Control

Released

If rockists still considered synths to sound “cold,” leave it to some producers from Minneapolis to make that coldness feel character-building. Just dress in layers — and have the potential-laden, verge-of-stardom Jackson sister lace Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’s icy funk with her influentially assertive, assuredly cool confidence. Rumor has it a couple tracks on this album weren’t massive world-conquering hits, but I’m skeptical.

Nate Patrin

The opening trio of killers that begin this album — ControlNasty and What Have You Done For Me Lately — would be more than enough to build an album around for lesser artists but Jackson, in league with producers Jam and Lewis, also delivers plenty more big hitters like the hook-laden The Pleasure Principle, the simply gorgeous light touch of When I Think Of You and the exquisite balladry of Let’s Wait A While

Both massively successful and equally influential, Control’s triumphant cross-over success paved the way for new jack swing and the 90s R’n’B wave. With its big, pile-driving beats sharply defined, Jackon’s vocals effortlessly moving from dreamy to utterly uncompromising and a rigid, highly efficient musical aesthetic, Control is lean and taut, with grooves that act as a clarion call to the dance floor, and songs with unavoidable hooks around each corner. 

Harold Heath

Suggestions
Discovery cover

Discovery

Daft Punk
The Tour cover

The Tour

Mary J. Blige
Sons Of Soul cover

Sons Of Soul

Tony! Toni! Toné!
Thriller cover

Thriller

Michael Jackson
Alexander O'Neal cover

Alexander O'Neal

Alexander O'Neal
Steppin’ cover

Steppin’

The Pointer Sisters
Neither Fish nor Flesh cover

Neither Fish nor Flesh

Terence Trent D'Arby
Wild and Peaceful cover

Wild and Peaceful

Kool & the Gang
Mary cover

Mary

Mary J. Blige