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ALBUM REVIEW: Victoria Monet's 'Jaguar II' Is a Timeless and Groundbreaking Body of Work

Victoria Monet's Jaguar II
Image Credit JAGUAR II Album Art Via Spotify Music

There are few R&B artists that get it so well as Victoria Monet. With Jaguar II, Monet reinforces this truth. In her debut studio album, Jaguar, Monet demonstrates her versatility as a singer-songwriter, incorporating fresh concepts and sounds targeted at enticing her audience. Here, she draws inspiration from various musical styles and sounds whilst collaborating with notable artists.

Throughout her career, Victoria Monet has consistently honed her craft as a songwriter which propelled her to become one of the most sought-after in the industry, writing for renowned artists like Ariana Grande, Fifth Harmony, and Chris Brown. Her collaborations with these artists resulted in hit songs such as Ariana's "Thank U, Next," "Monopoly," and "7 Rings." While her talent remained behind the scenes, Monet's musical prowess propelled her to the forefront of R&B, and with the release of her EP, Jaguar, in 2020, Monet began to garner attention for her unique sound and intriguing storytelling abilities. Jaguar II arrives on the heel of this feat solidifying her position as a musical force to be reckoned with.

Each track on this album offers a unique and riveting experience for listeners. Safe to say it defies categorization. The album's first single, "Smoke," featuring Lucky Daye, sets the tone for the project. The sultry production and hazy atmosphere create a fascinating backdrop for their vocals to shine. In "Party Girls," Monet as well as the featured artist Buju Banton takes listeners on a journey to the Caribbean. The track brilliantly imbues dancehall elements demonstrating Monet’s willingness to explore different musical styles and sounds. The infectious energy of the song, coupled with Banton's contribution, elevates it to new heights, making it a standout track on the album. Another interesting track on Jaguar II is the fifth track "On My Mama," which samples Texas rapper Chalie Boy's 2009 hit, "I Look Good." This gives the track deep layering and a nostalgic feeling—more like a classic reinvented for the modern era. The wonky guitar riff that opens the track instantly catches the listener's attention, and Monet's seamless flow on the track puts it in contention as one of the best first listens on the album.

While each track on Jaguar II possesses its own unique identity, there is no denying how cohesive and thematic the album is. The seamless transitions between the various musical styles explored in the album and the arrangement of the tracks signal it as a solid body of work. From the silky inspiration of the blaxploitation era in "Cadillac (A Pimp's Anthem)" to the introspective and heartfelt love song, "How Does It Make You Feel," Monet effortlessly navigates through a range of emotions and themes.

The album also features notable collaborations which add depth and dimension to it, further highlighting Monet's ability to work with diverse artists and create memorable musical moments. Her commitment to crafting well-constructed songs with intriguing storytelling is a breath of fresh air in an industry that often prioritizes trends over substance. With Jaguar II, Victoria Monet offers a unique and captivating musical experience that transcends traditional genre boundaries. The album's fusion of various musical styles, coupled with Monet's exceptional songwriting and vocal prowess cements her position as a trailblazer in the R&B landscape.

Jaguar II serves as a testament to the power of artistic expression and the potential for growth and evolution within the R&B genre. With its unique blend of sounds, captivating storytelling, and memorable collaborations, this album sets the stage for a new era of R&B music, where authenticity and creativity reign supreme. Monet has created a body of work that is both timeless and groundbreaking.


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