Sunday, March 27, 2011

“Who put your life in the danger zone?”

I like music with a story, songs where the lyrics carry as much weight as the music, artists who don’t care if each album is accessible to new listeners because they have an over-arching vision like a secret love-letter to their long-time fans, who don’t care about being confined by rules of genre.

Janelle Monáe is all that and more. From Kansas, at less than a year younger than me, her albums display a creative mythology set in a dystopian society. Her alter-ego is an android, Cindi Mayweather, who is to be destroyed after falling in love with a human. By any name, she’s beautifully refreshing, a female artist who doesn’t rely on sexy clothing to attract an audience, an energetic performer who is as spot-on in live performance as in the studio recording.

“You're free but in your mind, your freedom's in a bind”
“Whether you’re high or low…”
“So you think I’m alone? But being alone is the only way to be.”

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