Sonic Reducer: Micro Reviews Of The Electric Lady, Imperium And Girls Like Us

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I’ve never danced harder at a concert than when Janelle Monáe opened for fellow Georgians Of Montreal in 2010; Kevin Barnes and company could barely follow her. Now with The Electric Lady, the latest installment of her seven-part Metropolis concept series, intergalactic genre-hopper Monáe is—to paraphrase one track—once again giving us more of what we love from her. Like a smoking hot duet with Prince (!) on “Givin’ Em What They Love.” And how about other stellar guests like Solange Knowles, Miguel and Erykah Badu? What about roof-raisers like “We Were Rock & Roll,” “Dance Apocalyptic,” and “Ghetto Woman”? And those exquisitely orchestrated space exotica overtures? All these elements coalesce on another out-of-this-world album from ArchAndroid Monáe. (M. Brianna Stallings)

Blouse Imperium (Captured Tracks)

Blouse’s latest heavenly bass-guitar-vox frequencies appear simultaneously unaffected and polished to within an inch of perfection. Imperium, the second full-length by Portlandite trio Blouse isn’t nearly as cold as its title might suggest. These 10 hazy, swoon-worthy tracks average three minutes and 45 seconds and focus on organic—rather than electronic—instrumentation alongside grunge, psych and good ol’ fashioned rock and roll rhythms. Standout tracks include the title track, “Capote,” “No Shelter” and “Arrested.” Equal parts flannel shirt and gauzy cloak, Imperium finds Blouse flirting with absolute power. (Samantha Anne Carrillo)

PINS Girls Like Us (Bella Union)

Manchester post-punk/pop foursome PINS’ long-awaited full-length debut—at least by this obsessed journo—dropped on Monday, Sept. 30. Call it shoegaze-adjacent poppy post-punk. This is music for eating candied rose petals by candlelight. For having a picnic in an abandoned missile silo. Standout tracks include the anthemic title track (an ode to authenticity); the rockin’ reverb seduction of “Get With Me”; post-punk sonic jerk “I Want It All”; spoken-word warbler “Velvet Morning”; and yelp rock stunner “Lost Lost Lost.” One part torment and two parts anodyne. A thousand times yes. (Samantha Anne Carrillo)

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