Published Sep 10, 2007If you're not familiar with Ms. Janelle Monáe, the first thing that will catch your attention is her magnificent pompadour - and also the fact that she's an unmistakable, stone cold fox and snappy dresser. Then it will be the music, which in theory should not be secondary for an artist, but with such a unique image as such, how could it not pale even slightly in comparison? Just one look and it's no surprise that she was discovered by OutKast's Big Boi, who featured her on both the Got Purp? Vol. 2 comp and the soundtrack to OutKast's feature film Idlewild. So, a pretty good foot in the door, but one listen to this lead single from her debut album, Metropolis Suite I of IV: The Chase (which concerns a cybergirls struggle to love in the futuristic city of Metropolis), and it becomes abundantly clear that she's brilliantly bonkers in her own right. "Violet Stars Happy Hunting" has a rock beat and a pop bounce to it like "Hey Ya," which will no doubt expand her accessibility into a variety of markets. She's nutty enough to speak to the freaks, melodic enough to grab the ears of radio, and inventive enough to lure drool-stained, handwritten requests by everyone from Timbaland to Diplo to DFA. And that voice: think Liza Minelli being channelled through Kelis and you're almost there. Most important of all, she's better value and tastier than a Starbucks Venti White Chocolate Mocha - sadly, she's the same number of calories, but boy is she worth it! (Thanks to Del for the tip.)
Janelle Monae "Violent Stars Happy Hunting!"