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Janelle Monáe Stuns With 'The Electric Lady'

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When the smoke clears at the end of the plush “Suite IV: Electric Overture,” Prince emerges and helps kick-start the latest opulent chapter in Janelle Monáe’s Metropolis saga. It’s a sign of how far the talented Kansas City soul maverick has come after wowing critics with her head-spinning ArchAndroid debut. “This album is just of love and God was working through this album—I got a chance to work with some of my musical heroes,” she told REVOLT just 24 hours before her sophomore album, The Electric Lady hit shelves. “I worked with my friend Solange Knowles, I got a chance to work with Miguel as well Esperanza Spalding, Erykah Badu and one of my musical heroes, Prince. So this album is very, very special.” The strides that Monáe’s been able to tread since that dazzling 2010 album of hers, cements her already-impressive credentials to land legendary guest spots from Prince (“Givin’ Em What They Love”) and Erykah Badu (“Q.U.E.E.N.”). But it doesn’t just stop or begin with those two noteworthy selections, as The Electric Lady is a wild and magnificent journey that weaves through soul, funk-rock, EDM and Motown-esque R&B moments to comprehensively showcase Monáe’s range as an artist and her stance as a one-of-one performer. “[My focus is] bringing honest music, acknowledging some of my past heroes like Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Bo Diddley and so many of those people who have had longevity. They were my inspirations,” the iconoclastic soul-funk singer explained.  “I wanted to make an album that you had not heard before, but you appreciated. I’m very proud of and I’m humbled by the response and I’m just trying to stay balanced. Can’t get too high, can’t get too low.” Clearly, the only way is up for this trailblazing icon.