#LoudBlackGirl trended on Twitter the other day-- a vocal message to demand people listen and respect a marginalized group that they want to quiet, shut down even.
I could not resist thinking about "The Electric Lady's" titular track. After all, Janelle Monáe did bellow out, "electric lady's gonna scream out loud!" That we do.
It's hard to believe eclectic alternative R&B gem "The Electric Lady" approaches third birthday come September. Philosophical, knowledge dropping music is as fresh picked as a jazzy ripened green apple on a splendid morning. With the MTV Video Award winning "Q.U.E.E.N." (a sultry satisfying empowerment jingle with amazing Erykah Badu), it still is a surprise that other accolades hadn't stacked high against so charming a venture. For Cindi Mayweather and her fleet of droids deserved more than a gritty slide under the sinkhole. They more than deserved a place at the table. They've earned. And few people have yet realized how importantly feminist this album is.
Beautiful soul stirring ballads like "Can't Live Without Your Love" (my personal favorite), passionate tribute to the late Sally Ride (a thumping melody with chanting rhythm towards end), and the affectionate dance number "Dance Apocalyptic" (a hip shaker attributed to "Michael Jackson's Jheri Curl") keep the avid listener's attention from beginning to end. Despite years passing and others coming and going, "The Electric Lady" still resonates, striking a cord running deep within heart.
I want to hide in provided genuine authenticity, playful spirit, rebellious tenacity, and romantic sentiment forever. Ignore the Michelle Obama copycats, the Leslie Jones riots, senseless murders of black people, and other horrible harms to black women today.
Monáe has all the necessary elements to salve wounds-- at least temporarily.
May these songs bring wings to you when you are weak and humility when you are strong. May the evil stumble as it flies through your world."
"...laser lyrics, lead vocal prophesies..." of "Suite IV Electric Overture"
"...lead howls, background acrobatics, additional bass shotgun blasts of "Given 'Em What They Love" featuring the late great Prince.
"....psychodancing lyrics, freaktastic vocals.." of Q.U.E.E.N.
"....electro lyrics, crackling lead vocals, background vocal shocks..." of "Electric Lady" featuring Solange
"... lyrical gaze, lead vocal brushstrokes, background colors..." of "Look Into My Eyes"
"...cyberlove lyrics, lead vocal kisses, background whispers...." of "Can't Live Without Your Love"
"...hypno lyrics, lead vocal ecstasy, background vocal seduction..." of "Dorothy Dandridge Eyes" featuring Esperanza Spaulding
Highway robbery of nominations and awards don't matter. Not anymore.
Life without these well-produced songs, these powerful songs that satisfy ear aches on the worst of days would have been the most inconceivable loss. One moment can be a chance to explore moonwalk glide whilst washing dishes, another ignites desire to be an encouraging champion to someone unseen during creative session, and the next is valuing truest, most internal, mediated self when feeling low. One cannot ask a musician to grant more feeling than that is gifted.
"The Electric Lady" will, without shadow of doubt, stand the test of time.
Let us hope that magical, wondrous songwriter/singer/artist/producer Janelle Monáe aka Cindi Mayweather continues to lead like a young Harriet Tubman in a place where some blindly believe that they are not sheep in this ruckus and the woke others just want to wave "freak" flag freely.