The RX is Uproxx Music’s stamp of approval for the best albums, songs, and music stories throughout the year. Inclusion in this category is the highest distinction we can bestow, and signals the most important music being released throughout the year. The RX is the music you need, right now.
Practice makes perfect — or, at least as close as possible. It’s a saying drilled into our minds from the earliest moments of our lives and resides with us through the gray-haired finale. It’s also a saying that explains the success of songwriters-turned-artists at any point in music history. People like Bruno Mars, Lucky Daye, Ne-Yo, Lady Gaga, and Kacey Musgraves all struck gold as songwriters long before the general public knew their names, but the undeniable success in their respective careers can be credited to the practice they put forth before receiving their turn in the spotlight. It’s this same practice that is rooted in the polished quality of Victoria Monet and her latest effort, Jaguar.
Monet has lived between the lines, quite literally, of some of our favorite songs over the past few years. Chloe X Halle’s “Do It” and Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings” have each been graced with Monet’s pen. Granting multiple artists moments of their own, thanks to her help, Monet’s spotlight began to grow with the release of her late 2019 single, “Ass Like That.” The track boasts a provocative bounce that moves in sync with her hips as she walks through a crowd and leaves them in awe of her dollar sign-like figure. “He wanna know how she get that ass like that,” she croons on the song’s hook. The answer the unnamed gentleman seeks doesn’t come from a place of doubt or a desire to demean her, but rather, it’s rooted in their appreciation and awe for the bodily improvements she now flaunts as eye candy, and deservingly so.
Jaguar roars with a boldness similar to that exhibited on “Ass Like That.” Its nine songs present Monet in the driver’s seat at all times, progressing with sharp turns and a pedal to the floor, which creates an overall thrilling experience that — despite the increased heart rate and shortened breath that comes with it — swiftly calls for a second round. Built as the first edition in a three-part series, this hair-raising experience is detailed on “Moment,” as Monet balances a sultry invitation with a dominating command singing, “Life is but a dream that you manifested slowly / So f*ck a fantasy, this your motherf*ckin’ moment.” The moment she teases is one surely anyone will succumb to, but it’s the uncertainty it entails that draws them in most.
The highlight of Jaguar arrives at its closing moments. Cruising with ease, Monet once again steers towards the desired destination of her current relationship on “Go There With You.” Fearful of the relationship’s impending demise, Monet attempts to avoid the eventual fall with a call for improvement. “Let’s put them arguments on layaway,” she requests. “All I wanna do is lay away / I’m tryna get laid today.” Closing the album with an indirect response to an unknown — but fairly obvious — lover, “Touch Me” is an enticing call to action as Monet lays in the comfort of her own home and beckons for the return of an old flame. “You so good with your hands like a player with the ball,” she says. “So next time you use your touch screen / You know who you should call, baby.” Though she may have hated the club, Monet ensures her female partner that her company is always welcome.
Victoria Monet is the epitome of a go-getter. The Sacramento native is bold in her approach to all things in her life. Proudly accepting the dominating role in her various relationships, Monet either takes command and wills her way to desired endpoints or opens the door for her respective partners to find what she knows they desire: Monet herself. On Jaguar, she does a similar thing for her listeners, presenting herself in an extremely polished and provocative light. With a sharp-as-ever pen and a sound that has been tweaked to accentuate her artistry, the body of work far exceeds her previous releases. Jaguar is the manifestation of determination, leaving room to inspire fans with a much-needed confidence boost.
Jaguar is out now via Tribe Records. Get it here.