Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid
Critic Score
Based on 31 reviews
2010 Ratings: #5 / 906
Year End Rank: #7
User Score
2010 Ratings: #6
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Monáe might not have much appeal beyond musical theater geeks, sci-fi nerds, and those who like their genres crossed-up, but no one can deny that very few are on her creative level.
The Guardian
Behold, pop music has found its latest superstar.
God Is in the TV
It's a debut that goes against the grain and is all the better for it.
The Independent
It's a breathtaking blizzard of creative imagination.
The Irish Times
The biggest question of all after this supernova, jawdropping experience is where the hell Monae goes from here.
Monáe may be an alien or an android, but if this is just the beginning, she may wind up a legend.
A.V. Club
Monáe’s inexhaustible swagger and singular style sell both the high-concept theatrics and the schizophrenic sonics.
Entertainment Weekly

On The ArchAndroid, the real story ... is her arrival as an uncontainable new talent.

Drowned in Sound

It may not seem restrained, but trust when I say that nothing less than a dissertation or thesis will suffice for such a mind-bogglingly massive album.


One can but marvel at the impressive range, ambition (realised) and detail of this deeply polished, professional yet utterly, brilliantly bonkers album. An album destined, surely, to take its place among the classics of its age.


Suite II boasts a range of moods and musical styles that could be released on its own. Suite III, while maintaining the quality of the other Suites, wouldn’t be my choice for a standalone release—largely because it’s really strange.

Monáe can really sing; she could follow in Beyoncé’s designer pumps if she wanted, but she’s clearing a new path for black female entertainers.
No Ripcord

For a first album, The ArchAndroid is astoundingly accomplished.

As it stands, this is the pop album of the year, and it's tough to see how anything is going to beat it.
Spectrum Culture

The ArchAndroid is ... a career-defining performance and is deserving of all the accolades it and Cindy Mayweather’s hyper-creative brainchild are sure to receive.

Beats Per Minute
Monáe may be one of the fresh artists to help redefine pop music in the new decade. And even if she doesn’t – even if this album doesn’t sell much and she never quite breaks into the mainstream – at least she’s walking the tightrope and doing her own thing on her own terms.

Where many concept albums run a high risk of being pompous, cryptic, and self-important, Monáe keeps things playful, lively, and accessible.

Her ambition is flabbergasting, let alone that she executes it with bundles of fun and a fizzing personality.

ArchAndroid is nothing short of stunning, and should serve as an example to those stuck exploring exhausted archetypes.

Under The Radar

The ArchAngel [sic] succeeds at being an album of strong songs that incorporate the theme, providing a satisfying whole without struggling to wring songs from its story.

The Skinny
There is a masterpiece here, but it’ll take a little skipping to find it.
Slant Magazine

She's turned out a landmark debut that contains a full LP's worth of excellent songs and almost no bad ones, and she's done it entirely on her own highly idiosyncratic terms. And where her ambition just barely gets the better of her abilities, she puts on such a relentlessly entertaining show that you can certainly understand why she thought she could pull the whole thing off.

“The ArchAndroid” could be the stuff of stage or screen, 3-D without the annoying glasses.
NOW Magazine

Her major label debut is blowing minds the way Outkast once could, with a musical creativity that can’t be denied.

The Needle Drop
All animae references aside, this thing is great for dozens of reasons: immediate, conceptual, varied, and engaging.
Evening Standard
Impeccable inspirations brought together by an extraordinary new talent.
Consequence of Sound
Monáe is able to accomplish something rarely seen in pop music: an epic album that stretches across multiple genres while still holding the majority of the listener’s attention with catchy hooks and beats.
Rolling Stone

Her full-length debut ... is so ambitious, so freighted with sounds and ideas and allusions, it threatens at times to sink under its own weight.


Em uma estreia magnífica, Janelle Monáe é apresentada ao mundo da maneira mais impressionante e criativa o possível - através do suprassumo artístico chamado: 'The ArchAndroid (Suítes II and III)', no qual é basicamente a segunda e terceira parte de um conceito criado com base na histórica obra cinematográfica 'Metropolis' de 1927 - que na versão de Monáe, narra os passos de Cindi Mayweather, uma android ... read more



Monáe, Monáe... where have you been all my life?

"The ArchAndroid", is the kind of record that puts the American singer about a million steps ahead of her competition. You can argue that... as far as contemporaries go, by far she has the superior level of artistry under her belt. And when it comes to her discussions of political and social drawbacks, her approach has turned out to be far more prevalent and descriptive compared to the rest... she ... read more


The ArchAndroid is an album I can safely say should be put in cinemas.

I have not listened to much of Janelle Monae's music, and I've been meaning to. I really like Django Jane, but that was the last thing I was expecting stepping into this album. Based on the cover art alone, I knew I'd be in for something of a cinematic quality. I've heard this twice now, and both times I came to the same conclusion, that this is easily one of the most cinematic and intricately made albums I've ever heard. ... read more


This is an epic. Spanning this vast world through some funk, RnB and jazz is such a great experience. One of my favorite albums of all time and will forever return to it.


For me, the only reason keeping this album from a higher score is the length. 15 minutes shorter could've been enough. Still, there are some great songs on here.


favorite songs: tightrope, faster

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