Album of the Week: RuPaul's Supermodel of the World

This week, RuPaul scored his highest placement on the Billboard 200  with his new record, Born Naked (not to mention released a hilarious decoy for illegal downloaders). So, it is a good week to revisit the artist's debut, Supermodel of the World, which was a hit in 1993. The album is an ecstatic celebration of the dance floor, representing the finest qualities of 90s house music. Many people may recognize the hit single, "Supermodel (You Better Work)," but the record has many highlights beyond that signature tune. Among them is number one club hit, "Back to My Roots;" this song has strong disco bones and lovingly explores black salon culture, as well as pays tribute to family and returning home. Each of the tracks happily strut forward, like "Miss Lady DJ," "House of Love," and "Everybody Dance," and they reveal RuPaul's strengths as both a songwriter and performer. Even the slower jams ("Supernatural," "Prisoner of Love")  ground the album squarely in the artist's creative vision and vocal gifts. Some fans may see RuPaul as a novelty act, but Supermodel of the World is a good example of the smart artistry at work below the beautifully composed surface, and the album is a classic optimistic club record.

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