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Janelle Monae Releases New Album “The Age of Pleasure”

On Friday June 9th, singer Janelle Monae released her fourth consecutive album, The Age of Pleasure. According to the Guardian, the new album “finds the singer and actor at her most celebratory, liberatory and self-loving, detailing fun of all kinds.” The album itself marks Monae’s long process of self-revelation with all her Grammy nominations and successes on the big screen.

The featured music of the album is reggae, as it samples interpolation of many reggae classics. According to All Music, “Float” is considered “the right lead single for Monae’s first album in five years.” The song itself uses horns, prancing bars, and buoyant hooks for the transformation from becoming a less insecure human being. Another part that stands out is the Nigerian woodwinds and the Kingston-to-Atlanta rhythms, creating more of a rock-steady trap vibe. 

The album also features songs like “Water Slide,” “Only Have Eyes 42,” “Lipstick Lover,” “A Dry Red,” and “Paid In Pleasure.” While recording the album, Monae wanted an honest message for the music. In other words, she wanted listeners to evolve and grow into the person they want to be. She also wanted them to seek pleasure in life, no matter what one is doing. The album was also more specific to the Pan-African crowd, which Monae calls her friends, hence the reggae-style music that goes with each song. The album has received a good reception because of the music’s background as well as the message behind it.  

Given Monae’s background as part of the LGBQT community, it is clear that she is “truly ready to share and celebrate her queer, Black experience with the world,” per New Musical Express. The album is the  first step ahead of her Age of Pleasure North American tour. The tour will start on August 30th and run until October 18th. It will run in various cities such as Seattle, Vancouver, Chicago, Philadelphia, Montreal, New York City, and more. 

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