Listen to the words of fast-beating “Cold War” from Janelle Monae, and hear a fighter.
That doesn’t mean the pop/soul/hip-hop artist isn’t willing to get vulnerable for the lens.
In the music video below, Monae — naked from at least the shoulders up — is shot in one long, single take, inches from her face. It’s interesting to see some grimaces and unexpected smiles erupt from her features as she lip-syncs, little tics from the side of her mouth and the close of her eyes.
Around the lyric “I was made to believe there’s something wrong with me / And it hurts my heart,” at 1:38, she loses it. In a breath at 2:15, the tears start to drop.
“‘The ‘Cold War’ music video was filmed in the black box auditorium at The Palace of the Dogs sanitarium. This is the complete first take. This performance is unaltered and unencumbered, as those of us in attendance on that day experienced it,” wrote director Wendy Morgan in a statement released today. In a way, it sounded like a defense of the clip’s authenticity and re-emphasizes its worth as a first take. For fans who’ve had a chance to check it out in the last 24 hours, it’s a fascinating little artifact of time, for a worthy artist.
Now, will you go and buy her album “The ArchAndroid” already?
Monae heads out on friends and collaborators Of Montreal on tour starting Sept. 13. She’s also set for the star-studded Black Ball in New York on Sept. 30.