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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 23, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Review: Doo-wop and pop collide in Trainor’s new album

"Title"

Meghan Trainor

Nearly seven months after the release of her chart-topping hit “All About That Bass,” pop artist Meghan Trainor issued her debut album, “Title.” Contradictory lyrics and musical styles ranging from 1950s doo-wop to modern rap make Trainor’s record a confusing, albeit catchy, jumble.

“All About That Bass” was the first single off of “Title,” and it is the second track on the album. After its June 30, 2014, release, the song instantly became a hit thanks to its upbeat, catchy tune and ’50s throwback vibe. When it first debuted, “All About That Bass” was touted as a girl-empowering, body positive anthem. However, after taking a closer listen, audiences took to social media and called the song out for being degrading, anti-feminist and body-shaming because of lyrics such as, “boys like a little more booty to hold at night,” and, “go ahead and tell them skinny b—–s that.”

This issue of contradictory lyrics is a common thread throughout the record. Songs such as “Close Your Eyes” and “Lips are Movin” can definitely be considered tracks that promote self-confidence and independence for women. Unfortunately, most of the other songs aren’t nearly as empowering. Instead, they sexualize women and focus on pleasing men, like in the song “Dear Future Husband” when Trainor sings “’Cause if you’ll treat me right, I’ll be the perfect wife, buying groceries, buying what you need.”

Trainor’s lyrics aren’t the only confusing aspect of “Title.” Her musical styles switch multiple times throughout the album and sometimes even within songs. Though it is clear that Trainor primarily performs songs with a retro style, some of the tunes take on a modern, mainstream pop sound, and a few tracks, such as “Bang dem Sticks” and “Mr. Almost,” even feature Trainor rapping. The album would have been a more enjoyable listening experience had Trainor stuck with a single musical theme.

However, that is not to say that the music on “Title” isn’t catchy. Many of the songs on the album, such as “3 am” and “Lips are Movin,” radiate bouncy, positive vibes. Even though a few of the bubblegum-pop tunes are sure to get stuck in listeners’ heads, anyone who listens to the album in its entirety will be sure to walk away frustrated by the inconsistency of the lyrics and musicality.