When a person takes off as much time as Janelle Monae takes off to make a album her fans already know that it is going to be good. She takes a lot of time to write her own songs, and her creative process is something always makes it a joy to hear a new release from her.
“Dirty Computer”” may not be the equivalent of the Prince “Dirty Mind” album, but Janelle Monae is definitely reaching back to the influence of the masterful artistry of Prince. She is something of a visionary when it comes to creating music that is funky and thought-provoking at the same time. This is something that few artists are able to do when it comes to creating new music, but for Janelle Monae this type of music seems like a natural flow for her.
Janelle Monae has incorporated other songwriters like Pharrell and Julia Michaels in her album, but she is clearly the one that is running the show. She co-writes everything, and all the visions for the videos that come together to make one short film are all inspired by Janelle Monae.
The music on this album is something that tends to be a futuristic blend of influences from the past as well as a visionary sound from a variety of melodies that are bass heavy. Guitars are present in some places while low beating drums are part of the other sounds from Janelle Monae.
People are somewhat amazed by the wide range of topics that fit into an album so well. It all sounds cohesive for her. None of this seems out of place or forced even though she covers a wide range of topics during this album. For Janelle Monae it is all about taking creative control and creating a concept album.
Janelle Monae’s third studio album, Dirty Computer, carries a bold, some may even say brazen, message. The star appears to be calling for our attention with a strong statement of an independent, assertive, and empowered young woman.
Monae is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, rapper, with an amazing voice and even a flare for the guitar. She’s always been a hard worker in the industry, which is shown clearly in her performances. She’s even a reputable actress, appearing in award winning films.
The first single I heard from this album carries a provocative title in Django Jane, derived from the line in the song where she raps “Jane Bond, never Jane Doe and I Django, never Sambo”. This isolated phrase outlines the tone of the whole song. Monae expresses herself as what could be deemed a no nonsense woman and even echoes sentiments of the current “me too” movement as she mentions ‘starting a pussy riot’, ‘putting them on a pussy diet’, and even references the term “mansplaining”.
In the five years since her last release, Janelle Monae has had plenty of time to fine tune her brand. She goes a step further with the song “Pynk” which seems to be a strong allusion (and maybe even an ode) to the female genitalia. The new single “I Like That” (not to be confused with popular artist Cardi B’s new single “I Like It”) rounds out the narrative with a message of self-esteem.
Music, and any art form, has always been an outlet for expressing revolutionary or even just unorthodox ideas. Janelle Monae seems to be taking full advantage of her artistic expression in this moment. Based on the story these singles tell, the project is sure to bring a message of women’s empowerment.