Are Janelle Monae's science-fictional lyrics keeping her off the radio?

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That's what a new article in claims. Monae's first full-length album was lukewarm on radio, with the song "Tightrope" barely getting much airplay. Monae wants her new album The Electric Lady to get more radio play, but the science-fiction imagery is turning off programmers.

It's hard to believe, in the wake of tons of past radio hits with science-fictional imagery — but's Kevin Rutherford claims that the "veil of science fiction" is keeping people from connecting to the personal themes in Monae's music. And it's possible Rutherford's reflecting real attitudes in the radio industry. He adds that it's rare these days (versus in the 1970s) for musicians to score a hit with science fiction themes:

More recently? Daft Punk struck a chord with Random Access Memories, but the album is less conceptual and more a celebration of music’s past. Lyrically, the songs are still highly relatable, with “Get Lucky” serving as an ode perseverance in any field, sexual or otherwise... When science fiction does find its way onto the charts, it’s generally in a rock format and with bands that have been around for years — which is to say, classic rock.


Do you think there's any truth to this? It's definitely true that you hear fewer new songs about spaceflight and the apocalypse than in the heyday of Major Tom. []