REVIEW: Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer

Monáe’s third LP, five years in the conception/production.

Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer (Bad Boy)

Monáe’s third LP, five years in the conception/production, finds her shedding the android alter-ego of previous records and engaging in some real, empowering talk about identity — specifically, being a bisexual black woman in the USA right now. Brian Wilson (!), Prince (!!), Pharrell Williams, Zoë Kravitz and Grimes contribute to her funk-pop palette, now more electric than electronic despite its sci-fi shading (check out the video album for the full Handmaid’s Tale meets “San Junipero” picture). Though it’s less sonically adventurous than her classic ArchAndroid LP, Dirty Computer is just as exciting, bursting with hooks and life-affirming lyrics. 8.5/10 Trial Track: “Make Me Feel”