Janelle Monae

July 15, 2008

Hailing originally from Kansas City, this current Atlantan is changing the way the South views experimental soul (if that’s even an appropriate term).  And her vibes are not only resonating through the ATL.  This punk-ish diva is on the brink of superstardom.  With support from the likes of Big Boi (she was actually featured on a couple songs on Outkast’s “Idlewild”) and Sean Puffy Combs, Monae is getting nods from all over the record biz.  

But anyone can get publicity regardless of talent, right?  For Janelle Monae, that is simply not the case.  To say this female vocalist has a voice would be the understatement of the year.  With glassy tones, effortless vibrato, and an extraordinary range, Monae’s abilities are abundant and sure to turn heads.  Oh yeah…and the music’s not bad either.  Monae is currently working on “Metropolis,” a musical montage that will be released in four different parts.  She is about to release “The Chase” installment of the montage on August 12, 2008.  You can listen to a couple of her tracks at http://www.myspace.com/janellemonae, and you can order/pre-order her cd via the site.

Music is meant to be a window; stained glass leaking light around the silhouette of the soul.  And every once in a while a song is written that captures this abstract ideal.  We tend to look past the emotive power of music more times than not.

Well it’s time to break the trend…

And I want to start this montage of emotive music posts by reaching back into the archives to Mr. Neil Young.  Among his hits are track titles like “Needle and the Damage Done,” “Heart of Gold,” and “Down by the River.”  But the song that sticks out to me as Young’s most haunting composition is “Don’t Let it Bring You Down.”  This song rings with epic quality as the artist paints a picture of life’s bitterness while preaching the message, “Don’t let it bring you down, it’s only castles burning, find someone’s who’s turning, and you will come around.”  Neil’s eerily soaring vocals over the alternately tuned guitar strikes a nerve at the resilience of humanity.