Jinkx Monsoon’s debut album, “The Inevitable Album,” packs a punch and proves the validity of her season five win of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The drag superstar demonstrates a brilliant combination of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent; we all know what that spells.
Reimagining the lyrics to the Broadway musical Company’s signature song, “The Ladies Who Lunch,” was a bold move for a drag queen’s debut album, but Monsoon pulls it off with ease on “Ladies in Drag.” She ends the song with an eternal note—13 seconds, to be exact—reminiscent of half-baked charity track from season five, “Can I Get an Amen?” Can I get a gaymen? No, Alyssa; sit down. Jabbing at her naysayers, this track does a superb job with ensuring audiences know from the start this is not a monotonous dance-pop album so typical of drag queens nowadays.
Second on the album is “No One as Sorry as Me.” Upon first listen, this song stood out to me, and I wasn’t sure why. Maybe it was because of the abrupt mood and tempo change leading into the scat section. Everybody loves a good scat, right? Not THAT kind, you pervert!
“Coffee and Wine” and “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” are nothing spectacular but give listeners a nice buffer into the middle section of the album. The latter is a revamped version of Cole Porter’s song and surely gives twinks the perfect anthem to pretend as if they have daddy issues. If the gays™ need another reason to love this track, it’s the fact that Marilyn Monroe recorded it for the 1960 film “Let’s Make Love.” Who doesn’t love word play and risqué?
“The Bacon Shake” is one of the standout tracks on this album, though none of them particularly fall flat. Fred Schneider contributes vocals and his animated “shakin’ her bacon” lines are a nice touch. The lyrics clap back at critics claiming Monsoon is all camp and no glamour; she’s campy, and she’s not sorry ‘bout it.
The fun-loving and whorish “Everybody’s Girl” transports listeners to a burlesque show but, oddly enough, starts with a salsa complete with rolled Rs, phlegm and a goofy lisp. Props to the writers for coming up with a smooth transition from salsa to burlesque.
One of my favorites is “Hold On.” The simple instrumentation and chord progression remind me of ‘70s easy rock. Just one note from a trumpet is enough to add a little color to the song. If it wasn’t clear already, this track proves producers put a lot of thought into the instrumentation and arrangement of each song.
“Hi-Jinkx Samba” seems to come out of nowhere and reminds me of Roxxxy Andrews on All Stars season two: it’s just kind of there, and I don’t understand why. There are no vocals on this piece, so it’s surely supposed to serve as a transition (filler bitch), but I don’t care for its abruptness (attitude).
Monsoon’s cover of “Witchcraft,” made famous by Frank Sinatra, is charming and showcases his ability to impersonate a female not only in look, but also in sound. “What About Debbie” is an autobiography of Debbie’s trail to insanity caused by her own brattiness and entitlement. Night club audiences are sure to have fun interacting with the superstar on this song. The same can be said about the “Ballad of Johnny and Jack.”
“One Tiny Taste” is accompanied only by a piano until the last minute or so of the song when a string section comes in to provide extra support. The song itself isn’t anything special, but Monsoon’s execution and dramatic delivery justify its inclusion later on the track listing.
I wish I could pick Monsoon’s brain to find out why she chose to cover Radiohead’s “Creep” on this album. Her performance and the arrangement are gorgeous, so I hope people give this cover a fair chance instead of writing it off as Monsoon trying to be something she’s not by covering an alt-rock classic.
“A Song to Come Home To” is a beautiful love song, but album-closer “Falling in Love Again” is somewhat unexciting. I wish it was included on a b-sides EP rather than ending the album. The former demonstrates power in restraint, and I think the song just feels like a finish. Why it isn’t is beyond me.
Monsoon has an undeniably fresh approach to vaudeville, combining new-school with bastardized old-school in a way only the smartest entertainers can truly master. She has the perfect combination of vocal prowess and comedy to grab night-clubbers by their teats and never let them forget the night Jinkx Monsoon blew them right out of their seats.