New addition to my CD stash: Janelle Monáe – The ArchAndroid

JanelleI’ve finally got around to catch up on The ArchAndroid, the debut album of the incredible Janelle Monáe. The Electric Lady, Monáe’s sophomore effort, simply blew my mind, so I was really cautious about approaching the previous record of hers. After few spins I could safely say that my worries were completely unnecessary, as the singer has immense talent and amazing artistic vision. The ArchAndroid is a powerful and satisfying listen which sets the ground for its even greater follow-up. Continue reading →

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Electric ladies of music: Janelle Monáe, Danielle Brisebois

riotgrrrlWomen in the music scene can rock and surely they do, and I can’t stress this fact enough. It bothers me that lots of guys are still like, ‘she’s a girl so she can’t play heavy metal’, ‘she should stick to pop’, ‘it doesn’t fit her’. As if music genres were gender-bound, limited to specific race or sexual orientation. Just look at rap culture and the way white artists continue to be perceived. Beastie Boys were a sensation back in the day and more recently so was Eminem, but they had to fight lots of negative preconceived notions to achieve success and gain appreciation. People still go, ‘wow she’s a female, yet she raps as good as man’, or ‘I don’t listen to George Michael, coz he’s gay’. Music is all matter of taste, but the issues mentioned should never play a role in deciding whether you like an artist or not. Times surely change for the better, but the music fascism remains, I have no doubt about that. Riot grrrl movement of the early 1990s, with bands like Bikini Kill, Le Tigre or Sleater-Kinney, addressed the problems of the male-centered society and the place of women in music, yet the mainstream culture still did not get this memo. Continue reading →