The Age of Pleasure Songs Ranked – Janelle Monáe
Welcome to an in-depth exploration of Janelle Monáe’s newest album, The Age of Pleasure. Released in 2023, this Janelle Monáe album marked a significant shift in Monáe’s musical journey, exchanging science fiction for lusty romance and creating a rapturous Afrofuturistic sound collage. The Age of Pleasure songs ranked in this article provide a unique perspective on each track’s contribution to the narrative and musical landscape. Here are all of The Age of Pleasure songs ranked.
Learn more about Janelle Monae in our biography of the R&B singer. And be sure to catch Janelle Monáe’s 2023 ‘The Age of Pleasure’ Tour. She will bring her electric performance to Salt Lake City on September 6 at The Complex. Learn how to win tickets here. And tickets are available on Live Nation.
Janelle Monáe’s Newest Album – The Age of Pleasure
1. “Float” – Best The Age of Pleasure Song
Riding High: An Exploration of ‘Float'”
“Float” is the perfect opener for the album, a victory speech to Monáe’s transformation and liberation. The song is powered by Nigerian woodwinds, brass, and Kingston-to-Atlanta rhythms, creating a unique blend of rocksteady and trap. But what makes “Float” float above the rest? The sheer audacity of Monáe’s self-celebration, the prancing bars, and buoyant hooks recount a personal transformation through the shedding of all insecurities and inhibitions.
Dive deeper into Monae’s discography in A Deep Dive into Janelle Monáe Albums
2. “Champagne Shit”
Bubbling Over: The Effervescence of ‘Champagne Shit
“Champagne Shit” pairs an electric piano sound in Ethiopian electronic dance music with a sinuous synth miming the ancient Egyptian ney flute. The song aligns Monáe with the regality of these fruitful civilizations, creating a Pan-African utopia that is both audacious and intoxicating.
Discover more Janelle songs: Janelle Monáe Songs: Sonic Genius Behind the Music
3. “Black Sugar Beach”
“Black Sugar Beach” is a brief but impactful track, serving as a transition between the celebratory “Champagne Shit” and the more intense “Phenomenal.” It’s a testament to Monáe’s ability to create a flowing song sequence that feels like parts of a larger suite.
Beyond the Ordinary
“Phenomenal” is a standout track where South African Amapiano grooves meet android ball culture. The song is a testament to Monáe’s ability to blend different musical influences into a cohesive and captivating whole.
Turning up the Heat: The Allure of ‘Haute’
“Haute” is a short but sweet track revealing Monáe’s ability to create catchy hooks and memorable melodies. The song’s upbeat tempo and infectious rhythm make it a standout track on the album.
6. “Lipstick Lover”
Sealed with a Kiss: The Sapphic Anthem ‘Lipstick Lover’
“Lipstick Lover” is a sapphic anthem, envisioning a kind of orgy where you show up looking for an anonymous thrill but leave with three new best friends. The song celebrates queer desire and pleasure, making it a standout track on the album. Check out the NSFW music video here. And listen to the song below:
7. “The Rush”
Chasing the High
“The Rush” is a track that perfectly encapsulates the album’s theme of pleasure. Voiced by Black cinema bombshell Nia Long, the hypnotic spoken-word opening sets the tone for a song that is both sensual and exhilarating.
8. “Water Slide”
Making a Splash
“WaterSlide” is a bold statement about self-love and acceptance. The song contains sumptuous all-Monáe harmonies in the chorus, making it a standout track on the album.
9. “Know Better”
Wisdom in Melody
“Know Better” is a track that showcases Monáe’s vocal prowess and lyrical genius. The song is a testament to Monáe’s ability to craft catchy and thought-provoking songs.
10. “Paid in Pleasure”
The Currency of Desire
“Paid in Pleasure” is a more heated track, exploring themes of desire and satisfaction. The song’s explicit lyrics and sultry rhythm make it a standout track on the album.
11. “Only Have Eyes 42”
Love Multiplied: The Polyamorous Message
“Only Have Eyes 42” is a polyamorous lovers’ rock track tricked out with strings and laser FX that convey a mix of romance and haywire hormones. The reggae-influenced song celebrates love in all forms, making it a standout track on the album.
12. “A Dry Red”
A Soothing Finale: The Gentle Touch
“A Dry Red” is a soft Brazilian touch to the album, showcasing Monáe’s versatility as an artist. The song’s gentle rhythm and soothing vocals make it the perfect closing track for the album.
13. “The French 75”
Sipping on Sophistication
“The French 75” is an interlude that encapsulates the sense of laid-back communion that permeates the album. The presence of Jamaican dancehall legend Sister Nancy adds a touch of authenticity to the track.
For a curated selection of artist guides and song rankings, check out our featured article page.
14. “Ooh La La”
“Ooh La La” is a seductive interlude featuring the husky French vocals of Grace Jones. The track serves as a palate cleanser, preparing the listener for the more explicit tracks that follow.
— Janelle Monáe👽🚆🤖🚀🪐 (@JanelleMonae) June 9, 2023
Learn about Monae’s connection to Prince: Janelle Monáe and Prince | The Symbiotic Relationship
FAQs About The Age of Pleasure
Q: What is the theme of “The Age of Pleasure”?
A: The album celebrates pleasure, liberation, and self-love. It explores desire, satisfaction, and acceptance themes, creating a personal and universal narrative.
Q: Who are some of the collaborators on the album?
A: The album features a roster of eclectic collaborators, including Grace Jones, Sister Nancy, and Nia Long, among others.
Q: What musical influences can be heard on the album?
A: The album blends various musical influences, including Afrobeat, reggae, rocksteady, and trap.
Q: How does “The Age of Pleasure” compare to Monáe’s previous albums?
A: “The Age of Pleasure” marks a significant shift in Monáe’s musical journey, exchanging science fiction for lusty romance and creating a rapturous Afrofuturistic sound collage.
Q: What is the standout track on the album?
A: While all the tracks contribute to the album’s overall narrative and musical landscape, “Float” stands out for its audacious celebration of self-transformation and liberation.
Learn more about Janelle’s acting career.