Album Review: RuPaul's Realness

Born Naked is RuPaul's dance-pop masterpiece, but her 2015 release, Realness, sheds Naked's pop accessibility for a straight-up club sound. Realness also feels less like a straight-up RuPaul album and more like a party hosted for her friends; this is in part because the album brims with pristinely produced  house tunes (like the catchy "Color Me Love" and "I Blame You") that feature an array of guest artists, including Michelle Visage, Ellis Miah, Lady Bunny, and Frankmusik (to name only a few). The songs do not have traditional pop structures and are about dancing (not singing) along, which may not be ideal for those fans who prefer PuPaul's pop collaborations with producer/songwriter Luciane Piane. Every couple songs, the party stops for RuPaul to tell a story from her life, and these interludes help give the record structure, reminding us that this is Ru's show. Even if it does not soar to Born Naked's heights, Realness reminds listeners that the drag star has maintained a presence in club music for the past two decades--a surprising feet in such a swiftly changing genre.

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