The long-anticipated album from Lil Nas X has finally arrived. It officially dropped at 12 a.m. EST, Friday, September 17. So I was up at 11 p.m. CST waiting for it to drop. I had high hopes for “Montero,” and I am glad to say I was not disappointed. The songs are catchy, have good beats, heartfelt, gritty, and tackle important topics. I was also quite impressed by the lineup of guest artists on the album. Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Jack Harlow, Miley Cyrus, and even Elton John provided his piano skills for one of the tracks.
“Montero” is comprised of 14 full-length tracks and one 30-second interlude. I recommend listening to the tracks in the order the appear on the album, at least for the first listen. The flow is immaculate, and you can easily tell how hard Lil Nas X worked on piecing everything together.
I’m not going to discuss each song on the album in this review, just my favorites, but I encourage everyone to listen to the whole thing.
How can I discuss the album “Montero” without first discussing the song “Montero”? The title song and the first track on the album, it is a great introduction to the rest. Not only is it catchy, but it’s the first song Lil Nas X released where he was really, truly, unapologetically himself. The way Lil Nas X was able to capitalize off the controversy surrounding the song and its video is the mark of a true artist and shrewd businessman, too.
“Industry Baby” is the third track on the album, a catchy hip hop song featuring Jack Harlow (I have no idea who that is, I’ll be honest). The brass instrumentals give me Macklemore “Can’t Hold Us” vibes and I love it. The song starts with Lil Nas X gloating about his accolades and then goes into him basically saying “f-you” to the haters. “Industry Baby” also makes me laugh because Lil Nas X is very open about his homosexuality in his parts, and Jack Harlow’s part has been dubbed by fans as a big “no homo.” I have no idea who the man is, but he raps well in the song and fits right in.
The next song I want to discuss is “One of Me.” In this track, Lil Nas X is making a commentary about his experience in the music industry and how people have been judging him and his art. His vocals are backed up by Elton John’s legendary piano skills. It’s a slower track, and it showcases the versatility of both Lil Nas X and Elton John.
“Dolla Sign Slime” is a flex song. Lil Nas X brags about his wealth and success, rubbing it into his haters’ faces (which is really satisfying, in my opinion). He is joined on this track by Megan Thee Stallion (a queen), and I really want another track with the two of them.
The song that closes out “Montero” is called “Am I Dreaming.” It’s a slow song, beautiful, and a bit heartbreaking. I cried listening to it for the first time. The acoustic guitar that plays through the whole track is gentle and pairs well with Lil Nas X’s singing. Miley Cyrus sings with him, too, and I was blown away by their chemistry in the song. Seriously, I got goosebumps when they sang together. I think this is my favorite song on the album. It ends with “never forget me and everything I’ve done,” a chilling and powerful way to close out a debut album.
There are music videos on YouTube for each song on the album and I recommend watching those as they tell a story, each one connecting to each other in some way.
All in all, “Montero” is a work of art and watching Lil Nas X grow to be so successful has been one of my favorite parts of the past couple years. I can’t wait to see what else he does in the future.