Sometimes there comes along an artist that commands presence, and there are few others who exhibit such a quality better than Janelle Monáe. She comes along as if she were the cool breeze on your neck in the warmth of a summer night. But it is only then after you have realized she’s there that she eviscerates you like one hundred tons of dynamite to then leave you to unforgivably pick yourself up a tiny staggered piece at a time.
That is to say, there’s no question that Janelle is an extremely talented individual, she’s someone who has had a hand in modeling, producing, acting, and of course singing and songwriting. In 2007, she released her first public solo outing with the debut of her critically acclaimed extended play (EP), Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase), and then went on to release her first full length in 2010, with The ArchAndroid and The Electric Lady in 2013. More recently, Janelle announced her new project titled Dirty Computer and she describes it as an EMOTION Picture or an album with an accompanying narrative film and it is set to release in the month of April later this year. Excitingly, dropped along with this new album announcement came the two new tracks, “Django Jane” and focus of this review, “Make Me Feel”
Now, if one were asked to describe Janelle’s music, a good description would probably be that it’s a nice mix of funk, indie-psychedelic-pop, R&B, rap, and Soul. Bearing that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Monáe’s “Make Me Feel” contains qualities of each genre.
The song is marinated in 80’s styled synth lines (rumored to be the result of a collaboration with the late pop/funk music legend, Prince) and is highly energetic. Janelle sings “Yeah, baby, don’t make me spell it out for you, you keep on asking me the same questions and second-guessing all my intentions” “Make Me Feel” is a great jam, and at its core it is a song that illustrates the traversal of fluid-sexuality, the complexities of emotion one feels while being in love, and the refusal to submit to the concept that love is defined so easily.