The Electric Lady - Janelle Monáe
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 146 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 146

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  1. Sep 11, 2013
    10
    So much artistry from Janelle Monae. The album transports me to a new world, and is more interesting than ArchAndroid.

    So excited for the 6th and 7th overture.
  2. Sep 10, 2013
    8
    After listening to Ms. Monae's "ArchAndroid" and "Metropolis," I must stress that it was the story telling and experimental musicianship that caught my interest. In the end, I loved it but there were instances where some sounds just didn't quite make the cut... there is such a thing as being too experimental. With "The Electric Lady," this was by far improved and the overall theme of theAfter listening to Ms. Monae's "ArchAndroid" and "Metropolis," I must stress that it was the story telling and experimental musicianship that caught my interest. In the end, I loved it but there were instances where some sounds just didn't quite make the cut... there is such a thing as being too experimental. With "The Electric Lady," this was by far improved and the overall theme of the LP is a straight up throwback of three different eras of R&B and Pop music: 70s Disco, 60s Black Soul, and 80s Electronic. It seems like an unbelievable match but the producers, mixers, and Ms. Monae makes it work flawlessly. Lastly, the transitions for this album is flawless as if every song is one song. Recommended Purchase. Expand
  3. Sep 15, 2013
    9
    The Arch Android proved to be a masterpiece. It was highly ambitious, conceptual, experimental, and well executed body of music. Monae doesn’t abandon her ambition on The Electric Lady, but some things seem scaled back or lost in comparison to its magnificent predecessor. The narrative takes a back seat to Monae’s indulgence in self-empowerment. At it’s best this brings about “GhettoThe Arch Android proved to be a masterpiece. It was highly ambitious, conceptual, experimental, and well executed body of music. Monae doesn’t abandon her ambition on The Electric Lady, but some things seem scaled back or lost in comparison to its magnificent predecessor. The narrative takes a back seat to Monae’s indulgence in self-empowerment. At it’s best this brings about “Ghetto Woman” and “Q.U.E.E.N”, and at its worst “Victory”.
    The narrative is usually left to be propelled by the radio interludes, furthering the use of the “android” as a metaphor for the “other”. These can initially seem annoying, but I actually appreciate their inclusion as an interesting method of presenting the story and this work.
    Despite all this Monae’s voice stays strong, and the music “jammin’” and diverse. Although initially I felt that it lacked the amount of orchestration and genre experimentation of The Arch Android (save for the cinematic Suite Overtures), in favour of a more R&B sound. With repeated listens the songs open up, proving me wrong, and an album designed like this certainly benefits from full straight-through listens.
    As much as much as my early (albeit unfair) disappointment that The Electric Lady isn’t enough like The Arch Android (though it shouldn’t be) this album is a strong, decent effort, and Monae has still proven herself as one of the most talented, interesting, and worthy young artists. The music here is really top notch, whether it’s the sexy jangling guitars of “Given Em What They Love”, the slow hazy ballad “Primetime”, the dark mysterious “Look Into My Eyes”, the colourfully bright “Ghetto Woman”, or the sensual groove of “Dorothy Dandridge Eyes”.
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  4. Sep 19, 2013
    9
    Janelle is fresh, exciting and has single handedly re-defined the pop, R&B, electronic and hip hop fusion in a way that hasn't been seen since Lauryn Hill made her debut in the 90s. This is incredibly well put together, irresistible, and surprisingly does not collapse on itself like 'The Archandroid' did. If she could streamline her inspiration I feel it would yield stronger results.
  5. Sep 14, 2013
    8
    If you were to ask a pretentious snobby music critic like myself, "What is your opinion on pop music?" You might hear in reply, "it's nothing but top 40 sh*t from Katy Perry or Lady Gaga." Which in a sense is true. Pop these days is represented by female artist like Perry, Gaga, P!nk, etc. Who's lyrics are lackluster and formulas are almost identical to one another. Luckily for usIf you were to ask a pretentious snobby music critic like myself, "What is your opinion on pop music?" You might hear in reply, "it's nothing but top 40 sh*t from Katy Perry or Lady Gaga." Which in a sense is true. Pop these days is represented by female artist like Perry, Gaga, P!nk, etc. Who's lyrics are lackluster and formulas are almost identical to one another. Luckily for us pretentious kids who still like to shake our hips and not hate our selves for doing so, there's Janelle Monae. Expand
  6. 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, 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 impeccableWithout 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
  7. Sep 10, 2013
    10
    "No I don't think so". That would be my answer if someone asked me "Do you think The Electric Lady will be as great as The ArchAndroid?" a week ago. But right now it's different. After listening to Janelle's new album I think it's as amazing as her first one. Each track takes you into a journey back in the time and to the future too. The Electric Lady is, of course, the best album of this"No I don't think so". That would be my answer if someone asked me "Do you think The Electric Lady will be as great as The ArchAndroid?" a week ago. But right now it's different. After listening to Janelle's new album I think it's as amazing as her first one. Each track takes you into a journey back in the time and to the future too. The Electric Lady is, of course, the best album of this year. Janelle is one artist that I might look forward because you can't fall in love with her after listening to her songs and beautiful voice! Expand
  8. 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 laughably, pathetically short of her previous work on The ArchAndroid.
  9. Sep 10, 2013
    8
    How can be possible, create a second incredible album like it's predecessor, well this awesome lady can do that and many more, her album is an epic experience,a mix of genres, it's the perfect sequel to masterpiece The Archandroid, Bravo Janelle!
  10. Sep 12, 2013
    9
    http://osianlewis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/janelle-monae-electric-lady-review-shes.html

    My review for the album ^

    'In her latest effort Janelle Monae has irrefutably proved that R&B needn't have any musical horizons. 'The Electric Lady' is a unique, eclectic buzz of musical vision and adventure. It's the most innovative popular R&B record I've ever heard.'
  11. Sep 14, 2013
    9
    This album is amazing! It's almost as good as "The ArchAndroid"! This is rap, pop, soul, and some rock on the album, and that's how talented Janelle Monae is.
  12. N10
    Sep 15, 2013
    10
    Never has Monáe made an album coming this close to her R&B, funk and soul influences, and still the writing is top notch here on her ongoing Metropolis series. It's more up tempo and straightforward than her masterpiece "The ArchAndroid". Totally fine with me when she executes it great and having me enjoying it a bit more actually.
    Sonically and vocally it's fantastic, the feature's are
    Never has Monáe made an album coming this close to her R&B, funk and soul influences, and still the writing is top notch here on her ongoing Metropolis series. It's more up tempo and straightforward than her masterpiece "The ArchAndroid". Totally fine with me when she executes it great and having me enjoying it a bit more actually.
    Sonically and vocally it's fantastic, the feature's are memorable too with guests like the heavyweight legend Prince.

    What an experience I had with "The Electric Lady". She also embraces sounds from different genres like Hip Hop and Rock, an epic journey too her world. With Janelle's music, she is definitely the bright of our future.

    I recommend this heavily, a favorite from this year. Once again, everything Monáe touches she can never do no wrong. She is in the top of her game right now, she might be my current queen of R&B.
    To end this short little thing of mine, I'm loving the hell out of it.
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  13. Sep 15, 2013
    9
    I kept reading this sentence in many reviews for this album: Janelle Monáe has arrived. I believe this sums up my impression of the album quite accurately. It does feel like a statement, and it should. It is so much better than her debut album, which was a great achievement and still is, and it is by far the best album of the year. It incorporates many genres into a single work of stellarI kept reading this sentence in many reviews for this album: Janelle Monáe has arrived. I believe this sums up my impression of the album quite accurately. It does feel like a statement, and it should. It is so much better than her debut album, which was a great achievement and still is, and it is by far the best album of the year. It incorporates many genres into a single work of stellar quality. Highly recommended. Expand
  14. Sep 18, 2013
    8
    After a few listens and seeing the contributor list, I couldn't help but with Prince was on more of the album and that Janelle had collaborated with David Bowie instead of most of the R&B stars. While still a great album, unfortunately, this is more of a step towards traditional R&B. She is at her best when she writes funk and rock. Givin Em What They Want, Electric Lady and DanceAfter a few listens and seeing the contributor list, I couldn't help but with Prince was on more of the album and that Janelle had collaborated with David Bowie instead of most of the R&B stars. While still a great album, unfortunately, this is more of a step towards traditional R&B. She is at her best when she writes funk and rock. Givin Em What They Want, Electric Lady and Dance Apocalyptic are standouts. The last song What an Experience should just be taken off the album altogether so should those annoying DJ interruptions. Expand
  15. 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 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 underratedit 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
  16. Sep 24, 2013
    5
    I never thought I would say it, but what a supreme disappointment! I thought The Archandroid was the most amazing record I had heard in years and I buy a lot of music. I was so pumped for the release of The Electric Lady, and while there are a few tracks I like, to me, it doesn't rise anywhere near the level of The Archandroid. Some tracks have a great sound, such as We Were Rick & Roll,I never thought I would say it, but what a supreme disappointment! I thought The Archandroid was the most amazing record I had heard in years and I buy a lot of music. I was so pumped for the release of The Electric Lady, and while there are a few tracks I like, to me, it doesn't rise anywhere near the level of The Archandroid. Some tracks have a great sound, such as We Were Rick & Roll, but I think most of the songs, lyrically speaking, are not so strong. I will forever be a Janelle Monae fan,. but it looks like I'll have to wait a few more years for her next great record. I'm glad many of you love it, but the magic is lost on me. Expand
  17. Oct 1, 2013
    9
    What. 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.) ButWhat. 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
  18. Oct 4, 2013
    9
    First off, I've never listened to Janelle Monae before, however many people praise her for her remarkable social commentary and storytelling. So with nothing else to do I decide to listen to her third studio album "The Electric Lady" and I'm glad I did, this is a remarkable album with terrific storytelling, great cameos from artists like Miguel, Solange Knowles, and even Prince, "TheFirst off, I've never listened to Janelle Monae before, however many people praise her for her remarkable social commentary and storytelling. So with nothing else to do I decide to listen to her third studio album "The Electric Lady" and I'm glad I did, this is a remarkable album with terrific storytelling, great cameos from artists like Miguel, Solange Knowles, and even Prince, "The Electric Lady" is one of the best albums this year. Now the first half of this album is almost completely perfect, it tells a remarkable story where Monae plays an android in the future where it sounds like the 1950's mixed with the end of the world. Songs which include "Give Em What They Love", "Q.U.E.E.N.", and "Electric Lady" all blend with the story and are outstanding on their own, which also include the hip-moving sign along "Dance Apocalyptic" and is single handily one of the catchiest songs of the year. Another Plus is that the album also has an 80's rock feel to it that blends perfectly with the R&B to provide a music style that's very rarely used. The second half is also great though I ran into a few minor issues. Though the ballads are very good, I feel that they tend to drag on and I kinda wished they would've been cut (we get it Monae it's been three years since you released an album) and it adds to the 19 songs, and it may get some people a little impatient to finish the album. Still, "The Electric Lady" is an outstanding R&B album with Terrific vocals from everyone across the board, great musical style, and incredible songs, it may drag on around the end, but if you stick with it then you'll feel the full experience of Cindi Mayweather (aka Janelle Monae). Collapse
  19. Oct 11, 2013
    10
    This is honestly the best album I've ever heard in my life, you don't just hear real music like this now days. No autotune ,music made with real instruments no computers, songs with meaning, beautiful women, beautiful voice, and she can rap this women and this album is just perfect in every way. I'm in love with this album so much I actually paid money for it, it's that's good.
  20. Oct 18, 2013
    9
    Impressive as Janelle manages to keep the listener's attention from beginning to end of the disk, without losing control of the rhythm track by track, each song has its touch of beauty, and the contributions of the artists on the new disk on the increased magnitude album, and easy to say which is the best album new soul jazz of the year, further increasing the music of today.
  21. Oct 23, 2013
    10
    This is the best album of the year, by far. When I first heard ArchAndroid, I thought that I was listening to the music of the future and it couldn't get much better. Electric Lady manages to be even better, her growth is evident. She fuses music in a manner that reminds me of Lauryn Hill....and the transition between Q.U.E.E.N. & Electric Lady is awesome...
  22. Nov 11, 2013
    10
    I know it seems like I give every cd ten out of ten, but I am a new reviewer starting with my favorite cd's. Janae this cd is so cool just like taylor swift, I applaud her not caring what the country community may think, the same applies to you and not caring what the r&b community may think it is so funny, even though this cd has a retro 50's and sometimes alternative feel in places,I know it seems like I give every cd ten out of ten, but I am a new reviewer starting with my favorite cd's. Janae this cd is so cool just like taylor swift, I applaud her not caring what the country community may think, the same applies to you and not caring what the r&b community may think it is so funny, even though this cd has a retro 50's and sometimes alternative feel in places, it is still one of the closest r&b cd's to old school i have heard in MANY years and one of the reasons I love it sing along and sexy love you! Expand
  23. Nov 16, 2013
    9
    I KNEW I could rely on Janelle Monae to make another amazing album! Her artistic direction is so inspiring and a pleasure to witness. She really improved on her skits relating to concept the inclusion of the radio show was perfect. Favourite track off the album is definitely the title track featuring Solange catchy, fun and exciting. Actually, all the features in this album from Solange,I KNEW I could rely on Janelle Monae to make another amazing album! Her artistic direction is so inspiring and a pleasure to witness. She really improved on her skits relating to concept the inclusion of the radio show was perfect. Favourite track off the album is definitely the title track featuring Solange catchy, fun and exciting. Actually, all the features in this album from Solange, Miguel and Erykah Badu were solid. Cannot wait to hear what Janelle has up her sleeve next. Expand
  24. Nov 17, 2013
    8
    Monáe is one of today's most underrated artist, but it seems like she's not bothered by the lacks of appreciation that she is receiving. This sophomore album is fresh and well-produced, but there's a notable difference between the first half and the second half of the album's tracks. The first half is super energetic with stand-out tracks like "Primetime (featuring Miguel)", "Givin' EmMonáe is one of today's most underrated artist, but it seems like she's not bothered by the lacks of appreciation that she is receiving. This sophomore album is fresh and well-produced, but there's a notable difference between the first half and the second half of the album's tracks. The first half is super energetic with stand-out tracks like "Primetime (featuring Miguel)", "Givin' Em What They Love (featuring Prince)" and the title track, but the second half is considerably weaker with only last track "What an Experience" kind of keeps the album balanced. Nevertheless, The Electric Lady is a solid album that will be worth your time listening to. Expand
  25. 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 one of the great talents and influential people in R&B.
  26. Dec 8, 2013
    8
    My favourite album of 2013. Suite IV is spectacular, but suite V is... meh. In my opinion, the high points of this album are ''Q.U.E.E.N. (feat. Erykah Badu)'', ''Givin' 'Em What They Love (feat. Prince)'' and ''PrimeTime (feat. Miguel)''.
  27. Dec 19, 2013
    9
    the real best R&b project of the year not that beyonce crap..not on archandroid level which was a ten for me..but the most solid project in R&B this year..the fact that beyonce is scored a little higher than this is so laughable..
  28. Dec 24, 2013
    9
    This is hands down the best album of 2013. Such a talented lady, both as an artist-songwriter and a singer. Her live performances are usually better than the studio recordings, which says a lot. The album has such a classic sound and she brings all types of emotions effortlessly. Funny that I find the first single Q.U.E.E.N. to be the less appealing song on the album.
    Stand out tracks:
    This is hands down the best album of 2013. Such a talented lady, both as an artist-songwriter and a singer. Her live performances are usually better than the studio recordings, which says a lot. The album has such a classic sound and she brings all types of emotions effortlessly. Funny that I find the first single Q.U.E.E.N. to be the less appealing song on the album.
    Stand out tracks: duet with Prince "'Givin' 'Em What They Love "Electric Lady", "We were like rock & roll", "Sally ride" and "What an experience". All of them amazing. So great to know there is still talent like this. Hard to find in nowadays mainstream music market.
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  29. Aug 25, 2014
    9
    Janelle Monae broke pop standers in my eyes with 2010's The Archeandroid! The Electric Lady isn't better, nor as good; but she still delivers a memorable album that will be remembered.
  30. Oct 13, 2014
    9
    This album is amazing, makes me feel like I'm listening to a R&B Radio but with good music. It's so physicodelic. My favorite's top 5:
    1 - Primetime
    2 - Dance Apocalyptic
    3 - Q.U.E.E.N
    4 - Electric Lady
    5 - Givin' em what they love
  31. Oct 7, 2014
    8
    Thought it does fall shyly short of The ArchAndroid, The Electric Lady delivers a sound similar to [some] previous songs on her debut album, without all the genres. It sounds like Monáe decided to stay coherent & direct on this album (not that that's a bad thing). But if you are looking for the same diversity The ArchAndroid had to offer, you won't be as satisfied. But nonetheless, it'sThought it does fall shyly short of The ArchAndroid, The Electric Lady delivers a sound similar to [some] previous songs on her debut album, without all the genres. It sounds like Monáe decided to stay coherent & direct on this album (not that that's a bad thing). But if you are looking for the same diversity The ArchAndroid had to offer, you won't be as satisfied. But nonetheless, it's all worth the listen. Expand
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Nov 25, 2013
    60
    This time around, the radio programmers will be listening harder, but taken as a 68-minute whole, The Electric Lady is quite a trip. [Dec 2013, p.84]
  2. Oct 15, 2013
    80
    By Janelle Monae's lofty standards, this is still very good, but not quite as great as her previous offering.
  3. Oct 11, 2013
    80
    It's a record of dizzying scope and Janelle Monae is a terrifying talent at the top of her game. [Nov 2013, p.112]