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MTV reports today that Janet Jackson’s upcoming 11th studio album, a follow-up to 2008’s Discipline, is focused on uptempo and mid-tempo dance tracks, with a sound “inspired by worldwide influences,” including Brazilian, African and Latin rhythms.

According to producer Rodney Jerkins (Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, Pussycat Dolls), she’ll also be addressing recent personal events: “You gotta understand, she lost her brother,” he told MTV. “She was in a relationship for seven years that’s over now. There’s things that she told me that I didn’t even realize. You know, certain [things] like self-esteem … I kinda had to persuade her, ‘Let’s just go, let’s talk about that.’ And she’s been doing it, and she’s a pro about it.”

I love me some Janet; I really do. And she’s had what anyone would deem an insanely difficult year. But after the disappointment of Discipline, I’m wondering whether I should just stick with her upcoming greatest-hits collection, Number Ones, due November 17.

Honestly, she still had me hanging on to 1997’s The Velvet Rope (I can take a Joni Mitchell mash-up!), but sort of lost me for good in ’04 with Damita Jo‘s relentlessly same-y sex-me jams. Where is the Janet who took us on an Escapade? That fierce Black Cat in Control who taught us all about the Pleasure Principle? (Requires knee-pads and an empty warehouse, fyi.) And where the Minneapolis are Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis?

If only you would Come Back to Me, Janet! But tell me if I’m wrong, readers. Will love still never do without her?

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