Reflector Reviews: Lil Nas X’s “MONTERO”


Erin Chambers, Culture Editor

Baby back (aye)! That’s right. Two years after Lil Nas X released his EP, 7, his first album, MONTERO, is finally here. The album, which hit streaming services on Friday, September 17th, is already number #2 on the charts. 

So, how is the album? Let’s take a dive into some of the tracklist.

“MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”

The beginning track debuted as the first single from the album back in March, and it did not disappoint. The album did however cause controversy amid the release of the music video and the “Satan shoes” collaboration between Lil Nas X and Brooklyn’s MSCHF. Even with all of the intense controversy, the song is excellent. With a catchy, melodious melody like the one in “MONTERO,” I’m hooked in seconds. 

While the music is upbeat, the lyrics are incredibly vulnerable, although it’s hard to think on it too much when a song is this catchy. 

Best lyric: “A sign of the times every time that I speak / A dime and a nine, it was mine every week”


The second track is even more vulnerable than “MONTERO,” as the Atlanta born rapper’s lyrics are filled with past struggles, hardships and vengeance. The beats sound something along the lines of an early Drake song, but make it more unique. This song sounds like it’s going to be timeless. 

The first two songs sound incredibly strong as it transitions from one to the next.

Best lyric: He said, “It’s a one in a million chance, son” / I told him, “Daddy I am that one-uh, uh-uh”

“INDUSTRY BABY (feat. Jack Harlow)”

The third single released ahead of the album, “Industry Baby” is the newest hit that entire marching bands will soon learn. I knew this song was going to do numbers as soon as I heard the Trumpet section in the intro. It’d be a hit without a collaboration by Harlow, but his feature compliments Lil Nas X so well.

With Lil Nas X’s musical talent and Harlow’s flirty rhymes, how could this song not be one of my favorites of the album?!

Best lyric: “I didn’t peak in high school, I’m still out here gettin’ cuter” -Jack Harlow


The third song on the album is just as captivating as the first two. The momentum isn’t slowing down at all with this one. It’s only picking up. The ballad is as emotional as much as it is pleasantly cheerful. 

Four songs in, and MONTERO already has great potential for album of the year.

Best lyric: “‘Cause it don’t feel right when it’s late at night / And it’s just me in my dreams”


The 23-second track is essentially just an interlude of Lil Nas X speaking about being on the road, both physically and metaphorically. “I’ve been driving a lot. I just drive in- in life, with no actual direction. Not heading toward any specific place,” said the Grammy award winner. 

Although it’s very short, the interlude is incredibly relatable. Driving can be a form of therapy – it’s nothing but you, your car and the open road

“SCOOP (feat. Doja Cat)”

Since the album’s release, “SCOOP” has been on repeat. Doja Cat and Lil Nas X are both full of sass and witt. The pair is a class act, with this song instantly becoming a classic. I’ve played this song in the morning when I need to wake up, in the car during a solo jam sesh, when I’m cleaning, etc. I even listen to it when I’m feeling low and need a little “pick me up.”

This track has me already wanting another album, from both artists (Or better yet – a collab album?! I cannot think of anything to better bless our ears with.)

Best lyric: “Working overtime to make sure I’ll be the scoop”

“ONE OF ME (feat. Elton John)”

With the help of King Elton himself, Lil Nas X and the Brit pop icon sing about the incredibly ludicrous standards people have for artists. The song is heartfelt and inspiring. It’s a true sentiment to being unique. It’s an anthem for anyone who has felt what they’re singing about. 

Lil Nas X is arguably one of, if not, the biggest gay icons of our time, and his collaboration with John, an LGBTQ+ icon with a timeless discography, is truly magic.

Best lyric: Now, can you prove yourself? Everybody waitin’ / I’m just being real, it’s ’cause somebody hatin’


This track is just as heartfelt as the other ballads on the album. “LOST IN THE CITADEL” is Lil Nas X realizing that he and his love aren’t compatible with each other. THis song is him coming to terms with the fact that he needs to let this love go. 

This is definitely a song that belongs on a “sad bops” playlist. If there’s one thing Lil Nas X put into his songwriting for this album, it’s vulnerability. 

Best lyric: “I was hoping we could stay close / But we no longer sing the same notes”

In addition to these progressive, open and enthusiastic songs, Lil Nas X’s album doesn’t stop there. More tracks that definitely deserve a listen are “DOLLA SIGN SLIME” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, “SUN GOES DOWN” and “AM I DREAMING” featuring Miley Cyrus. 

This album would be great without any features, but it’s incredible with them. Lil Nas X’s sound was enhanced so nicely with features from new artists, like Harlow and Meg Thee Stallion, timeless song writers, like John, and incredibly powerful women in music, like Doja and Cyrus. 

If the Grammy for Album of the Year were up to me, it’d go MONTERO.