Janelle Monáe's 'Electric Lady' Might Just Save Pop Music
Miley Cyrus's new music is more offensive than it is fun to listen to, Lady Gaga's new songs don't even come close to hits like "Alejandro" and "Bad Romance," Rihanna is more concerned with looking bored than promoting her upcoming album, and Katy Perry's "transformation" just seems to be into Sara Bareilles. Of course, our culture immediately pits these pop divas against one another, asking which one will make the Billboard charts in the few months that they all are set to release albums. But no one asks the most important question: who will make the best pop album this fall?
The answer? None of them. It'll be Janelle Monáe and her album Electric Lady.
Sure, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna are news-making pop stars, and their respective albums are sure to become highly successful. But while each star has proven that she's adept at making headlines, both their music and their presentation have fallen flat.
All have followed trends instead of making them, cashing in on the EDM wave and creating shocking "looks" that we've more or less seen before. But Monáe has already shown her skill with her knockout video with Erykah Badu for "Q.U.E.E.N." Instead of trend-surfing, she's gone retro and taking some inspiration from '60s and '70s soul and funk. And like her debut album The ArchAndroid, Monáe's album is set in a dystopian future.
Monáe has star power written all over her. Her style is signature and iconic, and Electric Lady has five-star collaborations with artists like Prince, Miguel, and Solange. Her album actually has a sense of concept and structure, and what's more, she's completely lady-positive.
So go ahead, take a listen to the album while it's still streaming on VH1, and try to deny that it'll be the best pop album out this fall. Better yet, let it motivate you to answer the question Monáe herself poses:
"Electric lady, will you sleep? Or will you preach?"