September 09, 2010

Music Is...Velvet Rope - Janet Jackson

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Velvet Rope. This track is after the Interlude - Twisted Elegance. If I recall correctly there was no official video created for this song. In my opinion, however, the song as a whole creates such imagery that each individual listener may visualize a personal video for themselves. 

On that interlude, on this jagged, distorted, "twisted", jazzy layer Janet proclaims, "It's my belief that we all have the need to feel special, and it's this need that can bring out the best in us yet the worst in us. This need created The Velvet Rope." A majority of those words are echoed throughout the lyrics of the song. Within the first ten or twelve seconds it sounds like your being taken on some sort of industrial intergalactic voyage towards a forbidden location. As you land and begin to take notice of your surroundings, you discern that you've arrived at the very depth of her realizations, moreover you find that this destination isn't too alien from where your deepest thoughts reside. Throughout the chorus and each verse, she narrates many feelings that in some form or another represent that figurative velvet rope inside all of us. If you listen closely, from 0:15-0:31, in the background sounds like what could be a very slow pulse rate, that's what I imagine it to be anyway. Just a bit before the beat drops, you'll hear some sort of rough, computerized voice begin to say repetitively, "Come on, come on, baby come on, come on, baby, come on, come on", as you dive continuously into this never-ending twilight zone of intense emotion. Within the lyrics, "Put others down to fill us up. Oppressing me, will oppress you..." is the message that so many of us will do what we deem necessary to feel bigger or accepted, only to find that in the end we cause harm to others and ourselves as well. "Outside leave judgment. Outside leave hate. One love's the answer you'll find in you." Analyzing those words, it seems she may be saying that once you leave any hostility, any malice out the door, then that "rope" will be more readily unhooked. Nevertheless, it's easier said than done.

I have to say that my favorite section is towards the end, where the violin travels along its highs and lows of notes. The way in which the sound of that instrument works in conjunction with the bass and this cacophony of abstract sounds in the background leads to an intense zenith that truly gives you an earful. While there are beautiful, recognizable, and awkward sounds on this track, they all unquestionably portray the fact that "The Velvet Rope" isn't always glamorous.

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