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Posts Tagged ‘Janelle Monae’

Why Am I The One (Fun.)

In current listenings, tracks to listen to on March 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm

This NY-NY three-man-band is cool and fun, just like their name. I dig these guys and their mixed up retro indie sound.

“Why Am I The One” has a crisp and clean sound and these guys have a great contemporary rock sound that also has some retro influences that sound a lot like Queen and The Beach Boys. I think I’ll just let you experience this song and let you make up your own mind on this one.

And if you need another track to get a good impression, check our their initial single, “We Are Young”, featuring Janelle Monae. Its another great track, which is also from their newest album, Some Nights. I’ve just started listening to the entire album, and it sounds cool.

They’ve got lots of North American tour dates scheduled, including Toronto (for all my Canadian friends back home)! You can also coordinate rideshare through their website, so check it out!

Do My Thang by Estelle featuring Janelle Monáe

In current listenings, tracks to listen to on February 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

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I popped onto The Hype Machine this morning to check out some new tunes and found this awesome beat sung by Estelle and Janelle Monáe. Both these ladies have fantastic albums and have a unique and soulful musical style. They both make me want to move!

Estelle has a new album out (her third studio album) called All Of Me, and of course, since Janelle Monáe performed with Bruno Mars and B.o.B. on the Grammys last year, I’ve seen her name start to pop up on various projects and collaborations. She also plans to release two albums this year.

Click here to check out this track! Its fun!

The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III) (Janelle Monáe)

In albums, current listenings on June 3, 2011 at 10:00 am

The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III) (released May 18, 2010)

I’ve been listening to this album for a while, and I realized I need to write something about it on here. There’s actually quite a few albums I want to write about. It’s kind of fun…like, which album do I get to dedicate myself to and listen to next (all at once)!

Okay, truthfully, I haven’t listened to the lovely Janelle Monáe for about 3 or 4 weeks, but about 8 weeks ago I had a mad love affair with her album (The ArchAndroid) and I think Sarah thought it was a little much. But its just a damn good album.

Track Listing

  1. Suite II Overture
  2. Dance Or Die (Feat. Saul Williams)
  3. Faster
  4. Locked Inside
  5. Sir Greendown
  6. Cold War
  7. Tightrope (Feat. Big Boi)
  8. Neon Gumbo
  9. Oh, Maker
  10. Come Alive (The War Of The Roses)
  11. Mushrooms & Roses
  12. Suite III Overture
  13. Neon Valley Street
  14. Make The Bus (Feat. Of Montreal)
  15. Wondaland
  16. 57821 (Feat. Deep Cotton)
  17. Say You’ll Go
  18. BaBopByeYa
As the album title suggests, this is parts II and III of a four-part concept series known as Metropolis. Part I was released individually prior to this album, and it introduces Cindi Mayweather, who is an android fighting against her society. Sounds wild, right? And if she succeeds in the fight, it means freedom for all androids! HURRAY! Apparently its based on a movie of the same name (Metropolis) that was released in 1927. Wild! But really, according to Janelle Monáe, the album alludes to the freedom from enslavement of all minorities. A very powerful message mixed into a multi-genre album.
What immediately struck me about Monáe was her live performance! She can sing, she moves, she’s got a unique, funky, 50s-60s kind of look with a contemporary twist…and its cool. And to add to that, her album is just under 70 minutes of fantastic, mostly-upbeat music with elements of funk, jazz, rock, a little bit of James Brown-esque twist, and some brass mixed in too. Its a groovy album that makes you want to dance. And that’s exactly what Monáe sets out to do – challenge you with powerful lyrics, and also get you moving. If you feel something and think something as a result of her music, then she has succeeded. So what’s her style? Who knows!? Its a mix. I don’t even know if you can identify one specific style, since there are so many elements to it. I guess its Pop. Its Funk. Its got a whole lot of soul. And then a bunch of newer, android-like elements, for lack of a better explanation.
Her tracks fit seamlessly together (for some of them, they literally meld together with an almost indistinguishably transition point). And the sound keeps moving you deeper and deeper into the album, keeping your interest, and actually continues with the pace of an exciting action movie.
So you have this incredibly explorative, uplifting, exciting, dance-worthy, rock-out kind of music that is all topped off with tracks that are empowering and inspirational. In ‘Locked Inside’, Monáe sings about the future, saying “When I look into the future / I see danger in it’s eyes / Hearts of hatred rule the land”, and ends with the repetitive realization that she can “make a change”. Its a message that resounds loud and clear over the beautiful masterpiece that supplements the message.
That’s what I love about this album: the music is incredibly powerful and has so much unique exploration happening in the instrumentation, but it never overrides the powerful lyrics. The most incredible part about the album is that you always notice the message. And to me, in an album with so much happening, that is the most incredible feat – to achieve a perfect harmony between the orchestrations and the lyrics…and you STILL make people want to dance. I frigging love it.
Favourite tracks:
Faster
Cold War
Tightrope (Feat. Big Boi)
Wondaland
BaBopByeYa
And even more, here’s the kick-ass video released by Monáe for her song ‘Tightrope’. She’s got a ton of talent, and I can’t wait to see what we see from her on part IV of the Metropolis series.
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