Janelle Monáe brought wings to the weak and grace to the strong with the eclectic fusion of this emotion picture for the mind. The Kansas City native studied drama and musical theater in New York City at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and in Philadelphia at the Freedom Theatre before relocating to Atlanta and founding the Wondaland Arts Society label.
Monáe would reveal: "There was a lot of confusion and nonsense where I grew up, so I reacted by creating my own little world ... I began to see how music could change lives, and I began to dream about a world where every day was like anime and Broadway, where music fell from the sky and anything could happen."
Monáe says: "Over the last year and a half when we were recording The ArchAndroid I went through a very transformative period in my life...Overall, this music came from various corners of the world—from Turkey to Prague to Atlanta—places we were on tour. While recording, we’d experiment with different sounds. Once we became engulfed in the sound, we all had an emotional connection to the album. It has definitely transformed my way of thinking, the way that I approach the stage and overall, my life ... It's genre-less, because it has an energy about it that genres can't really live up to, so I don't want to diminish it by trying to restrict it...If I say I want a song to feel bold red, or if I had a song come to me in my dreams, it usually means there was a lot of color in it. What I tried to do is make it as vivid as I was able to when I recorded it and capture as much as I could...This album has a lot of psychedelic moments and sometimes feels like James Bond or Frida Kahlo, or some of the other surrealists I've enjoyed. It also deals with self-realization and the things I've realized about myself within this project have made me unafraid to make mistakes. I coined the term 'emotional picture of the mind.' I'm just blessed for the supporters who have been waiting to finally hear the songs I've had in my dreams ... Cindy is an android and I love speaking about the android because they are the new “other”. People are afraid of the other and I believe we’re going to live in a world with androids because of technology and the way it advances. The first album she was running because she had fallen in love with a human and she was being disassembled for that...This time around we’re talking about The Arch Android the chosen one, the neyo of the matrix or the Archangel from the Bible. She (Cindy) finds out that she is indeed the one and is the mediator between the haves and have not. She’s the one who can get rid of all the discrimination within the android community. It deals with self realization as she realises that she is that."
"Tightrope" (featuring Big Boi)
1. "Suite II Overture" Janelle Monáe Robinson, Roman GianArthur Irvin, Nathaniel Irvin III, Charles Joseph II 2:31
2. "Dance or Die" (featuring Saul Williams) Robinson, Irvin III, Joseph II, Saul Williams, Kellis Parker Jr. 3:12
3. "Faster" Robinson, Irvin III, Joseph II 3:19
4. "Locked Inside" Robinson, Irvin III 4:16
5. "Sir Greendown" Robinson, Irvin III, Joseph II 2:14
6. "Cold War" Robinson, Irvin III, Joseph II 3:23
7. "Tightrope" (featuring Big Boi) Robinson, Irvin III, Joseph II, Antwan Patton 4:22
8. "Neon Gumbo" Irvin III (music); Robinson, Joseph II (lyrics) 1:37
9. "Oh, Maker" Robinson, Irvin III, Joseph II 3:46
10. "Come Alive (The War of the Roses)" Robinson, Joseph II, Irvin III, Parker Jr. 3:22
11. "Mushrooms & Roses" Robinson, Irvin III, Joseph II, Parker Jr. 5:42
12. "Suite III Overture" Robinson, Irvin, Irvin III, Joseph II 1:41
13. "Neon Valley Street" Robinson, Irvin III, Joseph II, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart 4:11
14. "Make the Bus" (featuring Of Montreal) Kevin Barnes 3:19
15. "Wondaland" Robinson, Irvin III, Joseph II 3:36
16. "57821" (featuring Deep Cotton) Robinson, Irvin III, Joseph II 3:16
17. "Say You'll Go" Robinson, Irvin, Irvin III, Joseph II 6:01
18. "BabopbyeYa" Robinson, Irvin, Dr. Nathaniel Irvin II, Irvin III, Joseph II 8:47