• Record Label: Atlantic
  • Release Date: May 18, 2010
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 467 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 467

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  1. Aug 22, 2010
    10
    This is one of most impressive albums I've come across in a long time. This album is so large and there are some many different genres of music at play that it is difficult to get a proper handle on it with only one listen. It is only after listening to it a few times through myself that I have been able to fully appreciate it. I like that Janelle Monae had the courage to think big withThis is one of most impressive albums I've come across in a long time. This album is so large and there are some many different genres of music at play that it is difficult to get a proper handle on it with only one listen. It is only after listening to it a few times through myself that I have been able to fully appreciate it. I like that Janelle Monae had the courage to think big with this album and that there were enough people around her to support her vision and make it a reality. I Expand
  2. ChetanP
    May 23, 2010
    10
    Every labored-over song in this intentional masterpiece stands out as a shining example of its kind. As with all of the best concept albums, you're better off ignoring the concept entirely. Forget about this Metropolis android nonsense; the songs and orchestral interludes here revolve only around the human heart, soul, and spirit.
  3. KennedyJ.
    May 20, 2010
    10
    This album is absolutely incredible. Words and emotions are a stretch to even appropriately review/describe this. It's a blessing to the world. Thank God.
  4. Bill
    May 21, 2010
    9
    Excellent album, but I would say that the obvious singles in it (Cold War and Tightrope) disrupt its flow somewhat, despite being excellent tracks in themselves.
  5. Sep 9, 2010
    8
    This is a pretty good and fun album, if lacking mainstream appeal. It reminded me a bit of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" by The Flaming Lips, as a concept album. There's a lot of atmosphere and variety in the songs, though some of them are a bit short and overcrowded with detail or overproduced. Fewer but longer songs prolly would've been better, to give more room for songs to build.This is a pretty good and fun album, if lacking mainstream appeal. It reminded me a bit of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" by The Flaming Lips, as a concept album. There's a lot of atmosphere and variety in the songs, though some of them are a bit short and overcrowded with detail or overproduced. Fewer but longer songs prolly would've been better, to give more room for songs to build. As it is, some of them start at 100% and end up at 110% and then end shortly. There's ballads and there's upbeat pop stuff. It's never really schmaltzy. Good fun record, if a little geeky with the sci-fi, which isn't bad but it might not sell much. I enjoy this record a lot. Prog rock fans will probably like this one a lot too. Expand
  6. LeinadS
    May 21, 2010
    9
    Wow! Familiar sounds though so new too, sweeping and glorious and exciting stuff! An awesome effort that deserves all the accolades it's getting. Congratulations to everyone involved in what has to be a groundbreaking project.
  7. Oct 8, 2011
    9
    It's almost impossible to listen to any of the musics in this brilliant album and don't even shake the feet even for a little time. Wiht powerful vocals, sticky lyrics and chasing Cindi Mayweather (Platinum 9000), we go in a trip between the funk of Jaems Brown and the akwardness of Grace Jones. Besides, with great performances, we have across the best newcomer of 2010, with the best albumIt's almost impossible to listen to any of the musics in this brilliant album and don't even shake the feet even for a little time. Wiht powerful vocals, sticky lyrics and chasing Cindi Mayweather (Platinum 9000), we go in a trip between the funk of Jaems Brown and the akwardness of Grace Jones. Besides, with great performances, we have across the best newcomer of 2010, with the best album of 2010. Incredible! Expand
  8. ThisRocks
    May 19, 2010
    10
    Album of the year? If not, then 2010 must be one of the all-time great years for absolutely stunning new albums. Fully realized through and through. I've seen her live twice and was blown away each time. I had trouble believing her first full LP could live up to her stage performance, but she brought it. This is it. The album you'd imagine the world was capable of one day Album of the year? If not, then 2010 must be one of the all-time great years for absolutely stunning new albums. Fully realized through and through. I've seen her live twice and was blown away each time. I had trouble believing her first full LP could live up to her stage performance, but she brought it. This is it. The album you'd imagine the world was capable of one day producing when you first heard Thriller 25 years ago ... and then waited 25 years in vain. Until now. Expand
  9. Nov 17, 2010
    10
    I was previously a Janelle fan when i heard "Violet Star Happy Hunting", so i was generally happy when i heard of this album coming out. But i had NO idea what i was in store for, she is simply amazing, and it's Very rare that i actually listen to a whole album without skipping songs, I am officially a Janelle Monae fan from now.
  10. Apr 26, 2011
    9
    Most R&B albums, and a majority of albums by female artists, seem to drag out with very slow tracks, which, while may be nice, never develop into much else, with one high energy track throughout the whole thing. Ms. Monáe managed to overcome this, and make one of the most high energy albums in recent years. She's a vocal powerhouse, making both fun singles and thoughtfulMost R&B albums, and a majority of albums by female artists, seem to drag out with very slow tracks, which, while may be nice, never develop into much else, with one high energy track throughout the whole thing. Ms. Monáe managed to overcome this, and make one of the most high energy albums in recent years. She's a vocal powerhouse, making both fun singles and thoughtful ballads string together into one great album. The production on the album is also admirable, top-notch material. The only thing preventing this from a complete 10 is too many over lengthy tracks towards the end of the album, other than that, A+ Material. Expand
  11. Nov 19, 2012
    10
    THIS... is my favorite album of all time (let me rephrase: It's in a 2-way tie for my favorite album of all time with 'The Velvet Rope' by Janet Jackson - BUY IT). Ever since I heard Tightrope for the first time, I fell in love with Janelle. I bought the album and, for a year, I played it roughly twice a day on average (from December 2010 till December 2011). Out of the 80 albums I had (atTHIS... is my favorite album of all time (let me rephrase: It's in a 2-way tie for my favorite album of all time with 'The Velvet Rope' by Janet Jackson - BUY IT). Ever since I heard Tightrope for the first time, I fell in love with Janelle. I bought the album and, for a year, I played it roughly twice a day on average (from December 2010 till December 2011). Out of the 80 albums I had (at that time; I have many more now) I would play The ArchAndroid 9/10 times. That's a year of non-stop Janelle. I almost would say I have outplayed the album. I still listen to the album consistently as it remains my favorite album still (nearly a year later when I've been introduced to music that has changed my life). The album is magical, timeless, funky, different, etc. Too many words to describe it. I'm only 16 years old, but I know what good music is. The only 2 albums that come close to The ArchAndroid in my opinion are 'The Velvet Rope' and 'Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814', both by Janet Jackson. I'm convinced that no other album with ever top these 3. Janelle is incredibly underrated (seeing as The ArchAndroid hasn't even sold 200,000 copies yet after being released 2.5 years ago; also, the 2 singles released from the album didn't even chart). I hope more people are introduced to her and experience all I have experienced with the album. I love her to death! Expand
  12. Jan 4, 2013
    9
    Janelle Monae is eclectic and an animal. Her influences range from Prince to Joni Mitchell to Outkast, and The ArchAndroid is one refreshing beast of an album. Orchestral pop blends into funkadelic workouts which transform into jazz-esque ballads that comprise one of the best albums to come out of 2010. The singer has clearly established herself as a soulsonic force to be reckoned with,Janelle Monae is eclectic and an animal. Her influences range from Prince to Joni Mitchell to Outkast, and The ArchAndroid is one refreshing beast of an album. Orchestral pop blends into funkadelic workouts which transform into jazz-esque ballads that comprise one of the best albums to come out of 2010. The singer has clearly established herself as a soulsonic force to be reckoned with, with jams like "Tightrope", "Cold War", and "BaBopByeYa" standing out as some of the best on this heterogeneous smorgasbord of an album. Expand
  13. Nov 22, 2010
    10
    After a very good year in music overall, this was THE BEST album overall for 2010. I am not a fan of most modern R&B, but this album has me listening to more. Prince, Bowie, M Jackson are all present here. Top to bottom, there are some real classic songs on this album. Definitely should be on every list for best new artist and best album.
  14. Aug 16, 2010
    4
    "What's all the fuss about?" I hear you say! Don't you know??? Somebody made a reasonably ok pop record!!!

    The hype and the ratings only indicate the bad shape of the 2010 music industry in general.
  15. TimQ
    May 20, 2010
    2
    Way over-hyped. The record is nothing more than eclectic and pretentious. It meddles in so many genres that it's intent is confused. It comes off as gaudy and too eager to impress. Very little substance painted with glitter and gold. Don't support this meaningless artist when there are so many better musicians struggling in obscurity.
  16. MukumbaA.
    May 20, 2010
    7
    Wow, talk about an overrated album. You got a guy like flying lotus doing something ALMOST NOBODY OR NOBODY have the courage to do now and you got this good album but not a mastepiece having a rating better than cosmogramma. If you know music, you become a musician. If you don't know, you become a music critic.
  17. carablef.
    May 23, 2010
    4
    Really?!? the production and variation stand out a tad, but vocally she sounds just like any other top 40 pop act, no new character.
  18. JonA
    May 22, 2010
    7
    Vastly over-rated. Apparently adding a few annoying wobbly vocal effects instantly translate into innovative genre hopping. I'd be foolish to say this a bad album, though. Faster, Cold War, and 57821 are all great tracks. The rest really don't cut it for me. Especially with the slower tracks. Yes, this is unique for a pop album, but I've heard far better indie albums of Vastly over-rated. Apparently adding a few annoying wobbly vocal effects instantly translate into innovative genre hopping. I'd be foolish to say this a bad album, though. Faster, Cold War, and 57821 are all great tracks. The rest really don't cut it for me. Especially with the slower tracks. Yes, this is unique for a pop album, but I've heard far better indie albums of many different genres. Expand
  19. Sep 30, 2010
    7
    I think its quite good. I'm not sure I think its as good as so many others appear convinced it is, but its quite good. The only question now is when we will see the Lady Gaga-esque re-release with The Chase EP in tow. It's gotta be coming. My guess is sometime right after the Grammy's.
  20. Nov 1, 2010
    3
    I really wanted to like this album and was intrigued to hear the genre-crossing styles. There are a few quirky moments here and there and the album is well produced, but the genuinely interesting bits are few and far between. The album sounds like they are trying to throw in as many styles as they can and to a certain extent it achieves this and is probably why it's getting such raveI really wanted to like this album and was intrigued to hear the genre-crossing styles. There are a few quirky moments here and there and the album is well produced, but the genuinely interesting bits are few and far between. The album sounds like they are trying to throw in as many styles as they can and to a certain extent it achieves this and is probably why it's getting such rave reviews. However, this feat alone does not make it a good album and I found the majority of the album rather contrived and soulless and this ultimately left me bored and expecting more. I'm sorry but it's not the masterpiece that is being touted. Expand
  21. RoboN.
    May 19, 2010
    10
    The ArchAndroid truly is an eMotion picture like Janelle Monae stated. The album continues Cindi Mayweather's journey and it must be heard from beginning to end. It will not disappoint you!
  22. JoshF.
    May 19, 2010
    10
    It took all of one listen to know this was instantly near the top of my Desert Island discs list. And it should be high on yours, too.
  23. JohnnyD.
    May 21, 2010
    9
    Def the best album of the year so far. Can't stop listening!!!
  24. BradleyC
    May 20, 2010
    10
    I am IN LOVE with this album! She took a interesting concept and made it her own....it's like going on a fantastic journey...along the way, meeting different people and having different experiences. I love it so much!
  25. Lauren
    May 21, 2010
    10
    Brilliant!! The album is so innovative; i've have heard songs like this before!!
  26. Jason
    May 20, 2010
    9
    This album is the best of the year thus far in my opinion.
  27. UsmanK
    May 20, 2010
    10
    One of the greatest debut albums I have ever heard. The only debut album that comes close this century is probably the misseducation of lauryn hill, but even that didn't have the epic scope that this album has. If this is only a debut album, this girl has what it takes to be a legend.
  28. SoluL.
    May 22, 2010
    10
    Global in scope and achievement...an amazing musical experience. Monae and Wondaland are so much fun to watch and hear and see!
  29. AdamR.
    May 20, 2010
    10
    Janelle Monae has brought the industry to their knees with this incredible breakthrough!
  30. Brent
    May 23, 2010
    10
    This album is pure bliss. I've been waiting to hear this since 2007 and it doesn't miss a beat. A perfect blend of a large selection of styles of music. Brilliant!
Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 28
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 28
  3. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. The result is a dizzying fusion, marked by its lofty ambition and stunning central performance.
  2. For a first album, The ArchAndroid is astoundingly accomplished. It would be a lie to say there aren't a few lulls in the back end of the record as Monae begins to take fewer risks, but only the truly seminal albums can keep the quality level so high for over an hour.
  3. To say it's ambitious feels like damning with faint praise; its sheer musical scope--from the James Brown funk of Tightrope to the English pastoral folk of Oh, Maker--is spellbinding.