By Jack McLaughlin
After a series of hits over the past few years, Lil Nas X’s debut album “MONTERO” has Anally been released.
The artist has seen a significant rise in fame since the release of “Old Town Road” in 2019, becoming a rare instance of a gay person of color dominating the charts time and time again.
The album has certainly lived up to the anticipation that started building in March with the release of the single “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” which triggered controversy from religious groups due to the music video’s content and the shoes that were sold at this time that contained Lil Nas X’s blood.
This controversy captivated me in the following days of the music video’s release, and seriously got me interested in the release of this album. I adored the track and liked how Lil Nas X responded to the controversy on his Twitter with sly comments like “I am not gonna spend my entire career trying to cater to your children. That is your job” only got me more excited to see where this was leading to.
After having listened to the singles that came out in the leading months to the album’s release, the entire album exceeded all expectations and has been such an enjoyable experience to listen to over the few days that it’s been released.
Lil Nas X has described making MONTERO as a therapeutic experience, where he “...began healing many unchecked wounds, facing skeletons in my closet I never wanted to, fighting internally every day and crying persistently.”
With this perspective, I couldn’t help but appreciate this album even more as it shows how much passion went into each of the 15 tracks which creates an entertaining listen that is easily one of the best albums of the year.
The album begins by throwing listeners in with previously released singles like “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” and “INDUSTRY BABY,” which is a perfect way to reel listeners in with two of the biggest songs that were released this year.
One of the recurring themes on the album is Lil Nas X responding to the claim that he couldn’t make another hit like “Old Town Road” but proves them wrong with lines like “Funny how you said it was the end, yeah. Then I went did it again, yeah.”
After the fantastic opening to the album, Lil Nas X does not slow down for the remainder of the tracks. The midsection of the album contains great surprises like “ONE OF ME,” which has a feature from Elton John, whose piano section adds significantly to the song.
Another great feature in this section comes with the song “DOLLA SIGN SLIME,” which features a verse from Meghan Thee Stallion.
The album’s final few tracks take a much different approach to the first two thirds. The mood of these tracks are much darker in contrast to the more energetic songs at the start, but they don’t fail to be just as good if not better than the tracks that came before it. In particular, “LIFE AFTER SALEM” fully commits to a darker mood and its combination of somber instrumental and amazing singing by Lil Nas X makes this my favorite track on the album.
Lil Nas X was able to perfectly execute his debut album. I don’t know when I’ll stop looping it over and over. The future of Lil Nas X looks brighter than ever, and I will certainly be there whenever he drops next.
The future of Lil Nas X looks brighter than ever