Saturday, 11 May 2019

Going Back With Janelle Monáe

In my opinion the best album of last year was "Dirty Computer" by Janelle Monáe (I hadn't noticed the acute accent on the a before today, but that's just my English linguistic ignorance),and this is what I thought of it here which includes the accompanying album length video. This album is where she was getting to at that point and it is a damned near perfect album, which I still play regularly and is definitely on my top ten.

So I decided it may be a good idea to revisit here earlier output. The actual production quality is consistently excellent and the songs are good from the off although throughout her albums there is a definite upward curve.

It started with a planned multi part suite "Metropolis" starting with  the mini album "The Chase" which sets the story in "The March of The Wolfmasters" , one of five suite overtures over her first three albums. She collaborates with other writers and all her output has a heavy science fiction presence, but it is so well executed it enhances rather than detracts from the music.

The Chase ends with an expected take on Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" , which does fit in with the dystopian future that Monáe's narratives display.

"The ArchAndroid" , containing "Suite II" and "Suite III"of "Metropolis"features her developing soul / rock with attitude style taking in The Slits, X-Ray Spex and Todd Rundgren , check "Mushrooms and Roses" that closes "Suite II" . She has no fear of collaboration and really the best way to experience this is to listen to the album.

"The Electric Lady" consists of "Suite IV" and "Suite V" of "Metropolis" as is a step closer to artistic perfection. The thing is the closer you get to "Dirty Computer" the harder it is to pick something that says this is Janelle Monáe because you know that you will always miss something.

She really is one of the most important artists performing and producing today. We will go with here collaboration with Erykah Badu "Q.U.E.E.N."  and this gives a great idea of what she is about.

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