Saturday, 7 September 2013

First Impressions: Janelle Monae - The Electric Lady

I've a lot of bitty posts to make, mostly regarding first listen impressions of the slew of new albums that are coming out at the moment. I'm trying to listen to a new release a day at the moment to get up to speed. Yesterday's album was Janelle Monae's much awaited sophomore album, The Electric Lady. I've got to admit, this album was brilliant (with awesome album artwork to boot). Like her debut album - The ArchAndroid - it is a concept album. The Electric Lady serves as the fourth and fifth suits in her seven-part Metropolis series. To put it succinctly, it depicts the (fictional) story of Cindi Mayweather, who is a messianic android. In all seriousness, I don't really follow the storyline that well at all - her music is that enjoyable that I get lost in it, and the concepts just wash over me. It's a good thing, right? Anyway, I was apprehensive about The Electric Lady when I heard Q.U.E.E.N. I didn't like it much at all. I have to say that it has grown on me a lot, but it remains one of the weakest tracks on the album for me. The rest of the album is sublime, it sounding both fresh yet decidedly old-school simultaneously. At this stage, favourites are Dorothy Dandridge Eyes, Dance Apocalyptic and We Were Rock & Roll. The album even features Prince, who duets with Janelle on Givin' Em What They Love (another great track). Honestly, I was expecting the album to be good, but not this good. Quite frankly - one of the albums of the year!

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