Track Review: Victoria Monét, “Coastin'”

Earlier this year, Victoria Monét treated us to the excellent standalone single “F.U.C.K.” Now, fresh off her first win at the Bulletin Awards (Songwriter of the Year), the new mother has granted us the first proper taste of the second part of her Jaguar project. Produced by The Stereotypes (“That’s What I Like”; “24K Magic”) and written by Victoria herself, “Coastin'” falls right in line with the singer-songwriter’s refined brand of luscious R&B that sits somewhere between flirtatious and lustful.

Built around a sample of Keni Burke’s 1981 hit “Risin’ to the Top,” Victoria uses “Coastin'” to transport her, and us, to the West Coast. From the chunky bass guitar to the lush synths, “Coastin'” screams California. Her signature wordplay peeks out in the first verse with lines like “Tell me baby, baby, what’s your sign? / ‘Cause you’re astronomically fine,” and her sensuality anchors the track with a welcome bluntness: “Baby, all I can do is think of the ways I wanna give you this ass.” Jaguar primarily drew from funk and disco to soundtrack explicit odes to the power and allure of sex. “Coastin’,” however, signals a shift to a looser and breezier sound. In fact, Victoria plays on the song’s title from a lyrical and vocal standpoint. In the chorus she sings, “Feel like a Thursday how I’m throwin’ it back/I’ma make it go North, South, East, West coast.” Obviously, the lyrical play here is Vic throwing it back on all four coasts. Vocally, on the other hand, Victoria’s approach to this song is decidedly laid back. She isn’t going for lusty whispers like on the hook of “F.U.C.K.” or particularly elongated notes like on the chorus of “Jaguar.” Instead, she literally coasts over the excellent instrumental which includes drums, bass, and an excellent trumpet solo courtesy of Kyla Moscovich. Above all, the best part of “Coastin'” is the sublime vocal layering on the pre-chorus; in that moment Victoria is her own instrument.

“Coastin'” is yet another addition to Victoria’s hot streak of tracks from the Jaguar universe.

Score: 73

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