September Albums of the Month


“MONTERO” by Lil Nas X 

Rating:  4/10

By: Jean-Pierre Roberts

Following a run of hit singles, the expressive and explosive Lil Nas X dropped his long awaited debut album, “MONTERO”, on September 17. 

Throughout the album, listeners got to experience sounds reminiscent of 2000s pop, the heavy and quick tempered drums of contemporary rap, the soulful singing and melodies of 90s R&B, as well as classical and acoustic instruments. The opening song, titled “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”, exemplifies all of these features and serves as a beautiful and cinematic opening to the album. 

However, this grand opening was only matched, in terms of quality and engagement, by maybe 3 of the 14 other songs. 

Songs like “INDUSTRY BABY”, “THAT’S WHAT I WANT”, and “ONE OF ME”, play into one of Lil Nas X’s strengths: his ability to be bright and expressive through a slightly exaggerated presentation. 

These three tracks do such an amazing job at highlighting how versatile Lil Nas X can truly be. Unfortunately, all of these tracks open the album. The second half of the album takes a much slower tone, and attempts to be a lot more introspective. This is especially apparent in “VOID,” where we get lines like, “I feel like I’ve hit a low. One I’ve never hit before. Lately, I’ve been feeling small as the salt in the sea,” all on top of a slowly paced heavy base line and guitar line.

Although I love the attempt to be open about his struggles with feeling lost and quarrels with his mother, the actual music that comes from it, is simply put, boring. It isn’t engaging and it isn’t what we love Lil Nas X for. I appreciate the experimentation, these songs do a great job at showing us his potential to thrive emotionally through his music and maybe in a couple of months he will improve on this aspect of his music and truly blow us away with it. But for now, this album drops barely below average, and greatly disappointed me and many fans. •


“star-crossed” by Kacey Musgraves

Rating: 8/10

By: Kat Bouma

On September 10, Kacey Musgraves released her fifth studio album. She is best known for her dreamy love songs, but her new album “star-crossed” looks at love from a much more pessimistic angle. 

The title track “star-crossed” is an amazing yet sad song that sets the tone perfectly for the songs that follow. The album is overwhelmingly focused on her recent divorce, giving it a soft, melancholic sound, exemplified best in “angel” and “if this was a movie…”. Both of the songs highlight the difficult reality of coming to terms with the imperfections and challenges of long-term relationships. 

Musgraves incorporates elements of other cultures and genres into this album, straying some from her tried and true American country. In “cherry blossom”, she uses East Asian instruments in the chorus, and in “gracias a la vida”, she sings in Spanish, a skill she hadn’t used in her music until now. Throughout the whole album, Musgraves often uses electronic beats along with a classic guitar, using a little bit of genre bending to achieve the nostalgic and sorrowful sound of the album. 

One of the strongest tracks off the album is “simple times”. It’s one of the more upbeat songs, but that doesn’t mean it’s any more optimistic than the rest. The song is about missing the easier points in her relationship that made it fun and worthwhile, instead of what it had grown into. It’s a song that effortlessly captures what the whole album is really about, grieving an important relationship that was so central in Musgraves’s life.

Given that “star-crossed” is so different from what Musgraves has produced before, it’s hard to compare to her other albums. “Golden Hour” is very hard to compete with, and “star-crossed” certainly tries, but it doesn’t quite measure up to the legacy that her previous work has. That being said, the album is definitely worth a listen if you haven’t heard it already, there may be hits that stand out to you as long-term listens. •


“Certified lover boy” by Drake

Rating: 4/10

By: Waleeja Chaudhry

Drake’s sixth studio album, Certified Lover Boy”, came out on September 3. It is a cluster of 21 tracks that takes a deep and rather disoriented dive into the Canadian rapper’s conflicted persona. 

The album was dropped with no prior teasers and serves as a de facto placeholder for the beef between Kanye West and Drake. “Certified Lover Boy” has been in direct competition with “Donda”, Kanye West’s tenth studio album, which was released a week before Drake’s. The heavy influence of this feud on the album reveals Drake’s lack of inspiration. Considering that previously Drake has won multiple Grammys, “Certified Lover Boy” is undeniably the least memorable album in his career. 

The intro track, Champagne Poetry”, sets the tone for the rest of the album as Drake expresses his distaste for pettiness, gaslighting, and luxury while still repeating these themes throughout the album. 

The third track Girls Want Girls is insensitive to the lesbian community and has rightfully received overwhelming backlash from the public. This also perfectly encapsulates the immaturity and misogynistic views that Drake portrays throughout the album. Other tracks like “N 2 Deep”, “F*****g Fans”, and “TSU” mirror this insensitivity with tone-deaf lyrics, and overall boring performances. 

The features such as Travis Scott, Kid Cudi, and PARTYNEXTDOOR outshone Drake’s performances and are the reason this album is tolerable. There are some classic Drake songs like “IMY2”, “No Friends In The Industry”, “Way 2 Sexy”, and “Fair Trade” that are somewhat enjoyable to listen to. 

Overall, the “Certified Lover Boy” songs fit into one of two categories: bloated R&B ballads and bar-heavy rap that tirelessly complains about fame and women. Drake didn’t try anything experimental and the album does not leave a strong impression; it is anchored solely by Drake’s untouchable fame. •