Add Date: May 25
Artist: Janelle Monae
Album: The Archandroid
Label: Bad Boy/Atlantic
Genre: R&B, soul, hip hop, pop
Comments: From the promoter: "The funkstress herself, Janelle Monae, follows her Grammy-nominated debut EP Metropolis, Suite I: The Chase with her first full-length LP, The ArchAndroid. Drawing her inspiration from the likes of James Bond, Janelle Monae describes this album as 'just all the things I love--scores for films like Goldfinger, mixed with albums I adore, such as Stevie's Music of My Mind, David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, and jamming experimental hip hop stuff like Stankonia.'
"The soul-stirring diva of our time will entrance you with her poignant vocals, backed by a new-age twist on the '60s and jazz. Using elaborate orchestral arrangements... this album features the legendary Big Boi of OutKast, renowned poet Saul Williams, the psychedelic dance-punk troupe Of Montreal and punk prophets Deep Cotton...
"The ArchAndroid continues the story of Metropolis, Suite I: The Chase with Monae's alter-ego, Cindi Mayweather. 'It's said that when the ArchAndroid returns, it will mean freedom for the android community,' explains Monae. 'Cindi Mayweather realizes that she is indeed the ArchAndroid.' The soul/neo-funk pop star may be from another galaxy or perhaps an android, but her career as an artist will become legendary."
After listening to The ArchAndroid, I'm tempted to agree. Monae effortlessly flows from one style to the next: hip hop, pop and soul on Suite II (the album's first 11 tracks) to R&B and psych folk on Suite III (tracks 12-18). Check out "Faster," "Oh, Maker" and "Dance or Die" from Suite II, as well as "Make the Bus" and "57821" from Suite III.