Janelle Monáe has stuck to one continuous narrative in the story of her career, steadily rising with her own eclectic blend of styles—from funk to hip-hop to R&B to psychedelic soul and orchestral overtures. And on her two EPs and first album she’s wrapped all this in a literal story: The tale of Cindi Mayweather, a Fritz Lang-inspired android who fights for the robot minority of the Metropolis.
Monáe’s new album The Electric Lady is the latest chapter in both these stories, but it’s a fine place to start even if you’re coming to her for the first time. After all, Monáe’s music—like that of one of her biggest heroes, James Brown—is above all about the groove. We’ve already heard singles “Q.U.E.E.N. (feat. Erykah Badu),” “Dance Apocalyptic,” and “PrimeTime (feat. Miguel),” and most of the rest of the new tunes continue in the smooth and danceable vein of those songs, with Prince, Esperanza Spalding, and Solange Knowles also guesting.
You can listen to all 67 minutes, via VH1, below.
Here’s the full tracklist:
1. Suite IV: Electric Overture
2. Givin Em What They Love (ft. Prince)
3. Q.U.E.E.N. (feat. Erykah Badu)
4. Electric Lady (feat. Solange)
5. Good Morning Midnight (Interlude)
6. PrimeTime (feat. Miguel)
7. We Were Rock & Roll
8. The Chrome Shoppe (Interlude)
9. Dance Apocalyptic
10. Look Into My Eyes
11. Suite V: Electric Overture
12. It’s Code
13. Ghetto Woman
14. Our Favorite Fugitive (Interlude)
16. Can’t Live Without Your Love
17. Sally Ride
18. Dorothy Dandridge Eyes (feat. Esperanza Spalding)
19. What an Experience
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