Since Old Town Road smashed records in 2019 many people, including myself have been anticipating his debut album. Nas X has proven himself to be a major hit maker and now his talent is being put to the test. Many people have doubted Lil Nas X from the beginning but he consistently proves his haters wrong time and time again, and MONTERO isn't any different.
MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) was the first single released for this album, it went number one on billboard and was a certified pop hit. The song is rhythmic and well produced and features a catchy lowkey hook from Nas X. On this album one thing you learn about Lil Nas X is that man can sing, and he has great vocal range. The instrumental for DEAD RIGHT NOW starts off minimal, carried by a trumpet but it picks up a lot when the beat drops and continues to progress strongly as the track continues and ties in very well with Nas X dropping a solid rap verse. Aside from a good verse, which we know Nas can deliver, he has good bars and sings another good chorus.
INDUSTRY BABY is anthemic and an absolute banger that features lively horns throughout the instrumental that just exudes fun energy. Lil Nas X delivers an amazing chorus and drops a good verse, but rapping wise Jack Harlow is the real star here. Jack sounds tenacious while rapping here, dropping nothing but memorable and quotable bars. The following THAT'S WHAT I WANT is a fun and dynamic track where Nas X sings about how he wants some to love him and his chorus here is very potent and fun. SCOOP is a fun and playful track with an upbeat instrumental. Lil Nas X again delivers on the track, showing off his great vocal range and how well he can use it; Providing plenty of vocal inflections for a great verse and chorus. Doja Cat also provides a solid feature and the song as a whole is just so vibrant and catchy.
ONE OF ME has a layered and complex instrumental that just barely misses the line of doing too much and sounds very good. Lil Nas X is captivating throughout the whole track and delivers another solid rap verse. LOST IN THE CITADEL has a strong punk pop influence and is another track that showcases Nas X's versatility in music. The drums and guitars are standout and progress to match Nas X's energy, as he brings some moody singing for another great chorus. DOLLA SIGN SLIME is another more Hip-Hop centric track with a catchy chorus and another instrumental layered with horns. Lil Nas X gives another solid verse, as well as Megan Thee Stallion who sounds hungrier than she has in recent months, with a fast flow and some memorable bars. TALES OF DOMINICANA is a lowkey and emotional song that also manages to be bouncy and catchy.
SUN GOES DOWN is a more intimate and vulnerable moment on the record. It goes over well with some strong singing from Nas X. Following that, VOID is another more emotional cut with an instrumental that is beautiful when the strings come on the latter half. This track features a weaker moment of Nas X's singing which is a bit irritable, but it doesn't ruin the track either. DON'T WANT IT has a solid trap beat and Nas X flows over it nicely and brings a fun energy to it. LIFE AFTER SALEM is also an emotional cut but it has a strong punk pop influence. Nas X brings moody and pessimistic energy that coincides nicely with the powerful drum progression. AM I DREAMING is a beautiful closer to a solid debut album. Lil Nas X and Miley Cyrus both sing their hearts out in a heartfelt performance about being forgotten. It is the best track to close the record out.
MONTERO is definitely not a Hip-Hop album but it is a reflection of Lil Nas X's versatility. He burst onto the scene with a country trap song and now his album is mostly pop but also a good mix of Hip-Hop, pop-rap, pop-punk and even indie. The album is fun, dynamic and entertaining throughout with only a few moments that drag. Nas X proves to be a better singer than most people expected delivering several solid choruses throughout the album. Some of the instrumentals get repetitive and sound similar but Nas X is captivating enough to not make that a huge issue. Overall MONTERO is a solid debut record for Lil Nas X and gives us a more clear image of who he is as an artist.