The Vine album review: Janelle Monáe – ‘The ArchAndroid’, June 2010

An album review for The Vine.

Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid album coverJanelle MonáeThe ArchAndroid

For the uninitiated, go peep Janelle Monáe’s jaw-dropping performance of ‘Tightrope’ on Letterman in May 2010 then report back, just so you know what you’re dealing with here. Ordinarily, this’d be a cop-out; ordinarily, you’d be right to call me a goddamned lazy writer for pointing readers off-screen. But damn, if you haven’t seen that video, you must. It’s remarkable because Monáe – an exceptional vocalist, dancer and entertainer in her own right – is operating within the tightly-leashed, clichéd confines of the late night TV spot, yet somehow, the singer and her band skilfully throw aside decades of forced, contrived on-camera choreography through sheer energy and charisma. It’s the most memorable TV performance of my generation; truly, a career-defining four minutes. Without that kick-ass, life-affirming performance, I wouldn’t know her name or her music.

Full review at The Vine. More Janelle Monáe at MySpace. ‘Tightrope’ live on Letterman video embedded below. It’s amazing.

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