Singer Janelle Monáe has dropped her sophomore album, Electric Lady, following on from 2010's debut The ArchAndroid. The 27 year-old, who has become famous for her distinctive glamorous tuxedo style, has carved out a musical niche, widely described as a cross between funkadelic soul and futuristic R&B: a rather unique sound that is no less evident and enthralling on her latest record.

Janelle Monae
Janelle Inspired Herself With Her Latest Album.

In response to the question "Who are the electric ladies in your life?" in an interview with NPR, Monáe explained that "Electric Ladies cannot be marginalised.[they are] community oriented." Similarly, speaking to MTV News, Janelle spoke of the album's themes and direction: "This album isn't to be marginalized. It is of hope, of inspiration and of love," she said adding, "It is to encourage a million electric ladies to build and come into existence, and 'electric lady' does not have a particular skin colour or hair texture but our communality is community and wanting to nurture the community and knowing that we have to be the change."

Janelle Monae Hat
Janelle's Out-There Style & Sound Has Earned Her The Attention Of Some Amazing Collaborators.

Rather than sit back and wait for songwriters to present her with lyrics, Janelle explained how she was involved, hands on throughout the whole process of creating her album, bringing in a real orchestra and a host of high profile collaborators, including Erykah Badu, Miguel, Solange Knowles, Cee Lo Green, Big Boi and Prince; the latter of whom is a musical hero of the young star.

With regards to working with such a group of accomplished names to help sprinkle some razzmatazz on Electric Lady, a starstruck Monáe said "I'm still pinching myself. I'm just in disbelief that I've gotten the opportunity to work with these incredible people and the job is not done - we still have to get this music out to people."

Janelle Monae Roskilde
Janelle Admits To Loving Prince: Could She Be The Female Version?

Janelle is outspoken on the themes of her album, and wants the world to know it's about not letting yourself be sidelined or victimised, particularly if you're a woman. "I feel like there's some great messages on this album. I'm surprised by them and usually I love my work, but when you are an artist you are so busy performing it that you can become numb to the things that you say, but I am genuinely inspired by this album," she explains.

Listen To Janelle's 'Q.U.E.E.N Feat. Erykah Badu':

Certainly, listening to the Erykah Badu-assisted 'Q.U.E.E.N,' it is evident that Electric Lady is more project than album, perhaps in the same vein as Beyoncé's Sasha Fierce persona, as we're shown Monáe as an artefact in a museum in the fascinating music video who gets up and dances. The electricity of Electric Lady is not to be underestimated either; Monáe is endlessly interesting to watch (perhaps it's her towering hairdo?) in her boleros, tuxes and wide-brimmed hats. A guitar crackles to life in 'Q.U.E.E.N,' initiating the song that will be hard-wired into your head for days.

Electric Lady will probably break the still-relatively unknown Monáe into the mainstream, big time. Let's just hope she won't lose her idiosyncratic, livewire performances and endlessly catchy hooks in favour of a more middling, dim bulb persona.