Trixie Mattel – “One Stone” review

Congratulations – excuse me, condragulations are in order. Trixie Mattel was just crowned the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All-Stars 3. She also has the number one album on iTunes. Unlike other drag queens who release EDM-based dance tracks meant to play in gay clubs across the country, Trixie release a… folk album.

And not a kitschy tongue-in-cheek album with a lot of cowgirl puns. It’s an honest, catchy, twangy album.

one stone

One Stone is an eight song rootsy country album about hope, desire, and finding your place in the world. Though Trixie Mattel is a drag star, the singer/guitarist/comedian/all-star uses her natural male voice. Her voice is confident over up tempo fiddles and kicking drums. If you’re a fan of Margo Price or even the Lumineers, you’ll find yourself enjoying this album.

Trixie says Miley Cyrus is an inspiration to her music. You can feel as if these poppy songs could have been written for the star. If Trixie included a country version of “Wrecking Ball” on this – the song which she lip synced for her legacy on All-Stars – you would think it were an original song by the drag queen.

The album opener, “Little Sister,” is an earnest song about giving advice about small town life. Trixie is ten years older than her next sibling. This is an older sibling giving advice. The first lyrics you’ll hear on this album are: Little boy’s supposed to do what he’s told / Little girl’s supposed to polish her toes.” She attempts, and mostly succeeds, to write thought-provoking and inspiring lyrics.

Trixie Mattel is clearly a talented musician with a strong point of view. There at a lot of positives in the composition of these seven songs. Her ability to hear how important the layering of instruments and her vocals stands out across the entire album. Some of the songs are a little thin and repetitive, but sometimes a song with such a small amount of words works just fine.

There’s even a ballad – which y’all know are my favorites. “Red Side of the Moon” is a love song about an average person named Judy watching their darling from behind the spotlight. I originally thought Judy was picked as a name because ‘judy’ is slang in the queer world for a very good friend. However, Trixie picked it because “people are obsessed with the idea that Dolly Parton is a lesbian and in a relationship with her best friend Judy Ogle.” And while the queen doesn’t think that’s true, he wanted to pay homage to that.

As for the red side part of the lyrics? That “comes from when you sit behind a spotlight there is a white light that comes up, but at the back of the spotlight, there is this red ring. If you’re sitting behind the spotlight watching someone you love, you’re on the other side of the spotlight. The sadder side.”

The most single ready song would probably be “Moving Parts.” So call your local country/folk/alt station and demand it gets some airtime. Then please put this whole album in your constant rotation.

Watch Trixie Mattel perform a stripped down set over at Billboard.

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