On Friday, ‘The Age of Pleasure’, Janelle Monáe’s fourth studio album, will be released.
Janelle Monáe’s “The Age of Pleasure” (Atlantic Records)
A girl’s gotta unwind. A woman must embrace the melancholy. A lady must enjoy herself. The Age of Pleasure, Janelle Monáe’s fourth studio album, is a study in seductive poolside relaxation.
The 14 tracks of pan-African sounds flow seamlessly into one another, with some concluding gently at around a minute and transitioning into THE vibe, and others declaring their subject matter emphatically (ahem, Lipstick Lover).
Janelle Monáe’s ‘The Age of Pleasure’ is an album full with sexually liberated merriment.
The performer is unafraid to experiment with sounds ranging from vintage funk to trumpets, flutes, steel drums, and musical piano, or to express her desire for a cigarette, a drink, or some passionate kissing.
The lyrics are filthy and brazen, but the music is mellow, subversive, and comforting. This is not the Monáe from the album Dirty Computer. As she proclaims in the album’s first single, Float – “I am not the same” – she is someone who speaks of newfound confidence and victories on both hemispheres.
Guests at this soiree include Seun Kuti, who is featured on Float, Nia Long, who is featured on Rush, and Grace Jones, who is featured on Oh la la.