Janelle Monáe is bringing back the art of the album listening experience with Metropolis, a genre-bending conceptual piece that will be unveiled over the course of four separate suites with deluxe packaging and illustrations that tell the story of Cindi Mayweather, a.k.a android #57821. Monáe inhabits the cyborg skin of Mayweather who is introduced on Suite I: The Chase as a “cyber-girl without a face, a heart, or a mind” that falls in love with a human, which destines her for disassembly by the “droid control”. “Violet Stars Happy Hunting!”, a tune that is anything but robotic, documents her escape in fits of head-bopping funk. It is one of the best singles of 2007, though unless you have iTunes, visit MySpace, or live in Atlanta (where Monáe is based), you may not know it since Suite I: The Chase is not available in the majority of retail outlets. The search is well worth it, however: though Monáe plays an “alien from out of space”, her vocal and songwriting talent is that of a multi-faceted and multi-talented mortal.
// Notes from the Road
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