tailor-made for the clubs. It jumped 32 places to No. 52 on the latest Billboard Hot 100.

"This song is definitely one of those feel-good, make-you-get-up-out-your-seat, maybe dance-on-the-table-a-little-bit type songs,ª said Deon Cole, music director of urban WPEG Charlotte, N.C.a

If 'Feedback' keeps rising, it could become Jackson's first top-10 hit since 2001's 'Someone to Call My Lover,' which peaked at No. 3.

Classic Janet

Heavier on dance tracks than seductive jams (Jackson's other forte), 'Discipline' is classic Janet. The title track is one of her typical frisky bedroom cuts, featuring lyrics like, 'I need some discipline tonight/I've been very bad' and 'Daddy, make me cry.'

Yet, there is an air of newness to the album that is partly the result of Jackson creatively straying from her longtime go-to production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

"I was hoping we could do something together, but sometimes you have to explore and kind of kick yourself out of the nest," Jackson said of her decision to escape her production comfort zone. "It was something that I needed to do for myself, but I think (Jam and Lewis) felt it coming, too, 'cause I kept working with a different producer here or there."

In addition to production by Jackson's longtime boyfriend Jermaine Dupri, Island's head of urban music, 'Discipline' also features tracks by newcomers the-Dream and Tricky Stewart ('Umbrella,' 'Bed'), Lil Jon, Stargate and songwriters Ne-Yo and Johnta Austin. Rodney Jerkins produced and wrote 'Feedback' with Dernst Emile.

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