SO thrilled to have come across an incredible new artist named Janelle Monae.
She was discovered by Outcast's Big Boi and this Atlanta artist is really one to watch.
Her new EP, Metropolis: The Chase Suite, is a special edition of a previous released EP. Sean "Diddy" Combs' label, Bad Boy Records recently signed Janelle, releasing the new edition. The special edition adds two very worthwhile tracks even if they stray from the main attraction: A fantastic story line within the rich music. I love concept albums...and I love the concept of this one in particular.
Here is what Andy Kellman on Allmusic.com said:
"Inspired by Fritz Lang's 1927 science fiction classic, Metropolis, Suite 1: The Chase is the first of four planned releases designed as easily processible EPs detailing the life of a rebellious soul-equipped android who risks disassembly by falling in love with a human. Strip away the concept, the packaging, and the equally entertaining and deep lyrics dealing in class/race, slavery, isolation, and love -- all of that material, as crucial as it is to the whole -- and there remains a handful of magnetic songs transferred through theatrical soul, 21st century new wave, ice-coated opera, and brassy hip-hop funk. The disc's center is made of "Violet Stars Happy Hunting!!!" and "Many Moons," conjoined songs that trump anything on the André 3000 half of OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. "Sincerely, Jane" is dressed up in all the fantastical instrumentation of an otherworldly Broadway production but is as grounded in grim realism as Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues" or 2Pac's "Brenda's Got a Baby," and like those two songs, it is fueled by despair rather than self-righteousness."
Janelle studied musical theatre before moving to Atlanta to pursue a career in music. Her background in theatre is still very apparent and I often imagine some of her music taking life on stage. Producers take note: If this kind of music were put on a broadway stage it would be revolutionary. I am so excited to see what the following EPs or a full length album brings for the story and for the music.
Not only does Janelle's music have stunning originality, but her voice is gorgeous as well. At the end of the EP she does a beautiful cover of "Smile." The song just underlines Janelle's aproach: classic and nostalgic, yet completely fresh and original...and I don't think it gets any better than that.
Download the whole thing...but most importantly "Sincerely, Jane"...I'm most particularly hooked on that one.