Customer Reviews


74 Reviews
5 star:
 (62)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing
I only approached this album after reading the very positive reviews on Any Decent Music? & I'm not someone who would usually like an artist with roots in R&B/Hip-hop, (I like classic rock albums) but Janelle Monae's stunning voice combined with her musical creativity and quirkiness all add up to a totally refreshing pop album which puts the likes of Lady Gaga and similar...
Published on 17 Aug 2010 by /David Williams

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Some tuneless stuff on here. Hard to listen to.
Published 1 day ago by Ian Barraclough


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, 17 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Archandroid (Audio CD)
I only approached this album after reading the very positive reviews on Any Decent Music? & I'm not someone who would usually like an artist with roots in R&B/Hip-hop, (I like classic rock albums) but Janelle Monae's stunning voice combined with her musical creativity and quirkiness all add up to a totally refreshing pop album which puts the likes of Lady Gaga and similar 'style over substance' poseurs to shame.

Admittedly for the un-initiated, the unusual move of classical leading into rap on "Dance or Die" might make you wondering what you've got yourself into. By the time you get to "Locked Inside", which smacks of MJ's Off The Wall, you'll be totally sucked into the rhythm. It's not all catchy beats though, there's sixties style ballads (Sir Greenhorn) Folk (57821) Funk (Tightrope) Rock (Come Alive) and just plain weirdness, (Neon Gumbo, Make The Bus). Each new track takes you in an unexpected direction, keeping even the lengthy 18 track disc feeling fresh all the way through. Repeated listens just add to the enjoyment, and you'll find yourself appreciating the uniqueness of each track.

Keeping this all together is the richly textured and varied voice of Monae, sometimes soulful, sometimes powerful, sometimes screeching like a rock chick, and at one point hilariously parodying her squeaky voiced pop contemporaries in the song "Wondaland"

If I was to garner one criticism it's that Monae is sometimes too eager to take a backseat for her support acts. No more obvious is this than on "Make The Bus," a song which has all the correct musical elements to work, but you keep waiting for Janelle to snatch the microphone out of Of Montreal's hands and take control, but it never comes.

Truly refreshing from start to finish, The Archandroid is the perfect antidote for those music lovers disillusioned with the modern pop charts. For those who aren't, it's time to find out what you've been missing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Janelle Monae - Painfully cool with inexhaustible swagger, 27 May 2010
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Archandroid (Audio CD)
This whole album is the equivalent of a vast and sprawling musical jukebox. Newcomer Atlanta based Janelle Monae is the antidote to those of you who are thinking of giving up on Prince. True the squiggly purple one may have a great album left in him but how long must we wait for him to release it? Archandroid displays the sort of ambition which was once common place from truly BIG STARS. You know the type, those whose ambition created ego's which barely fitted in a small stadium but whose talent was equally humongous and left you standing gawping like the wide mouth frog at the sheer audacity of it all. "Archandroid" is an album packed chock full of songs all of which could be Number 1 over seven continents and has so much verve Richard Ashcroft should hand his band name back and be thankful that he was able to borrow it for a while. We even have an alter ego at play in this album namely Cindi Mayweather who is "an alien/messiah from outerspace in year 2719 and on the run from cyborgs after falling for a mere human". Yes of course its utter silliness and completely preposterous but who gives a damn when the music is this good. Thus the album starts off with a sci fi orchestrated piece entitled Suite 11 Overture as you do in any good concept album and then explodes into the huge Grace Jones style dance workout "Dance or die feat Saul Williams.

"Violent stars happy hunting" from Monae's previous EP "Metropolis" is the best song Outkast never recorded and here again Big Boi from the Atlanta funsters is all over this album like a rash. Check out for example "Tightrope" which might just stir the hardest working man in show business from his grave, and you can almost hear a groan of self satisfaction from James Brown as the horns come in and this retro funk monster rolls out. I readily admit as a poor white boy I did awful impression of Robin Williams dancing to "I got you" in Good Morning Vietnam to this. Check it out on Letterman and watch a new star explode in front of your eyes with her trademark Mary Jane shoes, black and white uniform, and bouffant hairdo.

This album is huge and across its 18 songs pristine songs you get a pot pourri of brilliance. The highlights are the aforementioned Tightrope, the poptastic "Cold War", the lovely acoustic hymnal ballad "57821" featuring Deep Cotton that sounds like Espers plus the intriguing "Make the bus" featuring Georgian Baroque pop wonders "Of Montreal". Finally check out the heavy funk metal of "Come alive" using the same riff from the Arctic Monkeys "Brianstorm" while "Oh Maker" sounds like Karen Carpenter sings the Smiths. The whole thing ends with the multi-sectioned eight minute plus anthem "Bebopbyeya" and frankly by concluding here I have barely touched the sides in describing the scale of originality and ambition on this album. It has so much variety it demands a separate Royal Command performance with the Queen and that notorious funk lover Prince Charles would undoubtedly get down with the kids on this!

As you can guess it is easy to get lost for words in the wonders of this stunning debut. This is without doubt, no contest, no compromise, no debate, the greatest soul, funk, pop album since Outkast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below", do I need to say more?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh So Blasted Brilliant!!, 23 July 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Archandroid (Audio CD)
When I first heard this CD last year, my 17 year old son came bursting into the house saying I need to listen to this, I'd heard Violet Stars Happy Hunting and thought it was good...interesting, and looked forward to what she would do next. My son played the CD and within 34 seconds, I thought it was daringly fantastic, by 1.10 minutes I felt as though I'd been transported into a deeply wonderful place, by 1.38 I could barely contain the anticipation as to what would happen next. As it happened I wasn't working that day and had it play until I went to bed (continual play 12 hours), I haven't done that for a long time with any artist, yeh certain genres of music I'll play all day but not for a long time and not generally from the same Album.

The first track you think is it going to be like this then all the way through but it transcends into many different colours and shades of beauty until the very last song. There is one track I hate Make the Bus (alright I don't hate it but just don't feel it the same as the others) but it doesn't matter as the Album over all is So So Good, it's incredible really that this beautiful talented young woman can come up with so many different musical styles within one package. If you're open to all types of music then you will love this. I'm a huge P-Funk fan, RnB, 60's, 70's Brazilian, Cuban, World, Rock, Folk, NERD, Jazz, etc... Fan, I can also appreciate some of the music out currently, but nothing since I bought Songs in the Key of Life, and The Landing of the Mothership Albums out of my own pocket money have impacted on me in this way.

When we listen to it at home it is one of the very few Albums that the whole family can have on with no disagreement, all of us are musical types so appreciators of good music. Best overall Album I've bought for at least 20 years.

I also took said Son to see her at Koko's in Camden, oh my God!! She was Brilliant, she did a stage dive and people didn't catch her!! (Bless her I hope she didn't get hurt) After a fantastic evening, we lingered to see if she would come back again after her set, just as we were about to leave after hanging about like a couple of stalkers, she came back; there was only about 10 of us, so my son ran back and got his ticket signed, I waved politely and she waved back!!!

I went through a phase where I thought I was addicted and didn't listen to it for several monthes, then I watched her at Glastonbury 5 times and that was it. Now I listen to it daily, though not always the whole Album, as I fear I would not be able to do anything else. I recently bought 4 copies one for each Godchild and another for myself (I bought 4 others to give away last year)

If you don't buy Albums anymore then reconsider and buy this, you will not be sorry.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album could literally blow your mind., 28 Jan 2011
By 
Curlynob (Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Archandroid (Audio CD)
In a sentence, Janelle Monae's Archandroid is clever, cool, sexy, funky and totally "out there". It's a genre skipping epic that defies categorisation. And I've tried. My best advice is just to "go with it". You can't call it Neo Soul, Pop, RnB, Blues, Rock or Folk although there is evidence of each genre on show. I was reading Wikipedia earlier and it said that Huw Jones of Slant Magazine described Monae's sound as "a unique gray area between neo-soul, funk, and art-rock". I reckon that's pretty good. There's nothing straightforward about this album, although some very catchy singles may lead you to suspect otherwise. It's fair to say that the first part of the album is the more accessible part. Part 2 (or Suite III) is a little more off the wall and may lose some listeners along the way.

The opening onslaught (Suite II Overture, Dance or Die, Faster and Locked inside) takes on a synthesized orchestra, James Brown, Prince, Miami Sound Machine and Off The Wall era Michael Jackson. There's plenty of scratching, funky RnB beats, hand claps, brass and orchestration - trust me, you'll love it. The mix between Dance or Die and Faster is simply the slickest, cleverest thing I've heard in ages - the first "You" of Faster is literally 24 carat gold. When the tempo does drop slightly, it's to the Phil Spector-esque, Sir Greendown. Cold War picks up the tempo and Tightrope could literally make a dead man dance. Screamin' Jay Hawkins drops by for Come Alive (not literally) and as the album moves into it's slower second phase (Suite III), you'll even find Debussy in Say You'll Go.

It's mind blowing, it really is. Continually inventive. Never boring.

There's even a fantastic concept behind the whole album, detailed in the liner notes. I loved the idea of the Alien Messiah with the metropolis millinery on the cover, but it's not necessary to buy into the concept to appreciate the shear talent or the quality of the music that's on show here. What's truly impressive is that Monae manages to hold it all together where so many before her have failed. People that have seen her play live say that it is the best concert they have ever seen. I can't wait - I'm ever so slightly in awe and developing a bit of a man crush at the same time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the REAL queen of pop., 20 July 2010
This review is from: The Archandroid (Audio CD)
Urggh.

You know when you've experienced something so good, nothing in that category seems to matter anymore? Well this album just outright kills the competition. My god, I don't understand how an album can tempt me back for another listen from beginning to end like this one can. This album has had glittering praise from countless websites, bloggers and publications, so I don't really know how to say what hasn't already been said.

For me, this album takes you on a musical trip... Forgive the throw-away drug reference, but it really does. Ms Monae manages to conduct a colourful cacophony of everything that is right with music, but at the same time doesn't just try and opt for the 'now' sound. You can tell that she is a musical scholar and that she has studied the teachings of Bowie, Jackson, J. Brown, Carpenter and countless others and made this beautiful intrepetation of the their sounds and aesthetics. Another thing, in this day, it's so hard to find a solid-complete album, not just an artist releasing a collection of singles and fillers that don't really have any correlation with one another (Gaga, I'm looking at you). This is how a pop album, concept or otherwise, should be made.

I was thinking of breaking down each song and stating which were my favourites but that is pointless as it's THAT hard to chose, with the exception of 'Start the Bus' featuring Of Montreal, which is only really let down because Janelle seems to be slightly held back by her collaborators, but that does by no means equate to it being a bad song, just inferior to the ludicrous heights set buy the ones that surround it.

I'm caught it two minds, I like the fact that I'm one of only a handful of people that know of this album and that makes it feel all-the-more personal to me, but this girl deserves every dollar and accolade that comes her way, because afterall, this album is sickeningly good and I would even go as far as to say it's a classic.

Buy now.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Future Of Music, 30 Jun 2011
By 
H. Nahary (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Archandroid (Audio CD)
Wanna know what's a great album? When the 18 songs on it flow so effortlessly together that by the end of it, you are quickly pressing the replay button to listen to it all again.

This is futuristic funk/rock/rnb/pop with a pinch of theatrical music sprinkled all together. A fantastic album, I would go as far as to call the best album of the last 10 years.

Buy this, and support a true talent. Better still, if you have a chance, go and see her live, she is truly amazing. Her Glastonbury 2011 performances blew everyone away.

10/10 album.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the Decade?, 8 Dec 2010
By 
Gavin Jones - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Archandroid (Audio CD)
There's nothing I can write here that comes close to explaining how incredible this album is.

I heard Tightrope for the first time earlier this year in a New York club. Most people there, myself included, hadn't heard it before, but by about halfway through the whole place was going nuts, resulting in a line of people asking the D.J. what it was when it was finished. I didn't think the album could possibly live up to that experience, but I was totally wrong; it's easily the best album of 2010, possibly even the best album of the decade (for me at least).

Buy this album. Now. And go and see her live if you can; She's so bloody good it's unreal.

This woman SHOULD be huge. I'm kind of glad that she's still a well-kept secret, but someone with this talent, creativity and work ethic deserves to become a superstar.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dizzying and breathless experience, 5 July 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Archandroid (Audio CD)
Monae's ambitious concept is an amalgam of musical forms that encompass virtually the entire history of music in an eclectic and intelligent way. The album opens with a symphonic suite followed by Brazilian and African overtones that marry a frenzied rap with a celestial melody sung by a female choir, while horns, strings, syncopated beats and digital sound effects sculpt an earthly soundscape. This segues into a jiving stomp that harks back to the age of jump blues and charleston.

Other musical forms include easy-listening 1960s-style pop and ballads, 1970s James Brown-style funk, Brazilian samba, jazzy chamber music, '70s and '80s soul and 1980s synth-pop. Probably the centrepieces are the medieval-intoned '57821' and the frenetic 'Come Alive'. ArchAndroid is a unique, dizzying and breathless experience.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most explosive talent I've come across in ages., 14 Mar 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Archandroid (Audio CD)
I bought this album as a result of hearing a song in McDonalds, choosing the Soundhound App on my HTC Sensation XE and it throwing up 'Wondaland' by Janelle Monae. Well I couldn't really resist buying the album after this and what a buy. Brilliant production, the coolest sound quality this side of anything 'out the ordinary' such as MoFi, SACD etc, a massive mix of musical styles and STAGGERINGLY brilliant vocals. This album has something for everyone-soul,latin,hip-hop (a genre I normally detest as drivel!),some folk-rock 57821-reminds me of Simon and Garfunkel,(thought Parsley,Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was coming on next!)even bits of Sgt Pepper and Abbey Rd. Well I can say that there isn't a bad track on the whole album, maybe a dodgy lyric about "left her underpants" on "Wondaland". BUY IT! Janelle Monae is simply the most stunning artist I've come across in the last ten years-though I struggle with that daft idead of wearing Tuxedo everywhere(!).It really doesn't get any better than this!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning album, 5 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Archandroid (Audio CD)
There isn't much more praise I can give this album that hasn't already been said, so I will just mention my favourite track - the stunning 'Locked Inside'. This track alone is worth the price of the album, the rest of the album is amazing but this is by far the icing on the cake. With all the generic RnB & dance around this is a much needed breath of fresh air. Simply stunning.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Archandroid
The Archandroid by Janelle MonŠe (Audio CD - 2010)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews