Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid (2010)

on July 13th Media Reviews Said:

The same night, of Montreal w/ Janella Monae are in The Mainroom. I actually would go for seeing of Montreal live sometime, as much as I've been underwhelmed by their studio music. But Monae has become hipster band 101 as well.

1. Suite II Overture Nathaniel Irvin III, Roman GianArthur Irvin, Charles Joseph II, Janelle Monáe Robinson 2:31
2. Dance or Die (feat. Saul Williams) Irvin III, Joseph II, Robinson, Saul Williams 3:12
3. Faster Irvin III, Joseph II, Robinson 3:19
4. Locked Inside Irvin III, Robinson 4:16
5. Sir Greendown Irvin III, Joseph II, Robinson 2:14
6. Cold War Irvin III, Joseph II, Robinson 3:23
7. Tightrope (feat. Big Boi) Irvin III, Joseph II, Antwan Patton, Robinson 4:22
8. Neon Gumbo Robinson, Chuck Lightning 1:37
9. Oh, Maker Irvin III, Joseph II, Robinson 3:46
10. Come Alive (War of the Roses) Irvin III, Joseph II, Kellis Parker Jr., Robinson 3:22
11. Mushrooms & Roses Irvin III, Joseph II, Robinson 5:42
12. Suite III Overture Irvin III, Irvin, Joseph II, Robinson 1:41
13. Neon Valley Street Irvin III, Joseph II, Robinson 4:11
14. Make the Bus (feat. of Montreal) Kevin Barnes 3:19
15. Wondaland Irvin III, Joseph II, Robinson 3:36
16. 57821" (feat. Deep Cotton) Irvin III, Joseph II, Robinson 3:16
17. Say You’ll Go Irvin III, Irvin, Joseph II, Robinson 6:01
18. BabopbyeYa Irvin III, Irvin, Joseph II, Robinson 8:47

I'll confess, when I 1st saw her name back in the Spring, I wasn't really buying into her music with the way she was being mixed in with the hipster crowd. And her song "Tightrope" just seemed like another pop-diva I didn't need to give 5 minutes of my time to.

But after finally checking out The ArchAndroid a little over a month ago, I've totally come around on her.


It's an excellent record. Catchy, creative, eclectic, and really a lot more original or ambitious than I would ever have thought. She does combine genres rather effectively. But the thing is, many people like to pigeon-hole her to be like James Brown, but I would compare her music more with someone like St.Vincent or Apes and Androids. The dreamy, mystical and emotional sides especially.

I can't deny, her new album is kind of a breath of fresh air to an extent. I've been hoping something new would come along this Summer and grab me, and she is definitely among my favorite new artists (to me) this year.

And it's prog, whether 99% of the people into her music realize or would agree with that, I know it when I hear it. I mean her use of orchestral parts, some of the synths and textures, and definitely the guitar parts and tones; I hear people like David Gilmour and Steve Hackett. I'm not sure who plays the guitars on this record, but it wouldn't be surprising if they were a fan or/listened to stuff like Floyd and Genesis.

I will say though, the 1st 12 or 13 tracks really flow incredibly well, and the last 8+ minute closing piece "BabopbyeYa" is a great closer to this album. But the tracks leading up to it are a bit hit and miss, and that's why at this stage it's not really a top record or even top 5 probably candidate for my 2010 index.

But it's become rather addictive, and the whole concept with the Metropolis (the film?) ideas, Artificial Intelligence/Lifeforms, is rather cool.

I also have gone on to check out her 1st EP Metropolis, Suite I: The Chase from 2007 and The Audition from 2003, which I guess technically is a circulated bootleg or lengthly demo, that some consider her debut album.

And I am going to see her on September 23rd, although probably not much of Montreal as well, with the 3-show 3-venue seeing the performer-I-most-want-to-when-they-are-on-stage at every venue that night. I'd rather see her headline, but given she's not, the triple-concert deal should work. But hopefully the next time she comes in town, she'll be the headliner and it won't be on the same evening as another concert or event.