The Electric Lady is the second studio album of singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe. The hip-hop stylings of Monáe’s music is one that pushes the very boundaries of the genre. Each album of Monáe’s features a wide array of styles from straight up hip-hop, to fast paced dance tracks, soft moving ballads to classical overtures.
The album is split up into two suites, Suite IV and Suite V which make up part of a larger and continuing story of Monáe’s alter ego, Cindi Mayweather. The character Cindi Mayweather and her tale of love in an dystopic, android filled, world have spanned across all three of Monáe’s albums (two of which are studio, the other is an EP).
In The Electric Lady we see the fight for android rights expand even further with songs lyrically revealing more and more of the story, with the WDRD radio interludes providing even more insights. While the story of Cindi Mayweather is mixed throughout the album, the songs can just as easily stand up as single tracks.
I cannot seem to stress the sheer range of musical stylings that feature on each of Monáe’s albums. While predominantly of the hip-hop genre, Monáe explores other genres such as funk, gospel, RnB, classical, punk, dance, pop, ballads, jazz and amazingly even more. The Electric Lady is no different as the album sees Monáe moving from rapping to long melodies with ease. It truly is an auditory experience to listen to Monáe, with each new album bringing both an evolution of her talent but new and wonderful songs.
If there is one constant amongst Monáe’s albums (other than her talent) it is the amazing rhythms. So many times throughout The Electric Lady you will find yourself bobbing along with the beats and dancing away with the songs. Stand out tracks on the album for me are ‘Q.U.E.E.N.,’ ‘Dance Apocalyptic‘ and my absolute favourite, ‘Givin em What They Love’ which features Prince.
If you have never heard of Janelle Monáe you might recognise her voice from the Fun song ‘We are Young.’ I would highly recommend that anyone and everyone pick up a Monáe album, if anything you’ll surely find yourself wanting to dance along.