NPR has released its yearly ranking of the top 50 albums of the year on Wednesday, and Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer is No. 1.
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) December 5, 2018
“Monáe captures the bliss of sexual fluidity, the eloquent anger and spirituality of black feminism, the temporary high of nihilism, the sandbagged weight of self-doubt and finally the euphoric reckoning of learning who you are,” NPR Music’s Sidney Madden wrote in the piece.
“Pulling inspiration from radical predecessors—Josephine Baker, Stevie Wonder, James Baldwin, Grace Jones, David Bowie and most prevalently her late mentor, Prince—Monáe speaks her truth to power across a funk pop soundscape,” he added. “The album feels like a rose opening to meet the sun, each petal containing a different message.”
The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts back in April. NPR’s list is voted on by staff members from the network as well as member stations.
Janelle Monáe was also honored on NPR’s top 100 songs list, with “Make Me Feel” coming in at No. 3.
“Infectious from the get-go, the slinky bass line oozes, pulling you into the groove, while tasteful keyboard stabs and clean syncopated rhythm guitar riffs keep taking you further into the funk,” Kevin Cole of Seattle NPR affiliate KEXP said. “It’s all about confidence, knowing who you are, what you want and feeling empowered by that honest expression. A perfect blend of smart, sensual lyrics and physicality that can’t do anything but make you feel good.”
The album has received accolades from everywhere. Along with being No. 1 with NPR, it also topped Albumism’s Top 50 Albums of the year, Time Magazine ranked it No. 2 and Rolling Stone put it at No. 5.
Janelle responded to the news on Twitter:
— NPR Music (@nprmusic) December 4, 2018