MUSIC MONDAY 4.18.2011.

Music Monday is a feature where I tell you what you should or should not be listening to because I have better tastes than you do.

Artist: Janelle Monaé
Album:
The ArchAndroid

Pretty much anyone using the Internet to read blogs these days has been told to check out Miss Monaé and her wonderful (or “wondaful,” I suppose) album, The ArchAndroid.  It makes up parts two and three in her neo-soul, Afrofuturist epic loosely modeled after the classic German film Metropolis.  Over the course of the album and her previous EP, Monaé soulfully tells the story of a young android named Cyndi Mayweather, who falls in love with a human named Anthony Greendown, is hunted down by bounty hunters, and discovers she is destined to save the world (all while her alter-ego from which her biological components were cloned, Monaé herself, has been sent back in time and held prisoner in an insane asylum called The Palace of the Dogs by a secret police which uses time to oppress the masses).

Sound complicated?  It is, and wonderfully so.  The album–Monaé’s debut–has depth, story, and heart aplenty.  As she spins this intriguing science fiction story, Monaé spends most of the album relentlessly switching up styles, subjects, and even genres, but she has both the talent and the chutzpah to pull it off, and between the story and some well-produced transitions between songs, the album stays unified.

Monaé herself is infinitely suave and stylish, and comes across as educated and classy–the album itself lasts all 18 songs without the young singer uttering a single swear word.  Her voice transforms excellently to accommodate anything from the Motown-inspired “Tightrope” to the punk growls of “Come Alive” to the classical, jazzy vibe of the closing track, “BaBopByeYa.”  Overall, I highly recommend giving Miss Monaé’s album a whirl.

Rating (Out of 5):

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