RuPaul increasingly returns to her roots. Her first breakthrough hit song Supermodel (You Better Work) is a repetitive track that is more suited to the 1980’s dance floor, and in Butch Queen, she embraces the electronic elements once again, only this time the dance sensibilities are tweaked to be more contemporary-sounding. This is definitely music made for gay clubs, so people expecting duets with Michelle Visage and Alyssa Edwards are going to be heartbroken. Not that such absence is necessarily a bad thing – usual producer Lucian Piane’s absence is especially most welcome. Unfortunately, the end result is uneven, even messy.
In tracks like High Fashion Labels and Drop – which could be a sequel to Supermodel (You Better Work) – things come together perfectly; the beats, the dubs, the libs – they all fit. And then we have tracks like Cha Cha Bitch and Nothing Nice which are just messy, with RuPaul just repeating lines that she hopes would be memes over some throbbing, discordant anonymous beat. Maybe those are his artistic statement reflecting the juvenile and intelligence-free state of the more ridiculous fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race, perhaps, or maybe they are just bad music created on a tight budget. There are moments when the tracks actually resemble something one can sing along – You Wear It Well, Legends, Be Someone (which features Taylor Dayne) – although they still most likely work better on the dance floor.
In many ways, this is a better effort than RuPaul’s last few efforts, but there is still enough of a hot mess element to the proceedings to make this one as much a miss as it is a hit.