Albums to watch

Dirty Computer

Janelle Monáe

Dirty Computer

Third album of funk, R&B and pop soul from the Atlanta artist and actress includes contributions Brian Wilson, Grimes, Pharrell Williams and Prince shortly before his death

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  1. 10.0 |   The Irish Times

    Dirty Computer is flamboyant and resilient, fun and hard-hitting and, if you’ve ever felt socially and politically oppressed, a spot has been saved for you in this brave new world
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  2. 10.0 |   The Independent

    A record that will go down as a milestone not just as a work of art in its own right, but as the perfect celebration of queerness, female power, and self-worth
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  3. 10.0 |   DIY

    It might just be the record that finally elevates her to pop’s highest echelons
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  4. 10.0 |   NME

    Janelle Monáe doesn’t believe in walls or limits: this is a fluid celebration of freedom, raging and raving against the oppressors. In fact, only one label sticks – icon
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  5. 10.0 |   A.V. Club

    On Dirty Computer, the erstwhile Electric Lady loses the metal and circuitry, but none of her power or artistry, cementing her status alongside Prince in the hall of hyper-talented, gender-fluid icons who love and promote blackness
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  6. 10.0 |   Evening Standard

    She makes music that for all its cleverness, ambition and feminist sentiment is just really, really fun
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  7. 10.0 |   Q

    Fierce, honest and a challenge to the forces of obsolescence, Dirty Computer feels like a vital upgrade from a true renegade. Print edition only

  8. 10.0 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    In an age of catfish and fake news, pure old honesty comes across as a bigger surprise, and ultimately, a bigger payoff
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  9. 9.1 |   Consequence Of Sound

    A powerful call for women, queer people, and people of color to be their authentic selves
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  10. 9.0 |   Clash

    Monáe is 10 steps ahead, past the Trump era, embracing the robot-utopia that gives hope to an unprejudiced and equal world. She´s already there - now the rest of us have to catch up
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  11. 9.0 |   All Music

    It demonstrates that artful resistance and pop music are not mutually exclusive
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  12. 9.0 |   The Quietus

    Dirty Computer succeeds at what it came to do - it’s here to make you think, and it’s here to make you dance. It is the most clearly delivered result of Monáe’s vision so far - the android rebirthed from the fire as a queer phoenix, here to continue her mentor’s legacy
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  13. 9.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Unlike most of the collective pile-ups cluttering the pop landscape these days, the songs feel steered by a single sure and distinctive vision
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  14. 9.0 |   Exclaim

    An LP so irresistibly danceable and irrefutably topical that it'll also leave generations of up-and-comers clamouring to team up with Janelle Monáe
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  15. 8.5 |   Under The Radar

    If the worst thing you can say about Dirty Computer is that it isn't quite Purple Rain, you know you're talking about a very special artist
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  16. 8.2 |   Gig Soup

    This album is here to boost the morale of those seeking a reminder of their appreciation
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  17. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    While some fans of her earlier, more challenging, material may be mildly disappointed sonically by such a straight-up pop record, even they must acknowledge what an important album this is both personally to Monae and socially to the current world
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  18. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    What’s a one-time prim tuxedoed girl to do in a pop world full of bouncy Beyoncés?
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  19. 8.0 |   Crack

    Typically dense with historical reference points, as well as contemporary interrogations of real-world issues, Dirty Computer is the ecstatic protest album for an era that will keep people pondering its cultural significance for generations to come
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  20. 8.0 |   The Observer

    A pitch for the pop mainstream sees the Prince collaborator ditch the tech for a sexy, personal angle
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  21. 8.0 |   music OMH

    This album is possibly her least musically adventurous, but thematically it’s defiantly bold and generous
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  22. 8.0 |   No Ripcord

    It's the full-on pop record that Monáe had been hinting at for years, and though some of her stylistic choices may not age well - especially when she veers into trap territory - she approaches them with a kind of flighty confidence
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  23. 7.7 |   Pitchfork

    A singular, youthful pop record that is the culmination of years of silence and deflection in order to one day be free
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  24. 7.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    Few albums come with as much weight as a cultural moment as Dirty Computer
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  25. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    Even with its shallow letdowns, Janelle Monáe's Dirty Computer succeeds overall because it mostly delivers the same elements that made the Metropolis lineage soar
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  26. 7.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Zeitgeist styles mean it contains more predictable and unoriginal moments compared to her earlier work
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  27. 7.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Slower, softer, more chilled, more vulnerable
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  28. 7.0 |   Slant Magazine

    In shedding her science-fiction persona, Janelle Monáe has ended up making a great pop album
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  29. 7.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    As complex, agenda-pushing pop goes, ‘Dirty Computer’ is undeniably impressive
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  30. 6.0 |   The Guardian

    She can sing, she can rap, she can act, she can pay homage to Prince – perfectly. So why does Monáe still seem elusive on her most personal album?
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  31. 6.0 |   Mojo

    She repeatedly refers to her inability to express her emotions fully - which is exactly how Dirty Computer leaves you feeling. Print edition only

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