Janelle Monáe ft. Big Boi – Tightrope
If there's something that's missing from my music collection then it's a decent contemporary soul singer. Enter Janelle Monáe: Outkast collaborator and woman whose album is adorned in this artwork...
'Tightrope', as you might or might not expect is a tight and funky number that's minimal enough to allow Ms Monáe's vocal to flit between rap and soul but also full enough to announce itself as a proper pop number. The brass section is enough to make Mark Ronson mighty jealous but unobtrusive enough that it interferes not with the vocal prowess.
As a demonstrator of Janelle's wonderful vocal talent it's pretty remarkable, and that she refuses to do an irritating climb that's much loved by commercial R&B stars is a godsend. That's even before we even get to her guest star – Outkast man Big Boi. His vocal is distinctive even to those who have only ever heard his regular band on the radio; a big almost mumbling flow that's ice cool and deeply masculine, without veering into ridiculous posturing. The juxtaposing of the two styles is the finest get together of two artists this year outside of a Gorillaz record. The parent album, pictured above, is due out next Monday.
Her hair in the video is also improbable.
Also worth checking out, if this floats your boat is Big Boi's own single 'Shutterbgug', which I've kindly put below.