Janet Jackson featuring Nelly - Call On Me (Virgin)
UK release date: 18 September 2006
Twenty Years Old, that's Janet Jackson. And no, that's not a comment on her seemingly ageless appearance, but the title of her upcoming album (styled 20 Y.O.), of which this single is the centrepiece.
It's a pretty slushy downbeat number that has a delicately crafted accompaniment, but sounds like most other R&B tracks around at the moment. Sure the harmonies are layered perfectly as part of the ultra-slick production, but there's not much soul or even allure about Jackson's close mic'd, little girl vocals, while Nelly's contribution is barely more than a token couple of 'yeahs' either side of the beat, a truncated verse and some cosying up in the video.
The groove is Nelly's though, make no mistake, the rhythm a close relative of Dilemma, but that's where the similarity ends. If Jackson was hoping for a similar success she'll have to wait, as Call On Me is insipid, sugar-coated pap.