Janelle Monae: Dance Apocalyptic
When Dance Apocalyptic first hit the airwaves a couple of months before Monae’s Electric Lady album came out, certain circles derided the song for not sounding tougher. After all, shouldn’t a song called Dance Apocalyptic have something of a hard edge to it? But a closer listen to the lyrics demonstrates that the song is about celebration in the face of disaster. But I really really wanna thank you / For dancing ‘til the end, goes the refrain. So a soul-pop confection seems just about right. In her relatively short career, Monae has already proven herself adept at any number of styles, but this track is one of those rare moments of pop perfection.
From the simple, catchy beat to Monae’s impassioned vocals to the chant-along background vocals ( Smash smash / Bang bang / Don’t stop / Chalangalangalang), Dance Apocalyptic deserves a place in the 21st century song canon alongside fellow retro-pop luminaries Hey Ya and F(ASTERISK)(ASTERISK)k You. — Chris Conaton