Dirty Computer

Dirty Computer

by Janelle MonáeJanelle Monáe
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"Yoga" was an ostensibly minor part of the Janelle Monáe discography by the arrival of Dirty Computer. Three years old and outshined by another Wondaland release, Jidenna's "Classic Man," it nevertheless became Monáe's first single to hit the Billboard Hot 100. That Monáe hadn't previously hit the chart as a headliner was further evidence of a flawed industry, given that she and primary collaborators Nate Wonder and Chuck Lightning had been making songs with pop appeal for nearly a decade. "Yoga" did show that Monáe was more open to messing with contemporary trends. Moreover, the song's humanized, sexually uninhibited, and anti-authoritarian qualities -- she was earthbound, celebrating her body, asserting "You cannot police me" -- also indicated the course she has taken with her third album. Oddly enough, "Make Me Feel," the one Dirty Computer track on which Monáe employs a wholly pop songwriting team including Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, and Mattman & Robin, is the funkiest and friskiest number here, clearly influenced by the late (and uncredited) Prince. Monáe and her trusty Wondaland partners, the album's dominant creative force, colorfully twist and flip new wave-leaning pop with booming bass drums and rattling percussion. They transmit powerful and defiant jubilance in response to "wack ass fuckboys everywhere (from the traphouse to the White House) who make the lives of little brown girls so damn hard," among dozens of other inspirations Monáe acknowledges in the essential liner notes. Almost every track is densely packed with quotables delivered in approaches that shift from easygoing elegance to hard-fought, triumphant conviction. The latter approach yields the album's apex, "Django Jane," in which Monáe raps throughout with inhuman precision, threatening a pussy riot, declaring "We ain't hidden no more," and uplifting the "highly melanated" while dropping some of the set's few sci-fi allusions, "Made a fandroid outta yo' girlfriend" among them. Not to be lost in all the power moves are indirect and direct references to a romantic relationship -- another form of dissent -- referenced and explored throughout, from the glowing "Crazy, Classic, Life" through the fiery "So Afraid," the only moment of emotional fragility. While this is easily the most loaded Monáe album in terms of guests, with Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, and Grimes among the contributors, there's no doubt that it's a Wondaland product. It demonstrates that artful resistance and pop music are not mutually exclusive.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/27/2018
Label: Bad Boy
UPC: 0075678657931
catalogNumber: 567348
Rank: 6587

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Janelle Monáe   Primary Artist,Vocals,Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part,Chant,Whisper
Brian Wilson   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Jon Brion   Synthesizer
Grimes   Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
Matt Jardine   Choir, Chorus
Pharrell Williams   Vocals
Sleepy Brown   Background Vocals
Justin Tranter   Vocals
Andrew Horowitz   Synthesizer
Chuck Lightning   Vocals
Nate "Rocket" Wonder   Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Drums,Vocals,Background Vocals,Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part,Chant
Kellindo Parker   Guitar
Wynne Bennett   Synthesizer,Guitar
Skunks   Background Vocals,Chant
Julia Michaels   Vocals
Todd Bergman   Background Vocals
Thundercat   Bass
Grace Shim   Cello
Alexander Page   Violin
Roman Gianarthur   Guitar,Drums,Background Vocals
Zoe Kravitz   Vocals
Jon Jon Traxx   Bass,Guitar,Percussion
Isis Valentino   Background Vocals
Nana Kwabena Tuffuor   Synthesizer,Drums,Chant
Matt Jardine Subterranean   Choir, Chorus
Kellindo Gristle   Guitar

Technical Credits

Jon Brion   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Sean "Puffy" Combs   Executive Producer
Pharrell Williams   Composer
Patrick "Sleepy" Brown   Composer
Rico Wade   Composer
Ray Murray   Composer
Justin Tranter   Composer
Janelle Monáe   Arranger,Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer,Vocal Producer,Additional Production
Chuck Lightning   Arranger,Producer,Executive Producer,Vocal Producer,Additional Production
Nate "Rocket" Wonder   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer,String Arrangements,drum programming,Vocal Producer,Additional Production
Matt Friedman   Composer
Wynne Bennett   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer
Julia Michaels   Composer
Todd Bergman   Engineer
Janelle Monáe Robinson   Composer
Nathaniel Irvin   Composer
Charles Joseph   Composer
Roman Gianarthur   Arranger,Composer,Producer,String Arrangements,Additional Production
Jon Jon Traxx   Producer,drum programming,Additional Production
John Webb   Composer
Ebonie Smith   Engineer
Joe Pérez   Director
Robin Fredriksson   Composer,Producer
Marco Sonzini   Engineer
Taylor Parks   Composer
Mattman & Robin   Producer
Jenna Marsh   Art Direction
Benjamin Hudson McIldowie   Composer
Nana Kwabena Tuffuor   Composer,Programming,Producer,drum programming,Additional Production
Jidenna Mobisson   Arranger
Joshua Dean   Composer

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