Sunday, July 25, 2010

Janelle Monae and her Many Moons

I can't for goodness sakes remember how I first heard about Miss Monae. But anywho, somehow I ended up at one of the CMJ Music and Film Festival concerts last year headlined by her. Woo! She is absolutely great live. This girl can sing, rap and dance until her poof un-poofs! Her energy goes on and on and on.... I loved cheering for her after her performance. One of the best live music performances I have ever seen.

Her first CD, Metropolis, is popular for the hit "Many Moons." I also love the song, "Sincerely, Jane." She's going through this phase where her songs are about her being an android from outer space. Ya. Besides that, her music is very indie hip-hop and her style is a throwback to the glamour of 1940's. I love it!! Especially, how she gets her fashion style AND the concept of her as an android tied together so naturally. I must add that her poof is pre-Snooki. But I'm not sure if she or V.V. Brown had it first. Great people think alike. She's so raw and talented.

Her songs start out so pumped up and let's have party, run, fly, etc. But they almost always end so emotionally sad. Like at the beginning of “Many Moons,” the singer acknowledges that there is so much going on that she realizes to herself that she is “free but in your mind. Your freedom is in a bind.” As much as you strive and strive, there will be an end. And the only hope is to “go home” to Shangri-la. Or maybe I'm just checking the lyrics too much.

Before you even walk in the door, you know that Bad Boy Records has got her COVERED. Her posters (I mean the fancy huge kinds), were everywhere. Including a huge cut-out of her that was tacked onto the train station closest to the venue. An entourage was on the look out so no one took and ran with it either. As much as I like Janelle, I think she's dancing on thin ice of becoming too commercialized. Might be taking this android thing a tad too far. She has 3 more CDs to produce with this concept. She doesn’t need to be a product of anyone else’s but her own. Janelle Monae is doing great by herself.

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