Janelle Monáe, Make Me Feel / Django Jane.

It’s been the best part of five years since the self-professed ‘ArchAndroid’ Janelle Monáe last released a full-length effort, and whilst it’s been a long ol’ while, her returning with not one, but two contrasting tracks is as compensatory as the songs themselves have proven eminently commendable. The first, Make Me Feel, has the lipstick marks of Prince’s rakish Kiss all over it: His Purpleness of course featured on that aforementioned full-length (The Electric Lady, 2015), and was ostensibly lending a helping hand on this spring’s follow-up, Dirty Computer, “before he passed on to another frequency.” But if musically, this bawdy number makes for a knowing nod to her late acharya, then lyrically, it may be her boldest (and most sexually autobiographical) to date, its pre-chorus a potent, St. Vincent-esque confirmation: “It’s like I’m powerful with a little bit of tender/ An emotional, sexual bender/ Mess me up, yeah, but no one does it better/ There’s nothin’ better.”

Meanwhile, the second – entitled Django Jane – may be less musically immediate, an emboldened rap atop a trappy backing track replacing the ribald R&B of before, but its lyrical content is the incontestable crux: more universal than personal, it makes for a statement of both gender (“We gon’ start a motherfuckin’ pussy riot/ Or we gon’ have to put ’em on a pussy diet/ Look at that, I guarantee I got ’em quiet”) and racial (“Black girl magic, y’all can’t stand it/ Y’all can’t ban it, made out like a bandit”) empowerment, with both combining in the couplet: “Jane Bond, never Jane Doe/ And I Django, never Sambo.” Perhaps aptly, in light of her mentioning “origami,” there’s plenty more to unpack from these supremely, temporally pertinent three-plus minutes, but at this point, it’s probably best for me to “hit the mute button,” and let this “sassy, classy” monologue of sorts speak for itself…

Dirty Computer is available from April 27th via Atlantic Records.