Trending
MOST READ
Best Local Sandwiches

Best Local Sandwiches

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Cityscrapes: Local history pays the price for Briscoe deal

Cityscrapes: Local history pays the price for Briscoe deal

News: The annual City budget is a dense and often arcane thing, filled with “mandates,” “restricted funds,” and “special funds.” It isn’t the lightest reading... By Heywood Sanders 9/17/2014
Best Happy Hour

Best Happy Hour

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

Astrology: ARIES (March 21-April 19): These horoscopes I write for you aren’t primarily meant to predict the future. They are more about uncovering hidden potentials and... By Rob Brezsny 9/17/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Aural Pleasure Review

Janelle Monáe’s ‘The Electric Lady’: ambitious and right on target

Photo: , License: N/A


Related:
Janelle Monáe ‘Dances Apocalyptic’ All over Letterman’s Desk

Janelle Monáe Coming to ACL Live Nov. 12

Janelle Monáe
The Electric Lady
(Bad Boy Records)

The first of Janelle Monáe’s natural strengths (and by default, tragic flaws) lies in her eclecticism. Like her studio debut, The ArchAndroid, The Electric Lady is a delightful romp through pop music conventions, shifting seamlessly from massive symphonic pieces to radio bangers and exercises in funk. Her knack for various forms of art-pop recalls the brilliant Purple Rain-era Prince, who’s featured as the first of many badass guest vocalists that include Erykah Badu, Big Boi, Miguel and Solange. Perhaps most impressive of Monáe’s diverse aural appeal is her ability to hone her broad lens within the aesthetic of Afrofuturism, a genre-less, Afrocentric celebration of sci-fi, cosmic figures and futuristic technologies. The powerful femme-bot figures partying their way through The Electric Lady communicate and add to the manically fun Afrofuturism of Outkast, Basquiat, Parliament and Sun Ra.
The second of Monáe’s strengths lies in her ambition. On The Electric Lady, Monáe separates herself from much of contemporary Bump-N’Grind-Let’s-Fuck R&B, instead pursuing a motivated, tight, hour-plus record that’s still radio-friendly. Like Prince, D’Angelo and Kanye, Monáe seems to treat her albums as a venue for storytelling rather than a collection of musically similar ideas or singles held up by a pile of filler. Luckily for us, Monáe and her meticulous production team aimed for the becoming side of Monáe’s dual traits of eclecticism and ambition, and they were right on target.

Recently in Music
  • The Permanent Gangsta Status of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy Prodigy, better known to ’90s rap aficionados as the prodigious half of Queensbridge duo Mobb Deep, has made a successful career operating on... | 9/17/2014
  • Our Picks for the 31st Annual Jazz’SAlive Eddie Palmieri: 9:30pm Saturday. Jazz’SAlive has traditionally made sure to clear at least one headlining space for Latin jazz... | 9/17/2014
  • Loudon Wainwright Hasn’t Got the Blues (Yet) Emerging with his eponymous debut in 1970, singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright III found himself lumped along with fellow post-Dylan folk-revivalists Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens and Randy Newman. But where those contemporaries relied on abstract imagery or p | 9/17/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus