The cyborg known as Janelle Monáe is releasing her album The Electric Lady tomorrow, but you can listen to that crazy shit right now—it's streaming over here. Um guys, it's awesome. Go and get an earful. Her sophomore album is a gigantic, arching playground for Monáe's hyper-creative, epic songs/stories, which blast from R&B to dance to emotive ballads to hiphop (and is that Prince, I hear?!). She continues her ongoing dystopian soundscapes about a world where persecuted cyborgs and music revolutionaries are hunted, loved, and empowered through ass-shaking funk. Through the haze of her futuristic rock operas, I think one aspect of her big-idea music gets overlooked: She kills it. Monáe's a dance-powered freak machine with interstellar pipes, and even without buying into her carefully constructed world she's going to make you move that junk. But added bonus: If you take the plunge and dive into her constructs, she'll make your mind—not just your feet—go blammo. She may be a tiny pompadoured fireplug, but her albums are huge weird sci-fi monsters built to enslave measly human brains. Pitchfork has a great cover story right now about her Wondaland artsy commune with its dance parties, teepee think tanks, and legion of rug-cutting art kids, not to mention Monáe's ambitious origin story.
Janelle Monáe plays the Roseland on October 29. Hone those moves.
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