Grammy-nominated conceptual artist and android-from-the-future musician extraordinaire Janelle Monáe follows up the acclaimed Metropolis: The Chase Suite with this sneak peek into part two of her four-suite album set. Mentor Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs has said of Janelle that she is “one of the most important signings of my career”, and it’s easy to see why. Suite one immersed us into the imagined sci-fi world of android-on-human love affairs, aliens and Janelle’s astoundingly attractive quiff and 1950s dress sense. All that paired with fast-paced drumbeats and organs, futuristic synths and classic-sounding soulful rock ‘n’ roll – arguably an untapped market in rejuvenated music genres – made for an exceptionally innovative and fresh sounding album, and left fans crying out for more robot romance.
The saga continues in the form of ‘Come Alive (The War of The Roses)’, a dark, almost Hammer Horror rock song with a fast, throbbing bassline and quirky, toe-tapping beat seared through with electric guitar riffs and well placed vocal screams. With bells on. Literally. Recorded in conjunction with Kia Motors as part of their Kia Soul Collective initiative [watch a making-of mini documentary over on their website], it’s rock ‘n’ roll with real soul, the energy and passion behind Janelle’s voice being reminiscent of early Skunk Anansie, but far clearer and more measured. “That’s when I come alive / like a schizo running wild,” she wails, and listening to this track you most likely will too.
Janelle makes her debut UK appearance at London venue Cargo on November 4th at the launch party for All The Rage, a new initiative from promoters SMJ Entertainment that will see them pairing up with different charities for each event – in this case, London-based charity Resources For Autism. Also appearing are female DJs Nikki Beatnik and DJ Rashida, Prince’s favourite vinyl-spinner, described by Vibe magazine as “the heartbeat of LA’s cool kids’ music scene”, plus sets from Boobonic and Rich Hil. Tickets are £35 and are available here.
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