Review: Janelle Monae’s ‘Dance Apocalyptic’ Is Weird, Genre-Bending Fun

If there were ever a song that deserves to be blasted all over the radio landscape, become the soundtrack for summer cookouts and be showcased on some ubiquitous television commercial spot, it’s Janelle Monae’s latest single “Dance Apocalyptic.” The infectious rave is the follow-up to the quirky talent’s Erykah Badu-assisted funk manifesto “Q.U.E.E.N.” And the pop-rock leaning mash-up emphatically answers the somewhat tired question of whether or not Monae is capable of reaching the masses. A late ’50’s rockabilly guitar and a cheeky chanting take on the strip-club poetics of Juicy J (Bands a make her dance? Nah…As Monae puts it: “Bands to make her dance apocalyptic!”) ignites the freak-out. “I really, really want to thank you for dancing ‘til the end,” she declares.

Yes, music heads will point to the fact that lyrically “Dance Apocalyptic” follows in the high heel footsteps of mentor Prince’s gleeful doomsday 1982 celebration “1999,” a song that made it clear that not even the threat of nuclear annihilation could stop the damn party. The end of the world may be upon us all. And like the Purple One, Monae wants to lead her nonconformist flock to ass-shaking glory in her own cutesy, spirit-raising way. If this is any indication of the unpredictable force’s upcoming album The Electric Lady, then we are bringing the chips.—Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)