Best Album of 2018
Dirty Computer is my first in-depth experience with Janelle Monáe, the singer of pop, R&B, soul, and probably other genres cleverly mixed within. Listening to it the first time I was absolutely entranced from beginning to end—such great power, and life, and sensuality, and originality, with not one song resembling a half-hearted slouch creation. She’s a feminist singing for women, black women in particular, for LGBT men and women, people of all colors, and for all people. She stands out in an industry where even many good artists find that hard to do.
Every song stands out in its own distinct way. There’s the upbeat “Take a Byte”, the black-feminist bold “Django Jane”, the sweet and smooth “I Like That”, the sexually liberating “Screwed”. And then there’s my favorite of them all, “Make Me Feel”, which is a grand, funky, perfectly-pitched, bisexuality anthem. “Pynk” and “Crazy, Classic, Life” are two more very pleasing standouts.
In what was a terrific year for music—an especially tremendous one for solo female artists from a variety of genres, including Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile, and Cardi B among others—Dirty Computer from Janelle Monáe stands out as my pick for best album of 2018. She is making remarkable music in so many ways, with an album of quality and diversity very near perfect. I haven’t gotten the least tired of listening to the large bulk of it, nor do I expect I ever will. I have been slow to get to some of her earlier music, but I definitely want hear more of her, and look forward to what she does in the future. This is must buy.