In past concerts, Janet Jackson has invited a guy from the audience to join her onstage. He's strapped into a chair for the duration of a song while Jackson dances, cooes and gyrates her way around him. This virtual lap dance is guaranteed to leave almost any heterosexually inclined man panting with desires almost, but not quite, satisfied.The cover of Jackson's new album, All for You, finds her naked and supine, the central portion of her anatomy hidden by a discreetly crumpled towel. The title track, which has received a lot of airplay on Top 40 stations, has her checking out a man's package and vowing to "ride it tonight." The even-more-explicit "Would You Mind" includes the following lyrics: "And I'm gonna/kiss you, suck you, taste you, ride you/feel you deep inside me." "Would You Mind" builds to a fever pitch of furious moaning, then ends abruptly with a twist of a producer's knob and Jackson's disappointed query: "What? The song's over? I didn't even come yet. Did you? You men can be so lame."
Jackson is the most complicated seductress in popular culture. Her grand themes are sex and love and sometimes, but not necessarily, the relationships between them. Few women sing more directly of their desires; fewer still make those desires sound so playful. Jackson wants to be in control, she wants things to be nasty, she will do things to you if you are her lover and she wants you to know that these are her fantasies, not yours. She gets to do what she wants while you're strapped in that chair.
For 15 years, Jackson has consistently returned to the top of the charts. Her stage shows are legendary, with choreography and effects as dazzling as the production of her records. Be it on record or in concert, Jackson allows you to approach satisfaction without becoming sated; she knows enough to keep you halfway convinced you're the one with the power.