The ArchAndroid - Janelle Monáe
The ArchAndroid Image

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 366 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length album for the singer born in Kansas City is a continuation of the story of Cindi Mayweather, the android introduced in the 2007 EP, "Metropolis Suite I of IV: The Chase."
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 28
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 28
  3. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. 100
    Either allow this the dignity of being played through a quality sound system or go invest in a pair of Beats by Dres. This is far less an album than a cinematic experience.
  2. Its sweep across genres and eras is exactly the point. The time-traveling heroine of "The ArchAndroid" aims to uncover previously hidden points of harmony amid chaos. In this case, it's a big risk that brings big reward.
  3. Monae's inexhaustible swagger and singular style sell both the high-concept theatrics and the schizophrenic sonics.
  4. At times, the fumes of ambition are so thick off "The ArchAndroid," it's hard to absorb in one sitting. All the same, it's a star-making debut.
  5. Manipulating her voice as much as she does her sound, Monáe widens the cast of characters and pushes along the self-explorative narrative. The ArchAndroid could be the stuff of stage or screen, 3-D without the annoying glasses.
  6. Understanding all this stuff enhances the enjoyment of the album, but it is not required. A few tracks merely push the album along, and a gaudy Of Montreal collaboration is disruptive, but there are numerous highlights that are vastly dissimilar from one another.
  7. The 70-minute album sags by the end, and every listener will probably find one must-skip song. But Ms. Monae gets away with most of her metamorphoses, and the sheer ambition is exhilarating even when she stretches too far.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 77
  2. Negative: 2 out of 77
  1. Aug 22, 2010
    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 with this album and that there were enough people around her to support her vision and make it a reality. I Expand
  2. Feb 19, 2011
    This album paints probably the most clear picture I've ever seen/heard for such a stylistically diverse album. Each song has bits of different generes blended together to the point that each one is present, but impossible to pick out and analyse. Instead the whole album feels like a genre of its own, Janelle Monae is the genre. A beautiful album that has moments of being fun and party inducing, moments of being grave, serious and sometimes sad, and other times its just got that cool, lazy sway that only the most confident musicians can accomplish (think WIndow Seat by Erykah Badu). The point is that it is one of the most amazing pieces of r&b, or whatever you want to call it to come out in a long, long time. Expand
  3. Aug 28, 2010
    I at first felt completely overwhelmed when I listened to this album. I had never heard of Janelle Monae and was overly shocked after discovering how perfect each song worked on its own. Although Monae skips through a huge variety of genres this collection of songs never feels like a mixed bag of tossed together songs but more like a perfectly constructed album that guides the listener through a storyline told by a true musical genius. This is what pop music has needed and This is it! Expand
  4. Nov 19, 2012
    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 (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
  5. May 16, 2011
    This record blew me away! Monáe's voice is unbelievable, and the music behind her is just as good. The concept of the album and how she carried it throughout the record was also very good, most likely the reason for the critical praise she received. If her concerts are as energetic as she is on this record, she would be a sight to behold. Great record! Expand
  6. Jan 4, 2013
    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
  7. Nov 1, 2010
    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 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

See all 77 User Reviews

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