Janelle Monáe – “I Like That”

Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images

Janelle Monáe – “I Like That”

Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images

In a couple of weeks, soul-music futurist Janelle Monáe will return with her much-anticipated new album Dirty Computer. Thus far, all the album’s singles have branched out in bold new directions: Princely strut on “Make Me Feel,” bars-heavy rap on “Django Jane,” glimmering new wave on “PYNK.” This morning, Monáe has shared a new track called “I Like That.” Musically, it’s the closest thing to conventional R&B that we’ve heard from Monáe in a while. But since it’s a Monáe track, it still bursts with ideas and feelings.

“I Like That” is an anthem of self-assurance, a song about finding pride in your own differences. It’s a warm, organic, slow-building song made with lots of organ and guitar, and with some cool gasping backing vocals. And Monáe’s vocal is casually virtuosic, calm and in-charge in ways that sound almost conversational: “I’m always left of center, and that’s right where I belong / I’m the random minor note you hear in major songs.”

Monáe also acts as her own guest rapper, delivering a fast and easy verse about being a kid in school, not being able to afford Air Jordans, and being made fun of: “But even back then, with the tears in my eyes, I always knew I was the shit.” Listen to the track below.

Dirty Computer is out 4/27 on Bad Boy.

    more from New Music

    Hi. It looks like you're using an ad blocker.

    As an independent website, we rely on our measly advertising income to keep the lights on. Our ads are not too obtrusive, promise. Would you please disable adblock?