The Age of Pleasure by Janelle Monáe

A brief review of The Age of Pleasure


12/19/20231 min read

Groovy! A fusion of jazz, afrobeats, and soul that flows as easily through the body as the album flows through itself.

Janelle Monáe releases her 4th studio album The Age of Pleasure. Aptly, the songs are focused on sexuality, confidence, desire, and wealth. The focus on the body emanates throughout the body of work. Specifically, the body of a black, queer women. Her specific experiences are evident through the lyrics and yet affect us.

The works showcase different aspect of pleasure. For example, The Rush (feat. Nia Long & Amaarae) is an afrobeats soul piece that captures mutual desire before contact. The quiet but heavy beat describe the quiet dance that two do when spontaneously connect but can't act on it. The whisper's and light articulations are like a ghost kissing your neck, the specter of sex that causes desire. The repeated word "rush" is slowed to "rushhh", highlighting the inner desires while allowing the desire to rush over us like the peak of a wave before the crash.

Janelle Monáe masterfully creates a sonically cohesive album where every song makes a name for itself. The rhythms reverberate throughout our bones, the vocals swirl and flow through the veins, and the words resonate in our head to create half-an-hour of pleasure.

Favorites: The Rush, Haute, Know Better