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Janelle Monáe | Dirty Computer
According to Patrick Corcoran: “A pristine pop sheen makes it her most mainstream album to date, without sacrificing her lyrical power and artistic integrity. Monáe is unabashedly sexual one moment and unafraid to tackle inequality and prejudice the next (sometimes within the same song), and it’s rare that such deeply held resistance has sounded so much fun.
In listening to Dirty Computer as a 42-year-old white man at a crossroads in his life, I was struck with and inspired by its message of self-confidence, equality and resistance to a world wobbling on its axis and I’m literally perched near the top of the privileged pile. I can only imagine how listening to this as a black woman or a gay man or any other mistreated and vilified group must feel. The positivity and sheer, unadulterated life force radiates from this mightily impressive album but never at the expense of musicality or artistry.
Monáe arrives on a wave of cultural success for black artists in America, be it Black Panther, Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer prize, Ava Duvernay and Jordan Peele’s Hollywood success or Beyoncé’s era-defining Coachella set. This album should see Janelle Monáe take her place among those peers at the forefront of a brighter horizon for all of us and by revealing herself more fully, she has come out swinging harder than ever.”