Re-Introducing: Janelle Monae!

Janelle Monae
Atlantic Records
The ArchAndroid – Out now!

Have you heard? I promise it’s not “the bird” — this time.

It’s Janelle Monae.

Making huge waves after the release of her sophomore LP (The ArchAndroid), this afro-tastic album is garnering stellar reviews. Her latest release, “Tightrope (ft. Big Boi)” needs no introduction. Monae weaves brilliant storytelling with a funky-fresh performance.

Here’s the video below:

[Hope it works:]

The album starts off with an orchestral overture lightly introducing the first half of the album which mostly trips through Monae’s funky, soulful and psychedelic sounds. More often than not, I feel like this album is a minor sell out with a few “radio safe” songs that completely deter me away from the funky Kansas tap dancer I fell in love with in 2007. Songs like the above “Tightrope” just feel like they were meant to be overplayed on the radio, bordering on catchy and slightly annoying. When compared to the metamorphosis in songs like “Mushrooms & Roses,” there is some small bewilderment when the young performer creates generic yet widely accessible tunes amidst her visions of Metropolis.

I should not complain. There were a few quiet years away from the furturistically forward thinking music maker where I wondered if she gave up her dream of Metropolis. Even though The ArchAndroid seems rushed, it is pop music. That is certainly something I forget from time to time: the relevance of pop music. Monae and the creative team behind the young artists certainly add their own take to what pop music should be, nowadays. Remembering where pop music has been, yet dreaming of where it can go.

The third suite also starts off with an overture, this one slightly more industrial, to start off the latter half of The ArchAndroid. The broad range of music from the chewiest bubble gum pop to a dramatic and triumphant ending is the most perplexing. There is some slight through line to this album, and yet all the songs are so well visualized that they almost seem like the ideas of a dozen different minds.

Most certainly worth a listen as there is sure to be something you love.

Plus, Janelle Monae has damned amazing hair.

(BONUS: Mushrooms & Roses – Janelle Monae)
(BONUS: Make The Bus – Janelle Monae (ft. Of Montreal))

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