Dirty Computer is the third album from American singer Janelle Monae. The record is packed full of interesting ideas, themes and politics, showing Monae’s adventurous nature.
The title track is vocal-led with simple backing, and feels like a Beach Boys song – if it was written by Kanye West. This is followed by Crazy, Classic, Life, a song which pointedly sings of women’s rights over fun, bouncy synth-pop verses. This juxtaposition of playful party music with political messages crops up again in Screwed (which merges into the intense trap song Django Jane), and the Grimes-produced lead single Pynk, which proves to be a highlight.
Make Me Feel is a doppelgänger for Prince’s massive hit Kiss, while I Got The Juice is more aggressive and R’n’B-led. The dreamy gospel of I Like That is another strong track, highlighting the tension of a relationship, and pairs nicely with the hymn-like Beyonce-esque Americans, which ties all the political messages together towards a big electro-pop finale.
The only drawback is that, while there are plenty of exciting ideas on the album, many themes get lost along the way, whether it’s relationships, the digital world, or political ideals, making it long-winded and confusing at times.
Edited by Ginny Wong