If there is one artist who makes genuine waves of impact with every single they release, it’s Lil Nas X. Whether it’s to purposefully get mad at him or to genuinely see what he comes up with next, he simply has the entire world in the palm of his hand. It’s a feat not many male artists have accomplished, especially not in the pop genre. Even then, Lil Nas X is definitely an artist worthy of all the success he’s getting because he’s putting out consistent, exciting material and not some tired, manufactured sound like other male artists, you know the ones. Now, however, comes the true test to Lil Nas’ abilities as an artist with his insanely-anticipated debut album finally releasing for the world to hear.
The lead up to this debut album has been nothing short of legendary. Lil Nas X is a goddamn marketing genius. Everything from the single choices, the music videos and the overall journey he took us on made ‘MONTERO‘ an unforgettable era. So many artists play down their records and never fully realize the potential they have. The only fully realized eras from recent memory that I can recall is Dua Lipa’s ‘Future Nostalgia’ era and The Weeknd’s ‘After Hours’ era. Lil Nas X utilizes every aspect of the marketing spectrum to advertise this album and generate insane hype. Everything that ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name’) kickstarted has just been endlessly creative and clever. The ‘MONTERO‘ music video is easily one of the most iconic music videos I have ever seen. It’s going to be looked at with such respect in the future. It’s really sad and unfortunate that people didn’t actually grasp the meaning behind it. Although it wasn’t too sad as Lil Nas X incorporated the controversy to lead him into his next big single ‘Industry Baby’ as he gets thrown into jail after being found guilty (of being gay). The fact that it almost feels planned is as scary as it is brilliant. The pregnancy shoot and the fact that he stuck with it and literally gave birth to his debut album is easily one of 2021’s pop-culture highlights. This man is something else and that’s why he is at the top right now. That being said, is the album worthy of such an extravagant promotional campaign? The answer is a hell yes.
‘MONTERO‘ is an album that will always have a special place in my heart. Connecting to it is an understatement, I feel like these are the songs I’ve been waiting to listen to my entire life as a gay guy. Songs like ‘SUN GOES DOWN’, ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name’) and ‘ONE OF ME’ are songs I never thought I would listen to. Seeing a queer artist reach overwhelming success has been nothing short of incredible. Whether you like him or not, you cannot deny that Lil Nas X is breaking barriers and doing so as fabulously and as gay as possible. We finally have a flamboyant, creative and passionate pop singer who is giving us memorable music-videos and outfits! It has the potential to be life-changing for some people in the LGBTQ+ community. He never restricts himself to the box that was ‘Old Town Road’ but most importantly, he never lowered himself to the level of gay some people deemed to be acceptable and that is written all over this record. His lyrics are deep, personal and full of personality and wit. He shows an incredibly vulnerable side that details his experience of growing up as a queer black man. He poured all of his insecurities, doubts and darkest thoughts into some genuinely heartbreaking lyrics. ‘SUN GOES DOWN’ was a track that I genuinely came to appreciate after listening to it one night and essentially broke down and started sobbing for half an hour. I connected to the lyrics and it hit me hard because I never thought I would hear songs with such specificity on the queer experience. The sound of the record is also insanely versatile yet always cohesive. The elements of pop-punk, rock and trap give this pop record a momentum and excitement that never ceases to demand your ear’s attention. For what can only be the only time I’m ever gonna say this, the features on the album are also exceptional with great meaning behind the choice of the artist. While all of them brought something unique, Miley Cyrus, Elton John and Doja Cat really left their mark on their respective songs. The fact that the collaborated artists are so insanely different from each other is really commendable because he took their unique sounds and incorporated them into a cohesive record.
All in all, this is a fantastic debut, Lil Nas X is on his way to great things. ‘MONTERO‘ is a deeply personal record that flows insanely well. The melodies are insanely memorable and catchy and the lyrics smart, witty and vulnerable. The record carries Lil Nas’ infectious charisma and personality and essentially feels like an extension of himself making this self-titled record one that actually embodies the artist and that’s the best compliment I feel like I can give this album.
1. AM I DREAMING (feat. Miley Cyrus)
2. SUN GOES DOWN
3. TALES OF DOMINICA
4. DEAD RIGHT NOW
5. INDUSTRY BABY (feat. Jack Harlow)
6. LOST IN THE CITADEL
7. ONE OF ME (feat. Elton John)
8. THAT’S WHAT I WANT
9. MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)
11. DON’T WANT IT
12. THE ART OF REALIZATION / SCOOP (feat. Doja Cat)
13. LIFE AFTER SALEM
14. DOLLA SIGN SLIME (feat. Megan Thee Stallion)
‘MONTERO‘ is now available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube.