Meghan Trainor created quite a storm with her single All About That Bass in 2014, with a viral video, hit record and plenty of copy cats following her. But can her full length album prove she’s not a one hit wonder?…
For a debut album, fifteen tracks seems fairly ambitious. At 45 minutes you’d have to assume it’s been produced with the regimented 3 minute pop single as the name of the game. All About That Bass is the first track on the album, after the (hopefully) ironically named The Best Part (Interlude), this song will be the main reason people by the album. It’s an undeniably catchy pop tune and, if you haven’t heard it yet, goes against the slim, beauty conventions of the day. It’s also enjoyed some controversy due to the lyrics being specifically anti-slim girls and obsessed to impressing the guys.
Dear Future Husband is the next track, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a continuation of the last; the verse patterns are almost identical, except the vocals are more upbeat. The chorus steps it up a little though, with some fun brass elements and again, it is genuinely catchy. What lets the sound down though is this 3:04 minute track doesn’t have the ingenuity to keep going without a key change and overuse of the chorus. It’s catchy, but it’s not that brilliant. The empowerment from the previous song is attempted but again some lines seem to undermine her general position even if she’s not aware of it: “…don’t forget the flowers every anniversary. ‘Cause if you’ll treat me right, I’ll be the perfect wife. Buying groceries, buy-buying what you need.’
Close Your Eyes and 3am both slow the album down and have a heavy use of church organs and keyboards respectively. The messages differ, with the former being a heartfelt rehash of Beautiful by Christina Aguilera and the latter being a hook up song when you’re drunk. Both are catchy enough and it’s obvious that Trainor is pushing an agenda within her songs that she’s determined to stick with.
It seems like all pop stars need an oddly named track to fill their album. Beyonce’s Surfboard, Nicki Minaj’s Trini Dem Girls, and my favourite Cheryl’s Sexy Den A Mutha. Trainor’s submission to this competition is Bang Dem Sticks. The track in question is an obvious contender for upbeat live song of the album and has a fast pace and some lyrics Trainor literally spits at you. A dance remix could do this better justice but the potential is there. Trainor also becomes more confident as a rapper here, exclaiming she’s M-Train, and for a pop song it kind of works.
Walkashame, Lips Are Movin, and the title track, confusingly named Title are three of the strongest tracks on the album and have all of the quintessential Trainor magic: brass, a bit of rapping, feisty female power and a catchy hook. Again, this isn’t going to blow the music world apart but the lyrics such as: “If you’re gonna do the walk, do it like a boss,” are a useful tool for the music industry, and something we rarely ever see.
What’s this? Orchestral strings on a Trainor track? What If I has certainly stirred up this album cut from the template of All About That Bass. What If I is a slow track you’d imagine the aforementioned Aguilera could do justice to. It’s heart felt, vocally demanding and far more stripped back and traditional than it’s siblings and an entirely different (and welcome) approach from the distinctive but rather repetitive sound Trainor has to offer elsewhere on the album.
Meghan Trainor has made an album that sounds truly different to every other popstar. Yes, her sound is extremely repetitive, but I’d much prefer to hear someone’s own sound than a copy. It’s not perfect, but fans of All About That Bass will find plenty to enjoy here. What’s more, the album is drenched in feminine ideology, and even when she gets it wrong, it acts as a positive step for female pop singers. Perhaps we’ll see a larger trend of this type from newcomers and even major pop players. We can only hope.
Author – Matt, Cardiff store