Janelle Monae’s “The Age of Pleasure” Takes Listeners to Paradise
“She stay in the hills, he stay in Atlanta, I pay for them both” It’s seductive. It’s raunchy. It makes your mind wonder. However, it is not just an album that talks about sex. Janelle Monae’s The Age of Pleasure is an opening of a Pandora’s box of the conversation about sexual comfortability.
Before I delve into this project, let me give a little background to the uneducated. With her 2019 release Dirty Computer, Janelle showed us how her beautiful music mentor relationship was between her and Prince.
If you got a good listen and view of that album, hearing this album will make you realize that the pious shock value that social media has tried to push towards seeing Janelle showing titties in lieu of The Age of Pleasure will seem…a bit ridiculous.
After all the video for Pynk literally had actress Tessa Thompson crawling between Janelle’s legs who was wearing a pair of David Feirarri ‘vagina pants’.
Sound wise: You can hear a lot of brass and wind instrumentation included so it gives a more band-like sound. There is also some reggae influence as you can hear on the track Water Slide and by featuring renowned Jamaican DJ Sister Nancy.
From first listen, Janelle immediately gave me that Tyler, The Creator’s CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST plush, vacation getaway vibe.
Champagne Shit gives the same extravagant feel as the first time you heard Jay-Z’s $100 Bill on the Great Gatsby soundtrack. My personal favorite track is Know Better. On that track and the intro track Float, she works with Seun Kuti, the youngest son of the founder of the Afrobeat genre Fela Kuti and his band Egypt 80’. I don’t even think some listeners understand just how monumental this collaboration is.
Janelle links with Doechii for Phenomenal and Jamaican-American legend Grace Jones for Oooh La La. She even gets actress Nia Long to lay a hook on The Rush with Amaarae. Overall, Janelle gives us a sexy diasporic sound.
Janelle showing us her pansexual sexual prowess should not be considered a surprise to anyone that listens to her music. However, with this tape, I love just how Janelle indulges in how she takes care of her lovers and how she wants to be taken in by them.
Clever sexual innuendos. Lyrics full of personal bravado. And not to make too many Tyler comparisons but, they both make shameless sexual remarks of their male and female lovers.
No prudeness, no provocation, no preaching about modesty. The Age of Pleasure pushes open that door of looking at the thought of sex as pure pleasure. Watch the music video for “Lipstick Lover” below and check out The Age of Pleasure out on all major streaming platforms now!