Janet Jackson – That’s the Way Love Goes

First Hit #1: May 15, 1993

I’m not sure why talking to the audience is sexier than singing to them, but when a slow jam goes spoken word for some reason it gets quite erotic. Janet Jackson has little spoken word sentences peppered throughout That’s the Way Love Goes, and she gives at least some clue as to why speaking is more erotic than singing.

In short, it’s because it feels more intimate. She’s not really saying a lot – probably three unique lines – but as an otherwise polished singer, going into her speaking voice loses a bit of the gloss. She feels closer because there’s a bit less separating her from the audience. She’s letting her guard down, and letting the audience into her world, which gives a stronger connection between listener and artist.

That’s likely also the logic behind the video, with Jackson laughing with friends before the song takes over, though that has the opposite effect. The spoken word makes her close, but she’s still trying to be sexy. Just hanging around with her friends, she’s much more goofy, and while that’s fun it’s not erotic in any way.

This entry was posted in 1993 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Janet Jackson – That’s the Way Love Goes

  1. RBerman says:

    A good example of the “slow jam” subgenre of R&B, with busy bass lines and subdued percussion track, with a melody catering to Janet’s vocal limitations. Also, this song was number one for longer than anything Michael (or Janet, or Jermaine for that matter) ever did. Who would have thought in the early 80s that Janet would be the Jackson for the 90s? And once again, unlike Michael, still smiling.

    This video also introduces future R&B diva Jennifer Lopez. She can be seen throughout wearing her hair in a bun, dressed in black. See the 2:21 mark for instance.

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