Keep in touch with VOXX

Email: or Tel T: 01472 240440

Music Janelle Monae

Published on May 10th, 2018 | by voxx


Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer

The singer reboots and takes aim at the world on her fantastic third LP…

There is a moment on ‘Americans’, Dirty Computer’s closing track, that is the sound of a red baseball hat being ground under the dancing heel of a white-patent boot. “Don’t try to take my country,” sings Janelle Monáe, bouncing the rhetoric of the Right back in their faces over a ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ gallop, “I will defend my land.” Anyone in the market for a rallying cry – and in 2018, who isn’t? – should step this way. Monáe has been making her country great since 2010’s The ArchAndroid, but with her third album, she turbocharges her long-standing mission to stand up for blackness, for queerness, for femaleness.

It’s a kaleidoscopic merging of the personal and the political, from the feminist subversions of ‘Pynk’ to the testifying of ‘Django Jane’ (“let the vagina have a monologue”). She may have once identified as a hi-concept android, but Dirty Computer shows her in a fully human incarnation: complicated, convoluted and very much of the flesh. The fact Prince was involved in the album’s genesis, working with Monáe on sound ideas and instrumental parts, is hardly camouflaged. Not least because Monáe shares his sexual mind and energy on the purple strut of ‘Take A Byte’ and the Kiss-like flicker of ‘Make Me Feel’. ‘Screwed’, meanwhile, is a gleefully filthy play on the title’s different meanings: “you f**ked the world up/We’ll f**k it all back down.”

Yet it speaks volumes that Prince’s presence – not to mention that of Brian Wilson on the title track – is not even the third most interesting thing here. Fierce, honest and a challenge to the forces of obsolescence, Dirty Computer feels like a vital upgrade from a true renegade.

- By Jake White

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑

  • Welcome to VOXX Online

    voxx_coversVOXX is Lincolnshire’s number one volunteer-led magazine, running both quarterly print editions and ongoing digital content, giving young people the opportunity to develop real journalism skills.
    READ MORE about how you can get involved.

  • This Month’s Theme

    The idea of talking about Christmas in September divides the nation, but we’re going to do it anyway, because the next issue is planned for release just in time for the holidays!

    In the past we’ve focused on the commercial side, and on entertainment, but this year we’re thinking a little differently.

    While we are still accepting content on any topic and still love to read all your reviews, we would like to put an emphasis on feelgood stories, things that can open our eyes or make us feel something, whether that’s advice on conquering a fear or goal, stories from real people in the community, celebrations and events, stories of experiences or foreign, far off places, or perhaps something as simple as a warming family recipe.

    Good luck, and happy writing! Content deadline November 1st.

  • Advertise with VOXX

    Want your business to be exposed to the whole region and beyond? Advertising with VOXX might just help you.

    We publish a new issue of this ever-growing youth magazine quarterly in print, with ongoing content on this website throughout the year.

    We offer a range of sizes to suit every price range and we’ll even design the artwork for you at no extra cost!

    Contact our sales team on (01472) 240440 for more information about this excellent value opportunity.

  • Latest


  • Connect with us!

    Facebook: VOXX
    Twitter: @voxxmagazine
    Instagram: voxxmagazine
    Pinterest: VOXX