Article by Justin Miller
RuPaul has released her sixth studio album, Born Naked, on iTunes. From what we've heard so far, it's a thumping mix of electronic disco and booty bouncin' tunes unlike anything Ru has recorded before. With collaborators that include Myah Marie and Frankmusik, Born Naked is serving dance floor, vogue realness. In short: This album will make you sweat.
See our album review and watch the video for "Geronimo" below.
"Freak Money" features Queen Diva herself, Big Freedia, and opens the album with a brief welcoming by Miss Valerie Valentine, our hostess and MC of the album. The track mimics Ru’s twerktastic "Peanut Butter," with its relentless chorus-shower of "money/money/money," all of which definitely sets the bar high for the rest of the album.
As usual, all of Ru’s sassy catch phrases from Drag Race are trickled throughout the music, and "Sissy That Walk" is no surprise. Ru credits the phrase to Rich Juzwiak, who heard it from a screaming parent at a children’s pageant, and used the one-liner during the premiere of Season 5. One of the more strut-worthy tracks of the album, the song takes us straight to the main stage. Ru sings “Better beware/ain’t no T, ain’t no shade/but at the same time/bitches better get out the way”—so go sissy that walk, hunty!
"Adrenaline" will make you shake, twirl, and kick. Featuring Myah Marie, popular Britney Spears background singer and co-writer, the track is the album’s signature fist-pumping tune, demanding “One shot/one shot/of adrenaline/adrenaline.”
Though "Can I Get an Amen?" was dropped during Season 5—and was no surprise when appearing on this preview track list—the album’s version is stripped-down and features R&B/Soul singer and songwriter Martha Wash. It’s an intimate and soft touch to the record, and reminds us of Ru’s most powerful question: “If you can’t love yourself/how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
Frankmusik brings his signature synth pop magic to "Fly Tonight," where he sings along with Ru about leaving getting lost and leaving all their problems behind. It’s definitely a floor stomper, but not as heavy as some of the earlier tracks. "Modern Love" is on par with "Adrenaline," but filled with mini breaks of electronic slams that loop and build into a narration of Ru revealing a past heartache of chasing someone who didn’t love him in return.”
The closing song of the album is the eponymous track that’s more rock than disco. With Clairy Browne, from Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes, the song is somewhat disappointing and could be more empowering. The chorus just features Ru continuously asking, “Who do you think you are?” and reminding us that once we’re born, the rest is drag. That may be the case, but this ending is also a drag, too.
But the closer obviously doesn’t speak for the album as a whole. Sure, the record is filled with auto-tune, and Ru’s lyrics aren’t amazing, but the production of Born Naked is far greater than Ru’s previous discography. And the projection of fierceness and confidence is undeniable, as is the urge to own the dance floor with all our squirrel friends.
Yes, we’re all born naked. But the rest is, well, DANCE.