Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer album/film

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drake flow has been so pervasive in pop i barely hear it anymore. genuinely think janelle’s raps are better lyrically than what she sings on this record

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 4 May 2018 21:51 (seven months ago) Permalink

but also i can handle a lotta corniness especially when it’s gay as hell

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 4 May 2018 21:52 (seven months ago) Permalink

(I suppose "Americans" might work better if you're american but to me it sounds like an 80s big american movie's closing song !)

People in America are very traumatized by Trump right now so this kind of corny bullshit works really well on them. Plus, never forget the Santayana quote "Americans love junk. It's not the junk that bothers me, it's the love."

― grawlix (unperson)

so ever since tom pepinsky briefly went viral way back in early 2017, i've been following his blog. and his latest post - hey this board could have something to say about it! it's called "glam, metal, and regime change". (link: https://tompepinsky.com/2018/04/27/glam-metal-and-regime-change/ ) i clicked through to the slides. i clicked through to his example of a video from the "arab spring":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgw_zfLLvh8

okay, now this is what the music of regime change sounds like. resistance depends on manufacturing a viable alternative, on manufacturing _hope_. i understand that's a discredited neoliberal concept right now, but it will need to be rehabilitated.

Arch Bacon (rushomancy), Saturday, 5 May 2018 00:24 (seven months ago) Permalink

To clarify my not-really-liking-it statement upthread. It's the combination of:
- Janelle having an OK voice, not great, but in the past having interesting melodies that carry her average voice. Not to be all Geir Hongro, but this has some pretty average tunes.
- It used to feel, lyrically, like she was a little less of open book. Now the sexual references, social media references, political references are more obvious, even simple. I won't argue the sexual politics of this though - I have a lot of respect for what people have said upthread about what it means to them.
- The beats kind of suck. Actually, for me this a big thing. There was so much exciting music on vol. 1, and a good amount on vol. 2. No track on here has me all "shit!" and searching for production credits the way the first 2 albums did. For me, this album has become the Janelle Monae show "as personality," and not the Janelle Monae show "as musical prodigy."

paulhw, Sunday, 6 May 2018 01:12 (seven months ago) Permalink

mmmm. i didn't take it as "average" at all. i do think it's simpler and more straightforward than her past work, and that's really what i like about it. it's the sort of thing that's difficult to do well, and she does it well.

Arch Bacon (rushomancy), Sunday, 6 May 2018 01:32 (seven months ago) Permalink

Forgive the comparison in advance, because it just popped into my head, but this seems like her 90125. After a career of concepts and overkill, I really appreciate the straightforwardness of Dirty Computer.

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 6 May 2018 01:35 (seven months ago) Permalink

To further clarify - and this may seem rockist, if that's still a thing - but it now sounds like she's singing over beats, whereas on the earlier stuff it felt like the music was coming out of her, if that makes sense.

paulhw, Sunday, 6 May 2018 01:37 (seven months ago) Permalink

it felt like the music was coming out of her, if that makes sense.

I've felt that way before (re: a number of artists), but not with this album. idk

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 6 May 2018 01:39 (seven months ago) Permalink

what

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 6 May 2018 01:44 (seven months ago) Permalink

To further clarify - and this may seem rockist, if that's still a thing - but it now sounds like she's singing over beats, whereas on the earlier stuff it felt like the music was coming out of her, if that makes sense.

― paulhw

like in this sense?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig-ZoUQKst4

Arch Bacon (rushomancy), Sunday, 6 May 2018 01:46 (seven months ago) Permalink

No.

paulhw, Sunday, 6 May 2018 01:49 (seven months ago) Permalink

gross

i’m still stanning (morrisp), Sunday, 6 May 2018 02:13 (seven months ago) Permalink

Oh me oh me oh me oh my

Peak redundacy (Ross), Sunday, 6 May 2018 09:59 (seven months ago) Permalink

Read (most) of the Wilson review and I left it thinking this album (which I haven't gotten to yet) must sound like St. Vincent making Prince's symbol album. I did see her play a club show with Prince once, and I felt that he (or probably more specifically/fairly, the situation) was bringing something different out of her, compared to when I'd seen her before. Curious!

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 6 May 2018 12:27 (seven months ago) Permalink

wait hold up "the beats kinda suck"? out of all the criticisms, this is what i'd least expect, the production is so lush and limber. (not to mention that one of the first things that struck me is how flexibly her voice moves w/in the songs' landscapes; even phrasing aside "singing over beats" is such a wrong take)

lowercase (eric), Sunday, 6 May 2018 12:42 (seven months ago) Permalink

eric otm

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Sunday, 6 May 2018 13:09 (seven months ago) Permalink

That stretch from Crazy, Classic Life to Django Jane just flows so nicely. Even after listening to the album like 10 times, I'm still surprised when each song in that sequence is actually better than the last one.

Also, it never occurred to me that she has only an average voice until I read it on this thread (but as a fan of Astrud Gilberto and Neutral Milk Hotel, you'd have a hard time convincing me that's a real limitation). I listened again after reading that, and her voice still sounds better than 95% of the other stuff I listen to.

enochroot, Monday, 7 May 2018 13:30 (seven months ago) Permalink

Do you also think Dionne Warwick only had an okay voice?

Embalming is a flirty business (DJP), Monday, 7 May 2018 13:36 (seven months ago) Permalink

Yeah that's crazy, Always felt like there was an obvious gulf between the range of things she can do with her voice and what she's trying to do in her music.

On a lot of songs her singing is often clipped and tense (best word I can think of to describe it) because of the density and occasional clunkiness of her lyrics, and her pastiching ways but I didn't imagine that the underlying quality of her voice would be obscured by that.

Like if she made a career of singing like this it wouldn't cross anybodies mind to question her voice.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoJz8yWNbNg

tsrobodo, Tuesday, 8 May 2018 06:11 (seven months ago) Permalink

Janelle has an amazing voice

Dyslexicon (Ross), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 06:15 (seven months ago) Permalink

I wish I could love Janelle like you guys love Janelle. It all sounds flat to me.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 08:00 (seven months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I think her voice is great, which is why the autotune on this disc sorta irks me

so far I like this a lot. I'm glad it's not ultra long like the last two. ArchAndroid probably had better tunes but I think this is her most solid offering so far.

frogbs, Tuesday, 22 May 2018 16:24 (six months ago) Permalink

Excellent article (cover story) of recent rolling stone

don piano (Ross), Wednesday, 23 May 2018 18:12 (six months ago) Permalink

Confirmed how pivotal religious music and culture was to her growing up which is all over this record but in monae’s unique spin

don piano (Ross), Wednesday, 23 May 2018 18:14 (six months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

my favourite record this year

Y'all (Ross), Saturday, 30 June 2018 05:11 (five months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Saw her live for the first time this past Friday. Great show- strong vocals, dancing, backing visuals, good band and dancers. A fair amount of social and political commentary. While I have nitpicked her songwriting and vocal delivery in the past, those items didn’t bother me too much Friday. Had me reconsidering a bit.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:45 (four months ago) Permalink

she is excellent live

Ross, Friday, 27 July 2018 17:13 (four months ago) Permalink

She makes a couple appearances on the just-released Sorry to Bother You OST.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Friday, 27 July 2018 17:19 (four months ago) Permalink

Saw her on Colbert last week too

curmudgeon, Saturday, 28 July 2018 04:16 (four months ago) Permalink

thanks for the tip Simon

baby bird (Ross), Monday, 30 July 2018 15:54 (four months ago) Permalink

man the Pharrell track really sounds like she's trying to do Fergie doesn't it

idk it might be my favorite song on here

frogbs, Tuesday, 7 August 2018 20:36 (four months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Yes! Saw those. I think they first aired the night I was seeing her live

curmudgeon, Sunday, 26 August 2018 01:07 (three months ago) Permalink


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