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Withucover

CD single cover art.

"With U" is the fourth single from Janet Jackson's 2006 album, 20 Y.O.. It is an R&B ballad, written by Johnta Austin, Jackson, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal, Jr., Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, while production was handled by the latter five. Released to urban and urban AC radio stations on December 11, 2006, it was the final single released from the album.

Producer Jermaine Dupri has said that it is a follow-up to Jackson's 1987 hit "Let's Wait Awhile" where the two characters put off intimacy. "With U" takes place after the act, which results in "romantic confusion". A digital single was released internationally, however the song was not sent to radio stations outside of the United States or Canada.

The song received positive reviews from most music critics, who picked the song as one of the best tracks on 20 Y.O., calling it a "smooth and lushly" ballad. Some critics opined that she sounds like American recording artist Mariah Carey and her brother, Michael Jackson. No music video was made for the single and Jackson has never performed the song live.

BackgroundEdit

After the infamous Super Bowl XXXVIII incident, Janet released her 2004 album, Damita Jo. The added media exposure led to a high chart debut, but no hit singles. So, Jackson decided to step away from the spotlight announced in late 2004, starting to work on a new album project in the coming year, involving her then-fiancé, record producer Jermaine Dupri, who was commissioned to executive produce the project - in addition to a number of other hit producers. She embarked to create a modern record, while returning to the music and sound that made her famous: dance, in the vein of her hit album, Control. Producer Jimmy Jam revealed that while recording the album, Janet became more confident with her writing ability, doing the bulk of the writing. He also commented, "We're all kind of back in there doing it again together, which I really enjoy." It's the physical nature of sitting in the same room and really hashing it out. It's like, 'You're not going to leave until we have a lyric,' so it's fun."

CompositionEdit

"With U" was written by Janet, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal, Jr., Johnta Austin, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, while production was handled by Jackson, Dupri, Seal, Jr., Jam and Lewis. It was described as "the follow-up to 1986's 'Let's Wait Awhile'," where the two characters put off the intimacy. "With U" takes place after the act, which results, according to Janet, in "romantic confusion". Dupri called the song "a bona fide smash."

Critical receptionEdit

The song received generally positive reviews from most music critics. Andy Kellman of Allmusic and Bill Lamb of About.com both picked "With U" as one of the album's best songs. Jon Pareles of New York Times called it a "lushly harmonized ballad," while Don Baiocchi of Blogcritics named it "a stripped-down ballad that recalls the forgotten beauty of 1990's "Come Back to Me" with a modern sound that Mariah should be jealous of." Johnny Loftus of Metro Times agreed, writing that on 'With U', "she sounds like Mariah Carey covering classic Michael Jackson."

Chuck Arnold of People Magazine also enjoyed the ballad, describing it as "a smooth and creamy ballad that plays like a sequel to Control's 'Let's Wait Awhile'." Spence D. of IGN commented that the song "continues the strange intersection where Janet sounds like Michael on the verses and then gets her voice obviously treated for the choruses, dipping into the feminine whirl that she's so famous for." Glenn Gamboa of Newsday expressed a positive reaction, calling it "a nice quiet-storm ballad." Angus Batey of Yahoo! Music was mixed, writing that "In the middle of it all, indeed, Janet - sounding disturbingly like her most famous sibling, particularly during "With U"'s come-hither cooing - seems oblivious."

Chart performanceEdit

"With U" debuted at number seventy-four on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart the week ending December 30, 2006 and eventually rose to a peak of sixty-five.

Track listingsEdit

U.S. digital single
  1. "With U" (Radio Edit) – 3:57
  2. "With U" (Instrumental) – 5:02
U.S. 12" single (0946 3 83846 1 8)
  1. "With U" (Album Version) – 5:03
  2. "With U" (Instrumental) – 5:02
  3. "With U" (Radio Edit) – 3:57
  4. "With U" (A Cappella) – 4:11
U.S. promo CD single
  1. "With U" (Radio Edit) – 3:57
  2. "With U" (Album Version) – 5:03
  3. "With U" (Instrumental) – 5:02

ChartsEdit

Chart (2007) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 65
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