Janelle Monáe's third album, Dirty Computer, received widespread critical acclaim when it was released in April. Now it has just been named the best album of 2018 by NPR.
According to HuffPost, NPR decides which album will take the top spot on its annual best-of list by tallying votes submitted by staff and public radio stations around the U.S.
The station's Sidney Madden called Dirty Computer a "rebellious album" and said it "proved [Monáe's] artistic genius defies any single definition."
"The album feels like a rose opening to meet the sun, each petal containing a different message," Madden wrote. "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."
Following the album's release, the artist told Blavity she wanted to tell the stories of the marginalized through the work.
"The concept itself is centered around what it means to have an oppressed people have their very existence erased,” Monáe said, explaining that a dirty computer is someone who “because of their very existence — based off who they may love, the color of the skin, their gender — means they are dirty and need to be cleansed."
She added she hoped the record would empower listeners to embrace both those who label people dirty computers and those who bear the weight of that appellation.
"I want people to feel that love was at the center of this album,” the artist said. “I want people to know we have to be brave and choose love. It's easy to be upset and angry and to clap back. It's more difficult and more noble to choose love.”
Monáe celebrated NPR's honor on Twitter, writing, "Whoa, thank you NPR for naming Dirty Computer #1 album of 2018!"
She also used the platform to thank Albumism for also naming Dirty Computer 2018's best album:
Congratulations to Monáe! Let's all celebrate with a few tracks from the album:
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