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Track review: 'Primetime,' Janelle Monae

August 21, 2013|By Dana Moran | RedEye

Therefore, I’m really intrigued by the direction that Janelle has gone so far with her singles for “The Electric Lady.” “Q.U.E.E.N.,” featuring Erykah Badu, was funky as hell. “YES!” I cried. “Dance Apocalyptic” makes me think of a bubblegum ad, with a poppy, happy sound few serious artists are willing to explore.

That brings us to “Primetime,” which takes us in a luscious, sexytimes direction. It’s full of yearning, the lyrics are top-notch (her: “Tonight I don’t want to be mysterious with you.”)—but it’s my least favorite of these three singles. The song is more suited to Miguel’s jungle-cat prowl than Janelle’s freewheeling energy. This is not AT ALL to say that Janelle shouldn’t focus on her lady lustings, but something a little more off-the-beaten-vocal-path would do her much more justice. The female half of “Primetime” belongs with someone like Beyonce or Mariah Carey, the latter of whom proved a stunning vocal pairing for Miguel on the stupidly titled “#Beautiful.” Janelle’s brand of beautiful—and sexuality—doesn’t need a man slapping a hashtag on the front.

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