Sunday, May 23, 2010

Janelle Monáe (Wow)

Imagine if Lauryn Hill became a geek, teamed up with Outkast, and wrote two concept albums about an android uprising in the futuristic city of Metropolis. The result would sound something like Janelle Monae's inaugural two albums, Metropolis, and The ArchAndroid, the first three acts of a six act story. The songs flow seamlessly (literally) from one to the next, usually jumping genres in the process. She can wail, she can scat, she can croon, she can rap, she can dance (oh she can dance), and she can sound like GLaDOS when necessary. Orchestral interludes bookend the chapters; In one, she puts words to a snippet of Claire De Lune.

Pitchfork loves her too. Historically, the intersection of the albums I like and the albums they bother to review has been approximately 0, so these two recommendations are about as independent as they come. Go have a listen! Every track can be heard for free at the links above.

My favorites so far: Sincerely, Jane, Tightrope, and Oh, Maker.