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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Victoria Monet’s new album is worth all the monet

The album cover for Jaguar II by Victoria Monet.
The album cover for Jaguar II by Victoria Monet.

WARNING: the following review contains explicit language/references.


The artist Victoria Monet recently released her latest album, Jaguar II. Published in late August, the album is very good, featuring some of Monet’s best songs, and definitely putting the somewhat less-known artist on the map for people around the world. So, what’s all of the hype about? Let’s dive in.

Jaguar II, similarly to Monet’s other work, is mainly a Pop album, with R&B and twists of Alternative Pop mixed in. The collection features 11 tracks in total and a couple unique artist collaborations, from Jamaican musician Buju Banton to American artist Lucky Daye. Their personal additions certainly reverberate throughout their respective songs; for instance “Smoke,” featuring Lucky Daye, notably stands out, with its unusual melody and very Pop-like lyrics. Of all the songs in the album, it most directly represents Victoria Monet’s Pop side.

On the other hand, “Party Girls,” featuring Buju Banton, is completely different. Its tune and beat is interestingly very much Carribean, standing out among the rest of the album. It distinctly represents Banton’s Jamaican roots and style, as an artist, or in this case, a collaborating artist. If you enjoy “Party Girls,” I would certainly recommend listening to Banton’s other music.

Apart from those and a few other exceptions, though, the rest of the album is mostly entirely by Monet herself. It is more or less diverse in the style of its tracks, however not too much. The songs “Alright” and “Cadillac (A Pimp’s Anthem)” are very much R&B songs. They showcase very R&B-like simple, and in some people’s views, indecorous lyrics.

For instance, “Alright” lyrics are largely focused on unbridled pleasure. In it, Monet conveys this message through lines such as, “Might not even hit you when I’m in your city / Thought you was about to get some foreplay with me? / You won’t even get a picture of these 4K titties / I’m gon’ be on my hip tonight / No one on my hip tonight” (Monet. Jaguar II. RCA Records, 2023). Such messages can be found throughout work from other similar R&B artists, whether it be SZA, Tyler, the Creator, Brent Faiyaz, etc.

Other tunes in the song collection, from “How Does It Make You Feel” to “I’m The One” are a lot more Pop-like, presenting very forgettable lyrics and instead delivering on a catchy melody and snappy beat. In my opinion, this is one of the better parts about this album; many artists just choose to stick to one specific style of music and not expand in any way. In Jaguar II, Monet, however, chooses to incorporate different aspects of R&B, Pop, and hints of Alternative Pop to create a very interesting and more complex album.

The last song I’d like to mention is “Hollywood,” featuring Earth, Wind, & Fire and Hazel Monét. It is definitely distinct in that its lyrics are for sure some of the most meaningful in the album. As I take it, with libretto like “I’m a product of Hollywood / Dreaming Bigger than I ever should” sprinkled throughout the tune, Monet is very effectively able to explain her attitude towards Hollywood’s way of changing people for the worse. I also take it to be a hopeful nod towards future generations, urging them that they can achieve anything, as long as they try.

Overall, I’d say this album is a good one. Its lyrics are fine, its music is good, and at the end of the day, there isn’t much to say against it. In spite of that, I wouldn’t say that the album really stands out, especially alongside other big releases from the last year. It is nice to see less-known artists like Monet rising to the top, and I hope that she will continue improving her repertoire, making her next album even better than this one.

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About the Contributor
Yoni Soloveychik
Yoni Soloveychik, Asst. People Editor
Yoni Soloveychik is a sophomore at Niles North. This is his second year writing for NSN and he likes a lot of different things.

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