Friday, May 21, 2010


Song: Tightrope
Artist: Janelle Monae
Album: The ArchAndroid

While not an established artist, here's the first single from newcomer Janelle Monae. "Tightrope," featuring Big Boi from Outkast, is slowly building momentum, while the album, "The ArchAndroid" is garnering some of the best reviews of the year thus far. The album is actually parts two and three of a four-part "suite" that Monae conceived under the name "Metropolis." She released part one as an EP prior to being signed to Bad Boy Records. It's a tale of a messianic android with elements of love, identity, self-realization, as well as science fiction and Afrofuturism. (A term I wasn't familiar with, learn more from the link.)

I honestly haven't dove into "The ArchAndroid" to work all of that back-meaning out... but upon a few spins, the album is quite impressive. It combines a variety of influences, from jazz, classic R&B, soul, indie-rock, psychedelia, ... you name it. My initial thought was that she was very Estelle-ish, but I actually think she's a bit more interesting. I did think she was British initially, but she's actually from Kansas City, but moved to New York to try to get on Broadway, before settling on music as the channel for her art. (She has claimed music can "change the world.")

Monae was also in the Outkast film "Idlewild" and sang on two songs. She toured opening up for Athens, GA freak-rockers Of Montreal, who appear on the track "Make the Bus" on the album, which sounds just like... Of Montreal. But I quite like it.

This record is really worth checking out, and given the almost universal praise, could be one that's much talked about, and recognized, around award season.



Many Moons

The ArchAndroid Trailer


Briguy said...

She was on Letterman the other night and TORE. IT. UP. Like a female James Brown - complete with the assistant draping her with a cape and helping her from the stage.

msangie225 said...

Yes! She ripped that stage on Letterman! The ArchAndroid is going to be the album of the year! If not, it deserves to be!

Harley said...

and she's from Kansas!