Preview: Janelle Monae's New Album

Last night as we sipped on cocktails at the ArchAndroid emotion experience we thought: Yup, just another album listening where an artist we like will either disappoint or leave us wanting. INCORRECT. From the very minute the first song off of Janelle Monae’s debut album started booming all over the theater, we were subjected to involuntary body spasms. Aptly named Dance or Die, we said to ourselves; “ It’s a Suite903 Friday night in sonic form.” Never mind that there was also a super trippy movie playing on the screen to accompany the music. The entire thing played out like our weekend: banging forever with little rest. Afterwards, when we spoke to the Wondaland dudes, who executive produced the album and double as her band, we used the word “ACIDTRIPPINHOLYBALLS” which they said was a fitting and unique adjective. The album is a beautiful piece of art. Janelle spans influences that most artists need a whole career to delve into. From James Brown to Jimi Hendrix to Afrobeat to stuff that we couldn’t even decipher, this album is one thing for certain—a complete digression from the EP. Janelle is an artist who obviously loves to make music, not just sing. THIS LADY LOVES TO JAM. There is no ego in her creation. She sometimes sacrifices her own voice just to blend into the music so that the song is not ruined. How refreshing in a time when most artists sacrifice the quality just so they can yell over the melodies. The two singles out now are amazing but they do no justice to the sound of the album and we only heard half of it. Miss Janelle, you’ve managed to surprise us and exceed our expectations and these days that is quite hard to do. Also hard to do: have a whole room of New York industry people dancing in the aisles at an album listening. It was like Sunday service for the Gospel according to Monae. You’ve made a believer out of us. Album drops May 18th. -Judnick Mayard

POSTED March 5, 2010 3:13PM IN SUITE903 Comments (8) TAGS:




  1. Alina says:

    I was there on Thursday and it was the most kick-ass listening party I’ve ever been a part of. The music is JAMMING. And…we didnt even get to hear the entire album. I’m so excited for May 18th!

  2. Mr. J says:

    Can’t wait for the entire album to drop on May 18th. Everything I heard on Thursday was true genius. Janelle’s producers Nate Wonder and Chuck Lightning are the truth. The ArchAndroid has come to save music and I couldn’t be happier.

  3. r.myatt says:

    “A beautiful piece of art” is correct. How rare is it to experience music that forces your entire body to react? And just in time. We have been so numb to mediocre music that when Ms.Monae first popped on the scene, we remembered (or discovered) what it felt like to dance with reckless abandon…how freeing! So excited to bear witness to this upcoming musical experience…its going to be amazing to watch it unfold…

  4. parse_tunes says:

    I bought the two new singles from iTunes and haven’t stopped listening to them yet. I have the first Metropolis suite and from the two new songs I’ve heard it is clear JM is all about growth in music and all types of music. I can’t wait for May 18!

  5. Teesh says:

    May 18th? let me jot that down… I can never get enough of Janelle Monae’s music! I would listen to it all day if I could!

  6. vee town says:

    I haven’t purchased any music since I was in high school, but I bought the two singles on iTunes the other day. I can’t wait until May 18th, I am going to the STORE and buying an actual CD and listening to it from front to back!

  7. msangie225 says:

    Wow! Looks like JM’s listening party was quite the experience! I sooooooooo wish I was there! Sounds like everyone has given it great reviews thus far! Heard her hit singles “Cold War” and “Tightrope” on itunes and I’m looking forward to buying the album when it drops May 18th for sure!

  8. Geniusweenus says:

    McLove Janelle Monae. I cant wait till she comes to the listening party in Atlanta so I can “Tightrope” throughout the venue. 5.18.10 Janelle Monae and Wondaland will change the world