Released in 1989, Janet Jackson’s amazing Rhythm Nation 1814 is front-loaded with political messages set to percussive R&B: the title track, a plea for racial unity; “The Knowledge”, a militant anthem about eliminating prejudice and illiteracy; and “State of the World,” a song about the relentlessly gloomy news cycle. If “Drugs and crime spreading on the streets / people can’t find enough to eat” seems like an odd chorus for an up-tempo R&B banger, remember that this was the late eighties, when a folk-pop song about child abuse (“Luka”) and a Phil Collins ballad about homelessness (“Another Day in Paradise”) were both massive hits. On Rhythm Nation 1814, though, Jackson does it all. Six tracks of politics, then a four second about face: “Get the point? Good, let’s dance.” Then she launches into her two greatest singles of all, the initially airy “Miss You Much” and the six-minute epic “Love Will Never Do (Without You).” Though she hasn’t toured in quite a while, the 51-year old singer (and brand-new mom) is getting positive reviews in other cities. “Janet is everything,” declared the Globe and Mail about her Toronto performance this week.