Janelle Monae is the latest pop star to dip a toe into the animated film soundtrack waters (“C’mon in, the water’s fine!” beckons Pharrell while sunbathing on his yacht surrounded by bikini-clad minions). The Electric Lady has premiered “What Is Love,” her new song for Rio 2, and no, it is not a cover of this. Monae melds her usual funky guitar flicks with some island flair and a backing choir, and the neo-soul queen really belts out the refrain (“What good is love / if it’s not your love?”), resulting in one of her most powerful vocal performances.
It’s not nearly as catchy and instantly pleasurable as “Happy,” but few songs are. Check out the fun animated video up top, and stream the full, cartoon voice-free audio below.
Rio 2 hits theaters April 11, and the soundtrack is out March 25.
Do you think Monae’s new song has the power to be the next hit cartoon song? Let us know in the comments.
[via Consequence of Sound]
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