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JANET JACKSON: DESIGN OF A DECADE

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JANET JACKSON: DESIGN OF A DECADE (1986/1996) (1995, A&M, unrated, $19.95) Nothing, say the sages, is as dated as the recent past, which might explain why this compilation of overfamiliar vid clips is so disappointing. There are other problems, of course: Jackson has never been a particularly natural performer (you can practically see the dance lessons taking effect as she works), and occasionally the overproduction surrounding her is just preposterous (the prime offender here is Rhythm Nation, wherein a chorus line of storm troopers offers what’s supposed to be a paean to the human spirit). Great sound, though. C+