If you’ve been following Janelle Monáe’s career, her latest album, “The Age of Pleasure,” won’t come as a complete surprise. While she initially portrayed herself with a cool, reserved image, she started exploring her sexuality in “Dirty Computer.” This album, however, fully embraces her sexual liberation, and in just 30 minutes, she takes us on a journey of self-acceptance and personal freedom.
In the past, Janelle’s albums had more social commentary and conceptual depth, but “The Age of Pleasure” takes a lighter, more sensual approach. She’s confident, self-aware, and unapologetically embracing her sexuality. The album kicks off with the bold and cocky track “Float,” where she acknowledges the changes she’s gone through. From there, we get a series of lively, vibrant songs like “Champagne Shit” and “Phenomenal,” where she celebrates herself and her beauty.
While the album may lack some of the depth of her previous works, Janelle’s eccentric personality and unique style allow her to express her more lewd side in songs like “Haute” and “Water Slide.” She knows what she wants, and she’s not afraid to say it.
One of the standout tracks is “Lipstick Lover,” a reggae-infused single where Janelle confidently expresses her desires and fantasies. It’s a summer anthem, and the album as a whole has a summery feel, flowing from celebration to moments of mellow reflection.
As the album progresses, it slows down a bit, with tracks like “Know Better” and “Only Have Eyes 42,” where Janelle shows a more intimate and settled side. The closing track, “A Dry Red,” feels like a calm, reflective end to the album.
While “The Age of Pleasure” may not delve deeply into the state of sexual freedom for women like some of Janelle’s earlier work, it doesn’t need to. The album is a reminder that even the most thoughtful artists have a wild and adventurous side. It’s a short but impactful journey through Janelle Monáe’s world, where she continues to discover and embrace new facets of herself.