[SPASTIC SOUL] On tour for her latest album, The Electric Lady, Janelle Monáe has taken to being rolled onstage in a hand truck, at which point she bursts free from a straitjacket and right into a searing set filled with physical and vocal acrobatics. The entrance is appropriate for the reigning revivalist of funk, soul and R&B. She has provided the music world a much-needed dose of shock therapy, particularly in the realm of female musicians. Rather than relying on sex appeal, Monáe's star power leans on other elements: an innovative blend of classic soul, psychedelic funk and hip-hop; references to androids and other funky science-fiction themes; and a seemingly inexhaustible well of energy. And her signature androgynous style—complete with suspenders and pompadour—is nearly as notable as her music. Bafflingly, she has yet to be recognized in a mainstream way ever since being propped up by Outkast in the Atlanta music scene in 2001, but the steady career aggradation fits her. This is no one-hit wonder packaged for a quick rise and an even quicker fall: Monáe is cultivating a universe entirely her own.