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The  Electric Lady Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 217 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second release for the Atlanta R&B singer continues the story of her alter-ego Cindi Mayweather with guest appearances from Erykah Badu, Big Boi, Cee Lo Green, Solange Knowles, Miguel, Prince, and Esperanza Spalding.
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Top Track

Primetime
Tick-tock, I'm watching the clock I can't wait 'til we get to rock I wanna scream and dream and throw a love parade Is that okay? Tonight it's me... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Sep 9, 2013
    100
    Existing in layers, The Electric Lady revels in its polarity. The overriding statement, however, is that Janelle Monae has arrived.
  2. 90
    All in all, it is one of the most exceptionally realised albums to enter the world since her last release, and confirms that both as an artist and a role-model Monáe really ought to be celebrated as Electric Lady number one.
  3. 90
    Stellar and superb, The Electric Lady is a fantastic journey filled with impeccable works of modern flair and skill, power up indeed.
  4. Expect more straightforward, big-vocal, soul-funk numbers, and fewer immediate hits. But compared with most R&B records, Monae is still lightyears ahead.
  5. Sep 11, 2013
    80
    This isn’t her masterpiece (that’s to come in the sixth and seventh suites), but it’s only a sliver away.
  6. Sep 9, 2013
    80
    There’s no glorifying of childish trends or negative influences, instead Monae favors creating music that could be embraced by varying demographics and is molded to withstand the test of time.
  7. Sep 10, 2013
    50
    Though long and featuring a bounty of ideas, The Electric Lady is surprisingly slight.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Sep 10, 2013
    10
    Without a doubt the best album of the year. Janelle is one of the greats and time will continue to prove that. Consulting greats like Badu,Without a doubt the best album of the year. Janelle is one of the greats and time will continue to prove that. Consulting greats like Badu, Prince, and Stevie she is continually proving that she belongs in their company. She is a genius. Her maturity, fire and the cohesiveness of this record far exceeds that of her first full length LP 2010's The ArchAndroid, not to mention that impeccable quality. Janelle has truly arrived and she knows it. Just make sure you take notice. Expand
  2. Sep 20, 2013
    10
    it was impossible to discredit Monáe as a moving force in the R&B revival movement given her debut album, but now that The Electric Lady hasit was impossible to discredit Monáe as a moving force in the R&B revival movement given her debut album, but now that The Electric Lady has been released, it's clear she's become a staple in the world of ambitious, artistic music. with many critics and music-goers alike calling this album a "classic" only a week after it's release, it's clear to me that Monáe is one of the most underrated artists of the 2010s. by successfully blending genres together on this double album, Monáe not only nods at past music legends, but sort of paves her way to becoming a legend herself by pushing herself further than the genres she often finds herself locked inside pun not intended. highlights of the album include the seamless transitions between certain songs, most fluidly being the transition between "can't live without your love" and "sally ride" which takes clever use of an ocean sample to link directly to the first line of the latter song (this has also been noted on her last album with the thunder sample between "neon gumbo" and "oh, maker"). the suite overtures are also quite innovative as they contain elements of the actual songs on the album, and vice-versa. even though "what an experience" is a delightfully befitting ending track, I must admit the deluxe version of the album (only available at Target) is most certainly a force to be reckoned with, adding Cee-Lo Green and Big Boi to the album's roster. "hytb" sounds to me like a nod to "sincerely, jane" a track off her the special edition of her debut EP Metropolis in that it directly addresses the state of America, more specifically it's urban areas, while "want you back" is a severely fresh cover of a Jackson 5 favorite. Monáe proves herself once again to be incredibly versatile and unapologetically creative. one could only wonder what suites VI and VII will sound like (I'm sure I'm not the only fan ecstatic about her extending her concept project from 4 to 7 suites). Expand
  3. Sep 20, 2019
    10
    Classic notes and modern instrumentals create unbelievable vision of Janelle's music. There are not so many artist which can music like this.
  4. Oct 1, 2013
    9
    What. An. Experience. What a grand, glorious, and illuminating journey this space age odyssey of bombastic sounds, brilliant lyrics, and boldWhat. An. Experience. What a grand, glorious, and illuminating journey this space age odyssey of bombastic sounds, brilliant lyrics, and bold creativity is. Janelle Monae is the fierce, fearless, fantastical, feline hero that American muzik deserves. They don't know it yet (as is apparent in her first LPs universally hailed as magnificent reviews but mere 121,000 copies sold to date.) But she is. I dare someone to listen to the instantaneously timeless classic that is the Electric Lady and not be compelled to move, dance, smile, ponder, tear up, get the chills, laugh, and imagine. So many emotions and sounds fluctuate throughout this mosaic of sublime artistry but the resounding theme is apparent in every incredible second. That theme: Janelle Monae has arrived. Not in the literal sense. This young lady has been light years ahead of the field since her debut EP Metropolis. And as the music mounts so does the evidence that proves Janelle Monae is on her way to becoming a living legend. As her android rebel space craft descends to Earth I can see Cyndi Mayweather stepping out streching her arms and screaming "Power Up!". The time for her legend is now. This is readily apparent on the albums first actual song: Give Em What they Love whichs comes after the magnum opus that is the Suite IV Overture. When the enigmatic and harder to collab wit than Jesus of Nazereth legend in his own right Prince shows up for the monstrous and epic opening track that kicks the album off into the stratosphere and Monae never looks back or falls down to Earth. She stays there in orbit putting on a show of pure art for the ages. The first suite is some sort of psychedelic dance funk pop masterpiece peppered with Janelle's whimsy but devastatingly effective militancy. Janelle is the type of woman who can start a revolution with a smile on her face. For content so politically charged, fearless, and raw it's a near miracle the amount of fun that Monae has and it not whimper her bold statements on issues of race, oppression, censorship, sexuality, feminism, freedom, injustice, rebellion, and bucking the status quo. Tracks like the equally amazing Electric Lady, Dance Apocalyptic, and Q.U.E.E.N are all compulsively listenable, accessible, and fun tracks that are just riddled with powerful statements on very touchy and specific issues. Janelle lets her soul bare on these tracks and just when you think your ready to go into deep thought the base kicks in and Monae reminds you to dance and smile and carry on the rebellion. It's a very poignant message that compliments her grandiose message that has permeated each suite which is to make love not war. Monae knows she's fighting a Cold War. But she also knows that her weapon of choice is muzik. Not guns, fists, or bloodshed. This is evident in the albums sure fire smash hit "Primetime" featuring Miguel which is the mother of all slow jams. And a song everyone will instantly fall in love with. It's beautiful, lush, and just what the doctor ordered. If this magnificent album doesn't see the commercial success it deserves it will be criminal. On the second suite Monae has endless amounts of classic r&b/jazz tracks and alot of these tracks possess some of the best lyrics Monae has ever written. Ghetto Woman, Victory, Dorothy Dandridge Eyes, Sally Ride are key examples of the sheer depth and maturity in Monae's lyrics aside from her funky playful militant side. She has it all. If Lauryn Hill had a baby with Michael Jackson and Andre 3000: Her name would be Janelle Monae. This is easily the best album of the year. And one of very best albums of the last ten years. Expand
  5. Nov 18, 2013
    9
    This is definitely a downfall from her debut, The ArchAndroid, but she delivers yet another great album. She continues to prove why she is oneThis is definitely a downfall from her debut, The ArchAndroid, but she delivers yet another great album. She continues to prove why she is one of the great talents and influential people in R&B. Expand
  6. Apr 11, 2018
    8
    Again, Janelle Monáe produces a beautiful and soulful album, proving she is clearly not a one hit wonder. Including collaborations withAgain, Janelle Monáe produces a beautiful and soulful album, proving she is clearly not a one hit wonder. Including collaborations with Solance, Miguel and Prince, the latter of which has clearly influenced her sound, Janelle has categorized herself as one of the most interesting artists of the 2010s. Download: Primetime, Dance Apocalyptic, Q.U.E.E.N., Electric Lady. Expand
  7. Sep 15, 2013
    4
    'Meh' is about all I could muster after a first listen. I suppose it could grow on me but with regards to first impressions it falls'Meh' is about all I could muster after a first listen. I suppose it could grow on me but with regards to first impressions it falls laughably, pathetically short of her previous work on The ArchAndroid. Expand

See all 35 User Reviews