Joy’s Doctor Report on Janelle Monae’s “Dirty Computer” (Album Review)

Doctor Report on “Dirty Computer “
Janelle Monae

This will be Janelle Monae third studio album, unless you want to counter that with her first EP album “Metropolis: Suite (The Chase)”. Janelle Monae has recently come out about not having a sexual preference for a better term “pansexual” -For those who does not know what that mean -like me, it’s a person that is not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity. Early this year Janelle has expressed her sexuality and been the mouth piece for black women about being open with who you are and where black women fit in with society. With that said her album “Dirty Computer” felt nothing short of that.

 

Dirty Computer was full of “dirty” and “computer” metaphors. I think it was classic and genius how she factored that in staying true to the metaphoric album title. There were some songs on the album that seemed wildly misplaced like “Django Jane”. Though the title was very interesting and had an obvious meaning behind it by the title alone. I knew it would be political and inspiring to black women, but the song was out of place for this album. I’m not the biggest fan of Janelle Monae attempting to be gansta. This song was the worst on the album. She flat out rapped about her struggles in life. There was no hook, bridge, or chorus to pick up or break the song.  After a minute of this song along with “take a byte” which took a “byte” out of my ears and a listen I could never take back. The music and ideas for the song “take a byte” were great. The tempo should’ve been a faster pace, similar to “screwed’. This song reminded me too much of a Enya type song. This was a little bit out of her musical range. Speaking of “Screwed”, this was one of her better tracks on the album. I disagree with her views on sexual freedom and her idea of female empowerment. When she expressed freedom…she literally meant “screw” everyone. Sexually. Literally. I expected the track to be a careless expression of “screw” your opinion of me or something along those lines. I do not feel the song is appropriate for inspiring our female youth to go get “screwed”. The song appeared to only be about sex and a random political message in the outro. But aside from the negative message the song represents, the song was very catchy, upbeat, and very naughty. It was a nice touch having Zoe Kravitz featured on the track. I didn’t know the girl was a musician. Janelle Monae voice is magic and she delivers well on some of these tracks “Crazy, Classic, Life”, “Don’t Judge Me”, “Americans” and “I like that” showed her musical talents and different varieties and vulnerabilities that she has underneath the surface. I like that is the song I had stuck in my head for days. The beginning of the bridge took the cake for me: “a little crazy, little sexy, little cool. Little rough around the edges but I keep it smooth”. Gotta love the double meaning and black girl hair references. Pynk was released as the second single on this album. I loved how she factored the color “pynk” -that’s mostly associated with females- as a representation of female empowerment and bi-sexuality. Along with the good there’s also more songs I didn’t not enjoy. “So Afraid” and “You Got That Juice” reminded me of songs in the early decade by Fergie and Gwen Stefani that were rejected from their albums. I was “so afraid” of how close this song sounds like Jack White’s “Ain’t no rest for the wicked” song, but not in a good way.

 

Overall Janelle Monae’s album was enjoyable. She stayed true to her famous electric pop sound with the eighties vibe throughout most of the album. I would rate this album four out of five stars. If you’re looking for album to dance to or even chill too this album delivers. The songs were very relaxing and easy to listen to. Janelle Monae made a very empowering album that could inspire some young women to be happy within your own skin and never let anyone dictate who you are or what you should be. Don’t try to be like others. Just be free and be yourself. Again I enjoyed the computer metaphors as well. Though I disagree with some of her views, she still sends a positive message of expressions of freedom and learning to love yourself. I would like to shout out her song “Americans” that I forgot to point out. Her message was loud and clear. We need to do better with our female youth. She speaks on how the country is unfair and we have to come together and do better. This song had a Madonna feel to it. The album’s worth buying and listening to. I would recommend it.

Rating 4 out of 5

  1. Clean Bill Of Health
  2. Light Cough
  3. 24 Hour Bug
  4. The Flu
  5. QUARANTINE

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