Sunday, May 16, 2010

Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid

About two months ago, I wrote about a new artist by the name of Janelle Monáe.  Her unique style and story interested me immediately.  Her music is a story.  She tells the story of her alter ego, Cindi Mayweather, in the futuristic city of Metropolis.  Cindi is an android who falls in love with a human.  The story takes off from this intriguing plot.  Her tale is split into four suites.  She released Suite I, The Chase, as an EP in 2007.  Suites II and III are to be released as Monáe's first full length album, The ArchAndroid.  This highly anticipated release is an epic of the music world.  At eighteen tracks long, this isn't just an album, it's a piece of art.

The ArchAndroid starts with "Suite II Overture".  The orchestrated instrumental is the introduction to the second part of Cindi's story.  This track proves that the listener is in for more than just every average record.  The orchestration sounds as if you're watching the opening credit's of a sci-fi film.  From here, the music runs directly into "Dance Or Die".  This track features Saul Williams.  Monáe's rapid lyrics push the album off to a fast start.  Most of the tracks run directly into each other, with little or no breaks.  The highlight of Suite II is definitely "Come Alive (The War Of The Roses)".  The song is not only incredibly original, but Monáe's vocals are outstanding.  "Mushrooms & Roses", a mellow psychedelic number, closes the second suite.

The third suite starts with another introduction. "Suite III Overture" focuses heavily on the piano, strings, horns, and a choral section.  The suite separates the two halves of the record and really gives the audience a breather.  Unlike Suite II, the third suite starts slower with the smooth "Neon Valley Street".  The highlight of Suite III is the album's closing track, "BaBopBye Ya".  At over eight minutes long, it wraps up the suite and leaves you waiting for Monáe's final chapter of the Cindi Mayweather story.

Because of it's epic nature, The ArchAndroid should be experienced form beginning to end, in one sitting.  Otherwise, you won't get the entire emotional impact of the package.  The record can't be defined into one genre label.  It has a little of everything, from rock and R&B, to jazz and classical.  Monáe's album is due out on May 18.  I would definitely check it out.  This debut album is one of a kind.  Janelle Monáe is something you don't see often nowadays, a true artist and storyteller.


  1. You've got the album description down packed! Definitely going to cop the album on Tuesday! I'm so excited! It's def Grammy worthy!

  2. i agree msangie225 i agree with you. this album is def grammy worthy! i listened to the stream its amazing. i can't wait to my copy arrives in the mail.


  3. she is in a league of her own.

  4. I JUST Got My Copy In The Mail Today && Haven't Stopped Listening To It Since She Streamed It On Her MySpace Page A Few Days Ago...

    This Is Hands Down The BEST Album I've Heard Within The Last Decade. I Actually Wanna Buy Another Just To Support The Great Music She Puts Out. Every Song Is A Masterpiece && This Album Is Utter Perfection...A Great Artist With Legend Potential In My Eyes...Thanks For Posting This, It's Def Needed :)