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Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady

Janelle Monáe – 'The Electric Lady' album review

Another high-concept stylistic mash-up from the Atlanta pop droid

By Phil Harrison
We’d love to think that, at some point, one of Janelle Monáe’s brilliantly eccentric slices of psychedelic R&B will propel her towards massive global fame. With her concept albums about cyborgs, endless stylistic shape-shifting and general air of wild upredictability, the singer from Atlanta would make a fantastic pop star.

This latest dispatch from Planet Monáe continues her enjoyably baffling ‘Metropolis’ series of high-concept records, which she’s been making since 2007. ‘The Electric Lady’ comprises the fourth and fifth ‘suites’ in the series, which is a tribute to Fritz Lang’s dystopian silent film of 1927. But don’t be put off by her appetite for the esoteric – what we’re dealing with remains beautifully performed, instantly addictive pop music constructed with enough nuance to reward repeated listening.

She’s worked her contact book for this one too – look out for guest turns from Solange, Erykah Badu and Prince who, if you’re looking for reference points, is as good a comparison as any. That’s big talk, but Monáe can walk the walk. Buy this album here

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