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'Tightrope'

Janelle Monae may have my favorite aesthetic in music right now. This video is the jam. And the song is, well, also the jam.

Alyssa Rosenberg comments:

What Lady Gaga has done for pantslessness, Monae may well do for saddle shoes, pompadours, and the tuxedo. While it often seems that Gaga's music is simply a vehicle for her performance art, her songs catchy but unextraordinary dance tunes elevated by the package in which they're delivered, Monae has a voice strong enough to have considered pursuing a Broadway career. And she deploys that instrument in swoops and chants on her best songs. Where Lady Gaga's best videos are strong, referential pastiches, Monae has created an eerie world in her videos tracing the adventures of her alter-ego, an android named Cindi Mayweather, a universe where magic and technology coexist and interact, and where music and dance are potent but risky weapons of liberation.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 31, 2010; 4:06 PM ET
 
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Comments

I like it, I like the way the bass riff (which is pretty Motownish) pulls the song forward.

still prefer Pinhead etc

Posted by: bdballard | March 31, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

the hair is straight up (no pun intended) Grace Jones...

now all we need to see if their is a hard body to go with Grace's hair...

Posted by: teoc2 | March 31, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Nice. Reminds me of the Special AKA aesthetic:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCPw7P7rjSI

Posted by: jeirvine | March 31, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I think the hair's more Betty Hutton (http://www.findagrave.com/photos250/photos/2007/70/18371025_117374976664.jpg) than Grace Jones.

Posted by: bdballard | March 31, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I love that girl. She's got a creative fire in her belly, and I suspect she'll be around for a good long while.

*girlcrush, girlcrush*

Posted by: roquelaure_79 | March 31, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Shameless self promotion, but at the all-too-rare collision of Lady Gaga and Ezra Klein, how could I resist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlgklegcSIU

Posted by: KevinReeves | March 31, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

what wonderful dancing.
the song and the grim reapers reminded me, somehow, of the young man who couldnt walk his tight rope, and fell from the empire state building.
everyone, as she says, is on their own tight rope.

Posted by: jkaren | March 31, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

oooh, I saw her at Voodoo Fest last year in New Orleans!

Posted by: DDAWD | March 31, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"A striking aesthetic of her own"? Yes, where did she ever get the idea for that pompadour and footwork?

Let's ask James Brown:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgDrJ5Z2rKw

Doesn't make it too much less innovative for 2010, and I like the song no matter what. But the Godfather should get credit where due.

Posted by: dantobintheblah | April 1, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

This is just the tonic that Blanche Lincoln (and others who fear walking the tightrope of corporate-free authenticity) needed this past year.

"this ain't no acrobatics, you either follow or you lead yeah I'm talkin bout ya or keep on blamin the machine..."

Those hooded fellows resemble lobbyists haunting the halls of congress trying to tamp down any "...illegal magical practices." indeed. ..because its almost against the law to represent the people's interest.

Ezra this is the best commentary on congress I've seen you publish.

Posted by: perhapsnot1 | April 1, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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