Back when Janelle Monáe released her last album, 2013’s ‘The Electric Lady’, the world was different, and seemingly more-accepting. Though a concept album at heart, it still delved on themes that are as important today as they were back then (sexuality, female empowerment and more), and whilst more of a throwback to pre-1960 sonics as they were back then, the fact that Monáe could shift her focus far-removed to its predecessor The ArchAndroid were as much a testament to her abilities as a songwriter as they were to someone who knew what needed to be done to invigorate cultural shifts.
Fast-track now to 2018, and Monae has followed up ‘The Electric Lady’ by revisiting the future dystopia of her debut’s world. It’s tough to think that the impeccable ‘Dirty Computer’ is only Monáe’s third foray into full-length albums, but it seems she can make her mark with every single output.
This is a record you truly need to listen to – as much to appreciate the sounds that exist as it is to understand her journey and her story. If there was ever someone who stood up for what they rightfully believed, it’s Janelle. With ‘Dirty Computer’, like her previous albums, she’s the heroine many of us need to look up to.