Locked Inside by Janelle Monáe

I haven’t spent a lot of time with Janelle Monáe yet, but she’s impressive; able to enjoy popularity despite an uncompromising approach. While there are clear antecedents to her use of science fiction concepts in the R&B genre, with Parliament in the 1970s, her psychedelic soul feels fresh and innovative.

‘Locked Inside’ is taken from her debut The ArchAndroid, which continues the story arc started on her debut EP. They tell the story of a Messianic Android, Monáe’s alter-ego Cindi Mayweather, inspired by the 1927 silent film Metropolis.

‘Locked Inside’ is one of the less adventurous songs on The ArchAndroid, a straightforward R&B groove that’s beautifully melodic, and there’s a healthy dollop of 1970s Stevie Wonder in the grooves.

With her ability to sell albums while following an outlandish artistic vision, Monáe’s a fascinating figure – I’m certainly interested in what she does next.


  1. I was just speaking to a former 70’s dj about disco. I wondered if anyone would bring back disco.
    This woman sounds like she’s trying to do that. I respect her for that. She’s not your typical pop music flash ìn the pan.
    While this song sounds rather generic, I did listen to a few others on Youtube and while not exactly my thing, I like her more than most pop music coming out today.

    • That was the song that jumped out at me last week when I was listening to her – I like those Stevie Wonder-like sections.

      She’s been pursuing interests in acting and fashion as well, so she hasn’t put out that much material, which is a shame as she’s certainly bringing something interesting to pop music.

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