[Album Review] Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady

Janelle Monáe
PrimeTime ft. Miguel
Janelle Monáe  
Givin Em What They Love ft. Prince
Janelle Monáe
Electric Lady ft. Solange
Janelle Monáe
Dorothy Dandridge Eyes ft. Esperanza Spalding

As a child of a drug-addicted father with a Kansas City upbringing, and after early days spent in New York City, Philadelphia, and eventually Atlanta trying to make it into the music, it was apparent that Janelle Monáe’s past was more elaborate and obscured than most artists in the industry. Instead of dwelling on the struggle or waiting for a hero to come rescue her, Monáe became her own super-hero in the form of a George Clinton and David Bowie inspired android named Cindi Mayweather. Armed with a classically trained voice, black and white suit, and a creativity that has not been seen since the 80’s, Monáe’s alter-ego became more than just a form of escapism, but a savior from the ever-growing monotony of today’s R&B genre.

With her major label sophomore release The Electric Lady, Monáe continues to take listeners on a grand journey through the inner workings of her mental space. Similar to her 2010 ArchAndroid release, the android tale continues but with a far more personal take along a course through R&B, funk, rock, jazz, and rap. Bringing in a wide array of guests and familiar artists, Monáe conveys a fictional landscape that is both a nostalgic venture into the great sounds of R&B’s past and a pop-oriented, radio romp of songs about love and heartbreak.

Continue reading

Related items:

[Electro] Active Child – Subtle (Feat. Mikky Ekko)

Active Child Subtle
Active Child
Subtle (Feat. Mikky Ekko)

“Subtle” is just about the last adjective I’d use to describe this funky new single from Active Child. Joined by gifted crooner and frequent TMN favorite, Mikky Ekko, this tune is a deep departure from the dense, forlorn soundscapes we’ve grown accustomed to from Pat Grossi on prevous singles like “Hanging On” and “She Cut Me.” Plucking synths and crashing percussion set the stage for this high-flying number, which incorporates a decidedly 80’s retro-future inspired sound. Ekko does his best Michael Jackson impression, bringing to the table a confident and punctuating delivery that serves as a sharp contrast to Grossi’s own vocal efforts. “Subtle” serves as a signal for us that his upcoming Rapor EP isn’t just business as usual for the talented young producer, making us even more exicted to see what he has in store for October 22nd.

Related items:
Grouplove - Ways To Go (The Knocks REMIX)
Ways To Go (The Knocks Remix)

Both Grouplove and The Knocks were recently featured in our MEGA SUMMER PLAYLIST series, and even though it’s September now, there’s no shame in … Continue reading »

Related items:

[Progressive] Zedd – Stay The Night (Feat. Hayley Williams)

Stay The Night (Feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore)

We’re not going to lie, we still keep Clarity in heavy rotation around here. Even so, we’ve been pining for new material from Zedd ever since the release of last year’s breakout album. Thankfully, we finally have the fruitful bounty of all our patience with this brand new collaboration alongside Paramore‘s Hayley Williams. “Stay The Night” is exactly what you’d expect from the German DJ. It’s a soaring, uplifting affair, layered with textured, euphoric synths and an infectious chorus. Just like his previous singles, it’s pretty evident that this one is going to stay on repeat until the end of the year. Make sure to pre-order the deluxe edition of Clarity, available on iTunes September 24th with four additional bonus tracks, including this tune right here.

Related items:

[Video] Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – White Walls (Feat. ScHoolboy Q & Hollis)

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
White Walls (Feat. ScHoolboy Q & Hollis)

Say what you will about Macklemore, but don’t tell me the guy doesn’t know how to make a good music video. After thoroughly dominating the charts for the good part of a year now, you’d think Mack would be ready to hang up his saddle for some well deserved rest and relaxation. Instead, he keeps on rolling forward, trading that saddle in for a fully pimped-out old school Cadillac. He rides that whip all the way to a crazy backyard pool party, where he celebrates his success with some grannies and a gaggle of new buddies like A$AP Rocky, Big Boi, Wiz Khalifa, Trinidad Jame$, Sir Mix-A-Lot, DJ Drama, and ScHoolboy Q (who happens to contribute a verse on this track). While that all may sound a little strange, trust us when we say it looks like loads of fun. Check out the dope visuals below, and make sure to grab the single on iTunes if you don’t have it already.

Related items:

[Song to Break Up To] Ta-Ku – I Miss You

Ta Ku
I Miss You

Sometimes, when you are going through situations in your life, certain songs have a way of finding you and speaking directly to you. Australia’s Ta-Ku will be releasing his EP Songs To Break Up To in October but he released a song off there called “I Miss You” about two months ago. This is a song in response to Willow Smith’s “Summer Fling”. While it is hard to take the lyrics of a twelve year old to heart on the love issue, it is easy to fall for Ta-Ku’s melody that adds a sense of adultness and sensual reality to the mix. The song has two sets of vocals, a woman’s distinct voice and then an altered voice which comes off as a male companion. The lyrics touch on the simple chemistry between two people where, as many of us have experienced, one wants a relationship while the other just wants to keep everything casual, a just for fun thing. Ta-Ku puts his own seducing drum and electronic beats throughout the piece making it ever so seductive for the ears and the heart.

Related items:

[New Artist] Bastille – Things We Lost in The Fire (Torn Remix)

Things We Lost In The Fire (Torn Remix)

Got to love new artists.
There is little to say about Torn right now except that he is an up and coming artist out of Stockholm Sweden who is quietly making his way into the music scene.

His remix of Bastille’s “Thing We Lost in The Fire” has quite a sound of its own. Taking the song and turning it up to an electric music level, Torn works his magic melodies to rock through the original mix, keeping the intensity of Bastille’s vocals but adding Torn’s own twist to make this song a pounding remix. Torn has made it clear he can make a hell of a remix, we hear some original songs are on the way as well and can’t wait to get torn up over this artist.

Related items: