Dirty Computer

AlbumbyJanelle Monáe

Released in 2018, 14 tracks, 97 min

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R&B

Narratives

"Dirty Computer"

Dirty Computer Deserved Album Of The Year And Please Stay Seated As I Tell You Why

I was never really a fan of Janelle Monáe before 2018. I knew of her. I had heard a few of her songs like “Tightrope” and “Yoga” played nonstop in department stores (mostly because I used to work in them). The first time I actually became aware of her existence was during a performance she did with Bruno Mars at the 2011 Grammy Awards ceremony. I had no idea who this girl was, but I liked Bruno Mars and the performance. Then, of course, we can’t forget her literal 15 seconds of fame for being featured on fun.’s breakout hit “We Are Young.” I do not mean that in any negative way, I just really don’t remember her singing more than just the bridge of the song very quietly. She failed to captivate me around that time, so I never truly immersed myself in her music. I continued to hear wonderful things about her, knowing of the acclaim she’s received on past records like The Electric Lady and The ArchAndroid, but still never sitting down and officially giving her that chance. I got close. I remember a few years back, a friend of mine was moving away and she was finishing up packing, and she had a few random items, including CD’s and movies. I managed to score Hot Fuss by The Killers and a VHS of The Nightmare Before Christmas (which quickly became useless because I didn’t have a way to watch it), and then I saw a copy of The Electric Lady and I thought that maybe it was time to finally give this Janelle Monáe girl a shot. As I reached for it; however, my friend said “Oh no, not that. I’m keeping that.” Hearing this made me even more curious about Janelle Monáe. People were unwillingly to give away her music — I needed to understand. And in 2018, I finally did.

May 17, 2019

Janelle Monáe Strikes A Vein Of Pure Gold On Her Latest Album Dirty Computer

I’m just gonna come right out & say it – When I first laid ears on Janelle Monáe, I was wholeheartedly unimpressed with her entire aesthetic, believing her schtick was little more than a gimmick in an industry so underwhelming that audiences were virtually forced to enjoy her just because she was so different from the sludge they were being served by mainstream studios. It was admittedly refreshing to hear a younger artist engrossing herself so heavily in the more Motown-centric era of the R&B scene, but it wasn’t quite authentic enough to genuinely capture my attention, feeling like another halfhearted attempt to capitalize on the Bubblegum Pop ideals just as Megan Trainor had been doing around 2009; Sure, Monáe’s career extended 6 years prior to Trainor’s mainstream introduction, but the height of her popularity coincided with her Caucasian counterpart’s so seamlessly that I just couldn’t feel the real soul of her music as I was meant to, rendering me skeptical that anything other than the fantastic “Electric Lady” would make it more than a year or two in terms of popularity – Well, you can consider me a fool of a took, as Gandalf The Grey so famously said, because her 2018 record Dirty Computer is nothing short of sonic excellence, representing everything I’ve always wanted from the modern R&B scene without making any sacrifices as far as personality is concerned, delivering a stunning musical experience I won’t soon forget.

Mar 04, 2019

The Synthetic Odyssey Continues, Yet Monae Is Herself This Time Rather Than A Robot

Hands down, one of the most talented singer songwriters in the game is Janelle Monae, as I claimed on the first big album that I listened to of her’s, 2010’s The ArchAndroid. This claim would be reinforced with subsequent albums, but in 2010, I already knew this, because in my opinion, no one had mixed so many different kinds of energy on an album, except for artists like Prince and Andre 3000. It was no surprise that she would go on to collaborate with both. Likewise, it was no surprise that her other records would be just as complex, mixing Afrofuturism, Symphonic Pop, Punk Rock, you name it – she was defying the conventions of R&B at the time. Literally, no one could touch her, musically or conceptually. She created an alter ego named Cindi Mayweather who served as the archetype for oppressed minorities, and played as this android for a long while in order to explore both futuristic and socio-political subjects. Dirty Computer, by way of the title, would seem to cover the same territory, and while it is electronically slick, it carries no mention of this robot persona, which truth be told, could not last forever. I have felt that as cool as that side of her was, the character was also detrimental, making her music too theatrical, too kooky, and I longed for a more straight-up Janelle Monae. On this latest album which has earned as of this writing a Grammy nom for album of the year, everyone is seeing the real woman on these tracks – and while some of the theatrics still get in the way, this synthetic odyssey is still accomplished, while it tackles both big subjects and also personal ones.

Written by @taylor
Mar 04, 2019

Official Music Videos

"Dirty Computer"

Live Videos

"Dirty Computer"

Featuring Version Videos

"Dirty Computer"

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Remix Version Videos

"Dirty Computer"

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Cover Videos

"Dirty Computer"

Album Info

"Dirty Computer"

Released

  • Apr 27, 2018

Genres

  • R&B

Label

  • Wondaland
  • Bad Boy
  • Atlantic

Producer

  • Janelle Monae (also exec.)
  • Nate Wonder (also exec.)
  • Chuck Lightning (also exec.)
  • Sean "Diddy" Combs (exec.)
  • Nana Kwabena
  • Roman GianArthur
  • Jon Jon Traxx
  • Wynne Bennett
  • Jon Brion
  • Mattman & Robin
  • Organized Noize

Studio

  • Wondaland (Atlanta, GA)
  • Chalice (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Atlantic (New York, NY)
  • Shawty Ra (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Stankonia (Atlanta, GA)

About

Dirty Computer is the third studio album by American singer Janelle Monáe, released on April 27, 2018 by Wondaland Arts Society, Bad Boy Records and Atlantic Records. It is the follow-up to her studio albums The ArchAndroid (2010) and The Electric Lady (2013) and her first album not to be a part of Cindi Mayweather's Metropolis narrative. The concept album was preceded by three singles, "Make Me Feel", "Django Jane", and "Pynk", and one promotional single, "I Like That", and its release was accompanied by a 46-minute narrative film project of the same name. The album received widespread critical acclaim upon release, and peaked at number six on the US Billboard 200.
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