There are very few true R&B stars these days, but if Victoria Monét is not quite A-list famous, she’s loved with the same intensity by those in the know. One listen through today’s Jaguar II, which is a sequel to her 2020 “project” Jaguar but is billed as her debut album, will give you some idea of why.
With primary producer D’Mile at her side, Monét — who has worked as a songwriter for artists like Ariana Grande and Fifth Harmony — brings vivacious energy and fun to the genre along with the musical expertise to channel the classics without sounding retro. With 11 tracks over 35 minutes, Jaguar II ranges from the funky romp “Smoke” with Lucky Daye to the string-laden swoon “How Does It Make You Feel” to the dancehall-inflected “Party Girls” with Buju Banton to the miraculously smooth “On My Mama.” (I would describe those horns as spottieottiedopaliscious.) By the time she’s singing “Good Bye,” she’s conjured ’70s-worthy harmonies on “Stop (Askin’ Me 4Shyt)” and actually welcomed Earth, Wind & Fire onto “Hollywood” while still coming across as vital and current.
Jaguar II is a lovely little album that sounds spectacular, moves fluidly, and ends long before it has the chance to get old. Stream it below.
Jaguar II is out now on Lovett Music/RCA.