Janelle Monáe @ Kentucky Center

Wednesday, Sept. 29

Bomhard Theater, Kentucky Center
501 W. Main St. • 561-0100
$30; 8 p.m.

When was the last you heard a diva describe her album as “an epic James Bond film in outer space”? I thought so. This tornado of electro-soul inhabits different genres, positioning herself as a crossover threat by enlisting smart producers (Big Boi, Nate Wonder) and guest stars (Saul Williams, Of Montreal) for her breakthrough, The ArchAndroid: Suites II and III. It follows the story of Cindy Mayweather, a character Monáe introduced on her previous outing, Metropolis. Orchestral overtures, neo-soul tangents and the “Crimson and Clover”-on-LSD sway of “Mushrooms & Roses” reveal a mad genius at work. As the crowned city she wears on the album cover makes clear, Monáe thrives on imagination, making her a perfect fit for the IdeaFestival, which celebrates the mind’s limitless potential. —Mat Herron

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