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Album Review: Janelle Monae - The Archandroid


(Bad Boy Records)

A few weeks ago, we wrote about V.V. Brown's debut album. It was the latest in a line of a records with a Motown-revival feel. Though the record was spectacular, it simply didn't showcase Brown's diversity. It almost seems that Janelle Monae was reading this review and responded with her own record, The Archandroid, which has a similar retro feel, but manages to throw all sorts of genres to the wall and actually makes them stick.

In fact, Monae's debut full length starts with an overture. A song with a classic sound, and a fitting name to boot, "Overture I." She swoops in with various other genres from hip-hop to indie rock. Part of the way she is able to accomplish this is by bringing along a few guests on the tracks, Big Boi guests on "Tightrope" and Of Montreal lend themselves to "Make the Bus."

Is it possible she took this genrefication too far, abandoning her Motown-influenced image? Though there are a few songs that seem a little too pop, she manages to successfully blend it in to a seamless, near perfect record. While there are a ew song that seem to fall to the background, standout tracks like "Cold War," "Tightrope," and "Wondaland" keep the album strong until the very end.

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