Sunday 11 August 2013

'The Electric Lady' / 'Black Radio 2': tracklists + album artwork

Just caught wind of two tracklists and album artworks that have just been released for two albums I’ve now come to massively anticipate: Janelle Monae’s ‘The Electric Lady’ and the follow-up to last year’s ‘Black Radio’, Robert Glasper Experiment’s ‘Black Radio 2’.

 ‘The Electric Lady’ by Janelle Monae (due to be released 10th September, Bad Boy Records)
Disc 1:
1. Suite IV Electric Overture
2. Givin Em What They Love (Feat. Prince)
3. Q.U.E.E.N. (Feat. Erykah Badu)
4. Electric Lady (Feat. Solange)
5. Good Morning Midnight (interlude)
6. PrimeTime (Feat. Miguel)
7. We Were Rock & Roll
8. The Chrome Shoppe (interlude)
9. Dance Apocalyptic
10. Look Into My Eyes

Disc 2:
12. Suite V Electric Overture
13. It’s Code
14. Ghetto Woman
15. Our Favorite Fugitive (interlude)
16. Victory
17. Can’t Live Without Your Love
18. Sally Ride
19. Dorothy Dandridge Eyes (Feat. Esperanza Spalding)
20. What An Experience

Firstly… it’s TWO discs!!  That kinda blew my mind.  Secondly, what an amazing line-up of guest features, many of which had previously been revealed, apart from Esperanza Spalding who’s name I’m seeing attached for the first time.  Monae made headlines a little while ago when she was asked to accompany Prince on his ‘Welcome to America’ tour (along with the aforementioned Spalding), and he made no secret of his adoration for Monae and her music, but it’s still a surprise that he’s actually granted her an appearance on the album, plus even took the time to remix ‘Q.U.E.E.N’ (check for it friends, it’s out there!).  ‘The ArchAndroid’ took a formerly independent, struggling solo artist and introduced her to millions so now it’s time for ‘The Electric Lady’ to do it again.

‘Black Radio 2’ by The Robert Glasper Experiment (due to be released 29th October, Blue Note Records)

1. Baby Tonight (Black Radio Intro)
2. I Stand Alone featuring Common and Patrick Stump
3. What Are We Doing featuring Brandy
4. Calls featuring Jill Scott
5. No Worries featuring Dwele
6. Trust featuring Marsha Ambrosius
7. Yet To Find featuring Anthony Hamilton
8. You Own Me featuring Faith Evans
9. Let It Ride featuring Norah Jones
10. Persevere featuring Snoop Dogg and Lupe Fiasco
11. Somebody Else featuring Emeli Sandé
12. Jesus Children of America featuring Lalah Hathaway and Malcolm-Jamal Warner

It’s really impossible to judge music based on a tracklist – surely it’s what you hear on the finished product that’s most important! – but there’s a lot that’s been revealed here that I’m not overjoyed about.  Let me firstly say, that ‘Black Radio’, even though it’s still really early to say this, but I actually think it’s one of the best albums I own so I’ll definitely be purchasing this within seconds of its release, but with the news that’s been revealed that Chris Dave (official Experiment member and drummer on ‘Black Radio’ will NOT be a part of this project… man, I’m a little heartbroken by that.  I assume that’s down to a busy schedule on his part but his drumming on ‘Black Radio’ is what made me a fan of his so I’m very disappointed to hear that.  Also, in honesty, I’m scratching my head at some of the guest features here, and although I’m thrilled to see Anthony Hamilton and Norah Jones on the line-up, I’m not fully visualising the inclusion of Patrick Stump or Snoop Dogg. 

Again though, I’m keeping an open mind and very much look forward to being proven wrong, but what can I say, my doubts are in place.  Also, I was aching to see the words ‘featuring Jose James’ somewhere but alas, that isn’t the case either.  I do still have high hopes for this one - how incredible is it that within less than 2 years, the group would have put out two full-length studio albums and one remix EP, along with continuous work with other artists, and unlimited tour dates.  Truly incredible!

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