Janelle Monáe, whose new album The Electric Lady is out this week, is one of the great individuals working in pop at the moment, an artist who’s created a distinctive and singular aesthetic for both her image and her sound. The Electric Lady is the continuation of her overarching musical vision, set in a dystopian future that draws heavily on Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. It’s an album that draws on a kaleidoscope of musical influences, and one that, like its creator, doesn’t fit any particular neat musical pigeonhole. It turns out, unfortunately, that for all her efforts to avoid being stereotyped, Monáe gets stereotyped regardless.
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