Janelle Monae’s New Album Razzle Dazzles.

Electric Lady.

The Electric Lady.

The Electric Lady is the much awaited follow-up to Janelle Monae’s debut The Archandroid from 2010. Like its predecessor, it’s not so much a concept album, as it is one that inhabits a musical landscape in much the same way that Bowie planted himself in the world of Ziggy Stardust.

If anything, this is an even more impressive affair than her debut. Not unlike Bowie, despite borrowing and imbibing voraciously from any number of different sources, what she ends up producing somehow manages to have a remarkable musical coherence.

Bowie as Ziggy.

Bowie as Ziggy.

There are echoes of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, oodles of Sly and The Family Stone, and a hint of Booby Womack. But most of all, the album nods, genuflects and embraces the figure of Prince.

Correctly – and significantly – the album kicks off with a duet with him. Before subsequent tracks see her joined by Erykah Badu, Solange, Miguel and Esperanza Spalding as she fuses and melds jazz, funk, soul and RnB with hiphop. And all of it drowned in her sumptuous melodies and soaring vocals.

“Categorize me, I defy every label.” Q.U.E.E.N.

The boys from Pitchfork gave it an 8.3 here. If it doesn’t make your end of year top 5 list, I shall eat an item of clothing of your choice. You can see the official video for Q.U.E.E.N. here.

Skip the opening 50 seconds and head for the song proper. And you can hear the sensational title track Electric Lady  here.

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