'Montero' by Lil Nas X Is Everything It’s Supposed to Be [Album Review]

Ian Hansen

When Lil Nas X came out with "Old Town Road" in 2018, he was referred as the one-hit wonder who made a meme out of a country-inspired rap song. Then he released the EP, 7, followed by three singles for his debut album, Montero – proving doubters wrong.

Lil Nas X’s rollout for Montero was one of controversy – but pure genius. It started with the music video for the lead single, Montero which put people in shambles, as it shows a perspective of Satan and Hell. Next, was the fake court case over the satan Nike shoes which ended up just being a promotion for his single, "Industry Baby" with Jack Harlow.

His talent grew with the controversy. Montero kicks off with the self-titled lead single, which has beautiful Spanish guitars courtesy of Omer Fedi, who executively produced the project alongside producer duo, Take A Daytrip. It leads perfectly into Lil Nas X singing effortlessly over a beautiful gospel choir in "Dead Right Now."  In this track he discusses the struggles before his success, as he says “2018 I was in my sister’s house the whole summer, songs wasn’t doing numbers, whole life doing numbers.” He follows that up with his other anthemic single, "Industry Baby," which sounds perfect for a halftime show.

The album discusses topics of life before the fame, success, and love. "Lost in the Citadel’ is an example of how versatile Lil Nas X can be, as he discusses a failed relationship over a pop-rock style beat. One of the most impressive tracks is the pop-inspired, "That’s What I Want." He also dives into introspective topics on the backend of the project. "Tales of Dominica" explores anxieties of his success, while "Sun Goes Down" explores the racism and homophobia he has faced. "Void" is the most somber track on the project with Lil Nas X delivering beautiful harmonies.

Alongside Jack Harlow, Montero has guest appearances from Doja Cat with the plucky and catchy "Scoop." Elton John appears on the piano in "One of Me." "Dolla Sign Slime" features an energetic verse from Megan the Stallion and an even more impressive performance from Lil Nas X.

The album is exactly what should have been expected of Lil Nas X. It brings upbeat songs with great replay value alongside tracks that really bring the listener through the lens of his emotions and experiences.

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