Victoria Monét: "JAGUAR" - Review
Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Having written songs for the likes of forces ranging from Diddy - Dirty Money, Brandy, & T.I, to her best friend, Ariana Grande (& more), the 27 year-old Sacramento native, Victoria Monét has truly been an unseen force within the music industry for years. As an incredible songwriter, Monét's pen is not one to take for granted. Her recent work with her bestie and longtime collaborator, Ariana Grande, garnered her 4 Grammy nominations for the sensational hit single, 7 Rings, from Grande's outstanding "thank u, next" album.
After patiently assisting from the background, Monét has finally jumped directly onto the main stage to release her debut project, JAGUAR. Multifaceted, innovative, confident, and sexy, JAGUAR acts a welcome to the sensational artist who has been hard at work for about a decade! Originally scheduled to release on Friday (Jul. 31), the debut effort was pushed back to Friday (Aug. 7). JAGUAR holds only 9 tracks and one main feature from Khalid & SG Lewis. Very funky, soulful and progressive, the project liberates women as Monét owns and proclaims her sensuality, sexuality, and charm throughout the entire project She creates a lane that is strictly for her as she introduces listeners to Victoria Monét, the artist.
“They’re (Jaguars) not always in the limelight, but they’re there. That’s how I feel as an artist and a songwriter in this music world. I’m more in the background. But then if I want something, I really learn and transform into that beast that’s focused and centered and wants to go get what I’ve had my eye on," Monét told writers at The Cut.
Preceding singles such as the melodic, sensual workout anthem, "Ass Like That," the groovy, psychedelic, "Moment," and the sexually charged "Dive" help set the tone for JAGUAR as Monét makes the focus clear on sexuality, self-esteem, and boldness. Her voice is riveting, passionate, and demanding. She takes control of production on each of the songs, transforming the tracks with her vivid lyricism and mature execution.
JAGUAR excels in layering. In some moments listeners feel pure funk with cuts like "Moment," "Jaguar," and the cousin of "Dive" (as Monét shares on Genius), "We Might Even Be Falling In Love." From production to flow and delivery, Monét brings this vintage feel of the 70's and 80's to modern R&B. However, in other parts of the project, Monét switches to a more... electronic, disco-infused R&B appeal the Khalid & SG Lewis-assisted, "Experience." The versatility is lovely and makes her reach even more dynamic.
"Go There With You" exudes pure 70's funk. The guitars fire off throughout the slow tempo track as Victoria vulnerably sings about not wanting to get to that point of conflict with her lover. Instead, she'd rather be only screaming at her lover due to pleasure and satisfaction. Her gentle voice cradles listeners, rocking them back and forth like an infant. On JAGUAR's final record, "Touch Me," Monét heats the playing field up as she sensually sings about engaging with a woman. Back in 2018, Monét shared a tweet where she made it known that she... enjoys the company of women along with men. So, with that being said, Monét paints this scene of a steamy encounter with this mystery woman that leaves her wanting more.
Overall, while JAGUAR further showcases Victoria Monét, the incredible songwriter, it ushers in the presence of Victoria Monét, the artist. She proudly owns her truth in such a captivating way. Being a singer, songwriter, and dancer, Monét is a jack of all trades, creating a lane for future female artists to follow while also generating a purely groovy, invigorating moment in music with JAGUAR.
She experiments with her sound utilizing production reminiscent of past eras while channeling new energy into them. Besides the fact the project is a mere 9 songs, (and the interludes needing to be longer!) Monét does no wrong. She sets herself up nicely for future releases that many will enjoy in the future. JAGUAR provides the feels and much more with each listen.
Stream Victoria Monét's JAGUAR below on Apple Music.