Like R&B? Like Funk? Like Neo Soul? Like indie music? Are you into Science Fiction? Are you or were you a Theatre kid? Like Breathing? Then you should be listening to Janelle Monae's Archandroid. A debut CD years in the making from a promising young artist. Janelle Monae is so unique, that to simply call her the female version of Outkast is an understatement, but perhaps the only thing that describes her in today's landscape.
The Archandroid is actually Suites II and III of Monae's series of albums, Metropolis. The series tells the story of a female android, Cindi Mayweather, who has a bounty on her head for falling in love with a human. The brilliance of the concept is that it links all of the songs on the album by a loose yet tight string; you're not required to know the story to enjoy the album. Each song stands on it's own. To give you an example, the first 3 tracks after the introduction are actually one longer mix that you wont realize until you put the album on shuffle. Listen to the lyrics and you hear a robot is contemplating between continuing to blend in with society or die trying, accompanied briefly by a familiar Micheal Jackson drum loop.
The Archandroid is a album for the old and new music fans. It can take a beating from being plopped in our playlists, but it really deserves to be listened in its entirety to while we discuss how cool it is and expand our artistic vocabularies with terms such as afrofuturism and German Expressionism.