Janelle Monae wants to take you to Rio on her new song and resistance is futile. “What Is Love,” which is featured in 20th Century Fox’s animated feature, “Rio 2,” came out today.

The song combines Monae’s trademark irrepressibly bouncy, upbeat sound with a slight Brazilian rhythm and with lots of great percussion. It’s easy to see the birds of Rio bopping to the tune.  It’s easy to see anyone bopping to it. It has the same kind of fun vibe as the Spice Girls' "Spice Up Your Life" crossed with Santa Esmeralda's version of "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." Yep, I went there.

In the song, Monae wonders what good is love if it’s not coming from the one she loves, but the song is as light as a feather, so even though she may be asking a deep question, the song’s charm lies in the Canivale atmosphere of the production and her spirited vocals.

Monae will perform “What Is Love” on “American Idol” on March 27.

“Rio 2,” which arrives in theaters April 11, also features “Welcome Back,” a new song from Bruno Mars, who makes his acting debut voicing Roberto in the film.  A number of the actors voicing roles in the film, including Anne Hathaway, Andy Garcia, Rita Moreno, Kristin Chenoweth and Jermaine Clement perform on the soundtrack. Brazilian music legend Sergio Mendes and composer John Powell curated the soundtrack, which comes out March 25.


    1.    What Is Love – Janelle Monáe
    2.    Rio Rio – Ester Dean (Featuring  B.o.B)
    3.    Beautiful Creatures – Barbatuques, Andy Garcia, and Rita Moreno
    4.    Welcome Back – Bruno Mars
    5.    Ô Vida – Carlinhos Brown and Nina de Freitas
    6.    It’s A Jungle Out Here (Brazilian) – Philip Lawrence (Featuring UAKTI)
    7.    Don’t Go Away – Anne Hathaway and Flávia Maia
    8.    Batucuda Familia – Carlinhos Brown, Siedah Garrett, Jamie Foxx, Rachel Crow, Amy Heidemann, Andy Garcia, and Rita Moreno
    9.    Poisonous Love – Kristin Chenoweth and Jemaine Clement
    10.    I Will Survive – Jemaine Clement and Kristin Chenoweth
    11.    Bola Viva – Carlinhos Brown
    12.    Favo De Mel – Milton Nascimento
    13.    It’s A Jungle Out Here – Philip Lawrence
    14.    What Is Love (Cast) – Janelle Monáe, Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jamie Foxx, and Carlinhos Brown
    15.    What Is Love (The GoonRock Mix) - Janelle Monáe*
    16.    Angry Birds Rio 2 Theme – Barbatuques *