As I mentioned when writing about the unmitigated bliss of “Mirrors”, commitment can be a tricking thing to convey in a song. Sincerity can often bubble over into the syrupy. Being in love is fine; stopping everyone in the streets to tell them about it is irritating. Janelle Monáe and Miguel’s duet on “Primetime” lacks that forced feeling. When the booming beat first echoes out Monáe is positioned in front of a clock, dutifully noting every tick and tock of the clock. She’s waiting for the perfect moment to reaffirm her faith, soaring into the chorus “when you’re down, and it’s hard, and you feel like you’ve given your all, baby our love will always keep it real and true.” Her other half returns after a ripple of guitar, symbiotic in his promise to put off all distractions. “My love will always be here for,” Miguel sings in his velvety tone, returning Monáe’s volley. No rookie mistakes or big-game nervousness here, just two people ready for the bright lights of “Primetime”.
Listen here and look for Janelle Monae’s sophomore LP The Electric Lady in stores Sept. 10.