Janet and Madonna
Janet Jackson's Number Ones arrives at just the right time. A double CD that is pretty exhaustive, it shows that Janet, despite not being blessed with much of a voice, knew how to craft crossover hits, at least until the last part of the disc. It's here that Janet loses her pop smarts, but by sifting out the dull parts of her recent records and sticking to the best ones, at least she's listenable. Like Madonna's 2 Disc Celebration, and another singer who used to have pop smarts to back up a so-so voice, Jackson's Number Ones, is strongest when going for Top 40 gold. Janet turned out to be more than Michael's kid sister. She turned out, like Madonna, to have influenced a whole set of women R&B/Pop singers. Both compilations should indeed be celebrated.