Lil Nas X, Montero

Mostly a gritty Auto-Tune mess exploiting the same tired riff; there's no genre-busting this time. Dollar signs and fronting was so last decade, and this man is no gangsta. And just because he's not heteronormative doesn't mean he's not a chauvinist (notably ugly moments: the title track, "Scoop," "Dolla Sign Slime"). But when he slows down and stops the preening, he can be contemplative, even complex: "Lost in the Citadel," "Tales of Dominica" in particular, and I dug the sweetly yodelly falsetto of "Void" but also his candid self-reflections in "Sun Goes Down." Clearly he has talent. Why doesn't he use it? (Content: F-, S- and N-bombs, adult themes.)