So, you know when a bunch of people tell you that they think you’d like really something (a book, a movie, a musician, whatever) so many times that you kind of get this attitude like, “Oh please, if it’s THAT obvious that I’d like it, I’d probably hate it!”, and then you’re reluctant to even give whatever this thing is a chance? …No? Okay, maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, after the millionth person told me I’d probably really dig Janelle Monáe, I finally took five minutes to go on YouTube and watch a few videos and live perfomances, and, well—all of you know-it-alls were right this time. I definitely dig this chick.
I really appreciate when musical artists go the extra mile and put everything they have into all aspects of their public persona and performance—clothing, production, attitude, packaging design, videos, stage presence, references…all of it. There is a quality level that I look for, and it has to be one that’s genuine, not contrived by a label or the artist as an attention-getting gimmick that detracts from the music itself. I’m talking about real style that serves to complement actual talent. (Think: James Brown, Prince, Morrissey, Siouxsie, Michael Jackson, David Bowie…)
On top of all of that style, Janelle is…really, really great. (Ugh, could I possibly be a worse “reviewer”?) I’m also excited to be excited about cool music being released by someone 10 years younger than me, rather than 20+ years older. That doesn’t happen often, probably because of that cruddy attitude I mentioned having.
In other words: Janelle Monáe! Yay!
ETA: Since everyone is talking about her Letterman performance, I figured I’d edit it in. Also, WOW. Also, why do I not own a pair of saddle shoes?