Janelle Monáe – “The Age Of Pleasure” Review: Soulful Soundtrack To A Liberating Summer 2023
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Janelle Monáe – “The Age Of Pleasure” Review: Soulful Soundtrack To A Liberating Summer 2023

Janelle Monáe has risen to fame since her 2010 solo debut. This amazing musician has released critically praised albums, award-winning films, and more. The Age of Pleasure blends Afrobeats, pop, R&B, reggae, and soul to create an anthem for emancipation, sensuality, and self-love.

Monáe’s latest 30-minute album is autobiographical and focuses on their current status in life, music, and other areas. Their three science fiction albums—The ArchAndroid, The Electric Lady, and Dirty Computer—told the narrative of Cindi Mayweather and Metropolis. The Age of Pleasure celebrated freedom and rejected social rules.

“Float” opens the album with Seun Kuti & Egypt 80. Monáe says, “No, I’m not the same; I think I done changed,” setting the tone for the rest of the album. “Champagne Shit,” “Black Sugar Beach,” and Top Dawg Entertainment’s emerging sensation Doechii’s “Phenomenal” follow the intro. Janelle tells listeners,

“I’m looking at a thousand versions of myself, and we’re all fine as f*ck,” a strong hymn to self-confidence, which runs throughout the Kansas City native’s fourth studio album.

Janelle Monáe - "The Age Of Pleasure" Review: Soulful Soundtrack To A Liberating Summer 2023 3

The tiny but crucial interlude “Oooh La La” after “Haute” features Grace Jones.

The album’s second and most famous tune, “Lipstick Lover,” begins the 37-year-old’s gay love and pleasure journey. “The Rush,” featuring Nia Long and Ghanaian artist Amaarae, describes how intoxicating it feels to be with that particular someone.

Reggae and Afrobeats throughout the record. “The French 75” spotlights Jamaican dancehall diva Sister Nancy, adding to its nostalgia. Monáe’s 14-song summer soundtrack represents the Caribbean and the diaspora, from Nate Wonder’s distinctive production to Kuti & Egypt 80’s imprint on “Float” and “Know Better” with CKay.

Monáe ends their album with the polyamorous “Only Have Eyes 42” and the exquisite “A Dry Red.” The Age of Pleasure is also about meaningful connection. Each track combines, symbolizing the inclusiveness of everybody, regardless of gender, color, or sexuality. This CD offers LGBTQIA+ people a safe haven and helps outsiders understand and accept different viewpoints.

The Grammy-nominated artist’s best album may be The Age of Pleasure. Monáe has eternally redefined her musical identity by experimenting with different sounds and being more transparent in her life and business. No matter how long they stay in this new age, it’s full of pleasure, beauty, and happiness.

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