Rolling Stone - Ranked #28 in Rolling Stone's "100 Best Albums Of The Eighties" survey. (November 1989)
Vibe (12/99, p.157) - Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century - "[Janet] demands respect, draws her boundaries, and kicks some nasty butt....bringing a new wealth of range, power, and grace."
Although Janet Jackson had released two records in the early '80s, they were quickly forgotten, and notably shaped by her father's considerable influence. Janet's landmark third album, 1986's Control, changed all that. On the opening title track, Jackson, with passion and grace, declares her independence, moving out of the gargantuan shadow of her brother Michael and on to the business of making her own classic pop album. The true genius of Control lies in the marriage of her extremely self-assured vocals with the emphatic beats of R&B production wizards Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The duo was already well established in the music industry, but the practically flawless Control showcased Jam and Lewis' true studio mastery. For the better part of two years, Janet remained on the pop chart, with two-thirds of the album's tracks released as singles, including the ever-quotable "Nasty," the assertive "What Have You Done for Me Lately," the frenetically danceable "When I Think of You," and the smooth, message-oriented ballad "Let's Wait Awhile." Jackson achieved long-awaited superstar status and never looked back. ~ Jason Thurston