Janelle Monae, “Cold War”
The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III), 2010
In light of her upcoming performance at Sydney’s Vivid Festival, it’s worth having a listen to the art rock/ tuxedo wearing madness that is Janelle Monae.
Released as a concept album back in 2010, The ArchAndroid was a psychedelic trip of orchestral sweeps and pop/jazz fusion, showcasing Monae’s ability to craft not only an individual song, but an entire record.
Cold War is a perfect slice of Monae artistry, a catchy hook overriding layer upon layer of complex backing. The opening keyboard tinkling soon opens into a bounding drum beat, echoed guitar and constant vocal harmonies. Monae’s vocals barely seem to be holding on as the track picks up behind her and snowballs into an guitar heavy jam of jazz fusion. The end sees her throwing her voice above a synth dominated outro of trippy electro beats.
It’s ambitious, bold and brash. And totally cool.