NEW YORK (AP) _ Janet Jackson is back with a new album after a two-year bout with depression. She's also back in touch with estranged Jackson sister La Toya but has never seen brother Michael's new baby boy.

``I was very, very sad. Very down,'' Jackson says in the latest Newsweek magazine. ``Couldn't get up sometimes. There were times when I felt very hopeless and helpless, and I felt like walls were kind of closing in on me.''

The depression isn't so bad these days, but it took her six months to record her new album ``The Velvet Rope,'' about twice as long as previous records.

Jackson says she and La Toya are speaking again after five years, but laments that work commitments have kept her and Michael Jackson apart for two years, so she still hasn't seen her nephew.

``We haven't fallen out,'' she said. ``It's just strictly due to business, due to our careers. But now his tour is over. So I'm hoping to see him and get to meet the baby.''