If Aretha Franklin were schizophrenic and an eccentric evil genius with giant heaps of gold in her mansion that she enjoys to climb and dance upon whenever she feels a jam coming her way, you’d get Janelle Monae.
Monae is sincerely a creative breed of her own, built with two parts electric charisma and one part pure old-school musical inspiration. She feels like a musical prodigy who spent her entire childhood locked in her room, relishing science fiction, David Bowie and jazz endlessly. This girl has seriously done her homework and not just that, she’s obsessed with her inspiration and let’s it shine sharply through her highly enjoyable spastic production and arrangement style.
What makes The ArchAndroid is how relentlessly enjoyable the end to end listening experience becomes as you acquaint yourself to the meticulously constructed tracks, each craftily designed with these beautiful, eternal stories not unlike the works of Ray Bradbury or Fritz Lang.
The collaborations are immaculately contributive to the album; artists like Big Boi and Of Montreal keep up with Monae’s vision and neatly expand the sonic palette of their respective tracks. They behave as creative utensils that succumb to Monae’s massive creativity instead of individuals; a strict but dignified feature necessary for a great concept album and Monae has that to show in spades.
The ArchAndroid is the ever-changing Gobstopper of music. Monae’s bouncing off the walls at her own show and does it all with this level of class and purpose that’s cerebrally untouchable. Watch her take over everything you ever knew about R&B and let her open your eyes to something this side of town has never seen.
This album is my dad.