Album of the Month – ‘The ArchAndroid’

I was introduced to this artist by a friend, a guy whose usually great at giving me new interesting artists to look at, or the complete opposite. He didn’t this time around either, he showed me an album which literally blew my mind for originality and sound, something which brings back the routes of Soul/Pop and combines them with modernistic ideas.

Janelle Monae is somewhat unknown within the mainstream of todays music and I have to say I’m shocked, her voice has the power and clarity to rival some of the most popular around. Its hard to summaries and compare to others, as her vocal style really is a fresh approach to the genres this album features.

The album follows the concept of a fictional tale of an messianic android, a tale which Monae has been working on throughout her career. As an all rounder, the album primarily focuses on Soul and Jazz elements, however there are dozens of links to others. Dealing with issues of love, anger, mysticism and self realization, all through the eyes of an android.

Interesting concept? Certainly sounds it…. And it seems to work with the various styles an song structures that Monae chooses to write with, you can sense her determination to display her vast knowledge of music and the working of her own voice.

Stand-out tracks –

Dance or die (feat. Saul Williams)

Oh, Maker

Come Alive (The War of the Roses)

Tightrope (feat. Big Boi)

I’ll be honest, it isn’t the most listened to album on my list this month, but I didn’t award it the album of the month for its play count. I gave it this title because of the creativity, novel ideas and general feel of the album. Its loaded with grooves, smooth/ambient sections and great vocal harmony. Certainly a new soul voice at its best!


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