Thursday, December 23, 2010

Best Albums of 2010 No 1 - Janelle Monae's The Archandroid

2010 was a year of some pretty exceptional music acorss genres and styles. But for me, I found none as interesting or as remarkable as Janelle Monae's The Archandroid. A stunning debut album from someone with so much ambition, desire and promise, it's hard not to laud her for this album while eagerly waiting for her next album.

Monae's tales of android Cindy Mayweather in a society that's gone awry are compelling. But it's Monae and her influences that cause you to take notice. She's aping James Brown, Prince, Bowie, George Clinton, Lauryn Hill, sometimes mixing them all up together. On Neon Valley Street, she could be any current R&B diva, singing sweetly; but then she starts rapping through a computer voice.

The first half, with songs like Faster, Dance or Die, and the infectious Tightrope, you see Big Boi and the rest of that Atlanta sound influence. She culls from sci fi as much as her parents 70s vinyl (the MJ influence is heavy too... Locked Inside sounds like an extra from the Off The Wall sessions). The second half is more tender, more classic neo soul, with exciting rock and funk elements.

If Janelle Monae is within 100 miles of your city, go see her show. It's a 1000 times more mind blowing than the album, with dancers, live instrumentation, and Monae's electric stage presence.

Read our June 2010 review of the Archandroid here.

Buy Janelle Monae's The Archandroid at the Amazon mp3 store

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