The Electric Lady

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The  Electric Lady Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 177 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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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: 30 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  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. 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 ongoingNever 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.
    Expand
  3. 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 justI 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
  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. 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 thatAfter 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
  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 32 User Reviews