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Old 06-14-2010, 02:19 PM   #1
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Janelle Monae aka The ArchAndroid

Cori briefly brought up her music in Random a few weeks ago, but I've been anticipating this woman's debut record, The ArchAndroid, for even longer. Thanks to Sharon Jones and Erykah Badu, 2010 has not been without terrific soul music, but Monae's futuristic, fun, funky spin on the genre sounds without contemporary right now, and I think it may be a new classic.

The critics back me up on this (metacritic score of 90):

Turn It Up: Album review: Janelle Monae, 'The ArchAndroid'
Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid | URB.COM
The ArchAndroid | Music | EW.com
Janelle Mon&#225;e: The ArchAndroid < PopMatters
Janelle Monáe, &#039;The ArchAndroid&#039; (Wondaland Arts Society/Bad Boy) | Spin Magazine Online
Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Janelle Monáe: The ArchAndroid
Janelle Monáe: The ArchAndroid (Bad Boy/Wondaland Arts Society; 2010) | Record Reviews @ Cokemachineglow.com

And so on. The point is, this album is beloved, and not merely because it's ambitious; there is so much heart and soul in her voice, so much joy in the music and life in the lyrics that you can't help but be swept up with it. Its production draws influence from Late Registration, Stankonia and other modern hip-hop classics, but it never ties itself to one genre. And you know what's really amazing? The album flows immaculately. I don't know how she did it, but it all feels unified and lived-in.


I just can't get over the fact that this is her debut. Monae has an incredible career ahead of her if this album is any indication.


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Old 06-14-2010, 02:22 PM   #2
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Bless your li'l heart - I kept meaning to make a thread for her.

The album is outstanding, the reviews are great, and while she's been on a few shows to perform, I'm disheartened that the buzz around her isn't bigger.

Her first release, an EP called Metropolis: The Chase Suite was also very good.

Amazon.com: Metropolis: The Chase Suite: Janelle Monáe: Music

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Old 06-14-2010, 02:25 PM   #3
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I'm sold, say no more.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:47 PM   #4
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I think it's a good album that could be great with some editing. The highlights are better than anything else that has come out this year and I nearly kept this one in my library. Will definitely stay tuned to whatever she plans in the future...
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:02 PM   #5
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She's only 24? She's a year younger than me? Damn, I feel lazy...

That "Tightrope" video is AWESOME. I love that. Great songs there, too, thanks for sharing those links ("Oh, Maker" is gorgeous. I really liked that one). Here's another video of hers, I saw it on MTV (!) once late last year. This, I guess, is the uncut version of it:

The album's storyline better explains this video, then-'1984' meets a fashion show meets a concert. Thanks to these clips and the review descriptions (Grace Jones is exactly who came to my mind, too), I'm incredibly curious to hear this album. Will definitely search it out and give it a listen. Thanks for bringing attention to this hidden talent.

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