Being the sister of one of pop music's all-time biggest superstars hasn't intimidated Janet Jackson in the least. In fact, Janet churned out a string of successful albums throughout the 1980s, '90s, and 2000s that kept pace with the changing sounds, looks, and trends of the times (which is more than can be said for Michael). 20 Y.O. is Jackson's 11th album, and with a title that roughly indicates her tenure in the commercial limelight, Jackson's accrued confidence and strengths as a performer make a strong showing.
Janet declares on the spoken intro to 20 Y.O. that she wants to "keep it light" and "have fun," and to that end the album boasts plenty of club bangers. "So Excited" and "Get It Out Me" are cases in point, with each sporting the spare, electro grooves ubiquitous in the early 2000s. Such tracks dot the disc, thanks to top-shelf producers like Jermaine Dupri and Terry Lewis, among others, but Jackson's way with a slinky ballad hasn't diminished, as "Call On Me," a duet with rapper Nelly, proves. Jackson's music sounds fresh and modern, with its pop instincts in tune with the contemporary market, almost as if she were, herself, 20 years old.