Wednesday, June 08, 2011

RuPaul - Glamazon (Review)

Since "Supermodel (You Better Work)" in 1992, RuPaul has done just that... worked: from RUworking duets w/ Elton John and Martha Wash ("Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and "It's Raining Men"), writing TWO books ("Lettin' It All Hang Out" and "Workin' It"), her own talk show, film appearances and starring roles ("A Very Brady Sequel", "But I'm a Cheerleader", "Starrbooty"), producing and hosting television shows ("RuPaul's Drag Race" and "RuPaul's Drag U"), and recording a total of 5 studio albums (from "Supermodel of the World" to this year's release "Glamazon") among remix and holiday albums.

In fact, 2009's Champion was perhaps one of RuPaul's greatest albums. From the catchy dance tunes ("Main Event", "Jealous of my Boogie", "Devil Made Me Do It") to the inspiring, uplifting tracks inspired by the girls of season 1 of RuPaul's Drag Race, including Ongina, who memorably came out on the show as HIV positive. RuPaul credits the season 1 cast of RPDR with helping inspire the album, as RuPaul and Lucian Pane (RevoLucian) went into the studio for the sole purpose of writing a theme song for the show and nothing else.

This year, after 3 successful seasons of RPDR, a 2nd season of RuPaul's Drag U, and a pretty good RuMix album (Drag Race, featuring my favorite version of "Jealous of my Boogie": "J.O.M.B.2.0. [RevoLucian's Redux]" featuring Tilly Key), RuPaul released "Glamazon" on April 25th of this year.

And... well... it's fun... and... nice...

"The Beginning" starts the album with great energy, amping the listener for a pretty awesome album. However, the rest of the album falls flat, striving for the uplifting yet fun vibe of "Champion" yet never quite reaching that goal. Even "Superstar" tries to achieve the essence of the title track of "Champion", and while quite a catchy tune and fun drum track, the song goes nowhere. The entire album lacks buildup and flare and the true inspiration of RuPaul's prior work. "Champion" was inspire by others and for others, while this album is a weak attempt to do the same.

The final track, "If I Dream" starts out much like a ballad and almost offers hope for redemption, but falls into the same pattern as the rest of the album. While the songs themselves aren't bad, throwing all of them into an album together creates monotony and sounds lazy, dull and flat. It's a CD you can listen to a couple times, put aside for when you just happen to be in a RuPaul mood (which for me is actually quite often).

Champion (A/A-)
Glamazon (B-)
Simply for the fact that it IS RuPaul... (T)Grrl gets 1/3 of a "letter grade" just for that.