Meghan Trainor – Title
By far the biggest music trend of 2014 was the “booty”. Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, J Lo and Iggy Azalea all released songs and videos praising the power of prominent posteriors, but it was Meghan Trainor’s ode to curvy girl appeal All About That Bass that eclipsed them all. The single propelled the 20-year-old Trainor up the charts past those diva heavyweights to land the number one spot in 58 countries. This week’s release of her full-length debut album Title is Trainor’s bid to sustain that momentum into 2015 and beyond.
There’s much to enjoy about the bouncy energy of Title, if it’s accepted on its own terms of what it is and isn’t. Trainor isn’t trying to break new ground here: she is perfectly happy to till fertile soil, and it works. Even though the dominant musical style throughout the album borrows unapologetically from 50s pop, her material avoids sounding reductive because the parallels are so clearly intentional. The 24-second a cappella opener The Best Part establishes this intent for the listener up front. It’s the earnestness in this approach that makes much of the album fun to listen to.
Trainor’s strength is more in her songwriting than her singing; her voice has a nasal twang that can get growly in her lower register. While she’s a capable vocalist, her talent for crafting catchy hooks and clever lyrics is better developed. In Dear Future Husband she fully embraces the role of cheeky chanteuse over a doo-wop chorus as she runs down her list of “rules” for keeping her happy (“I’ll be sleeping on the left side of the bed…open doors for me and you might get some…kisses!”). The sentiment may be saccharine on the surface, but the delivery is all “wink and nod”, so it goes down easy. The chestnuts of shaky young adult wisdom served up in each track are a bit harder to swallow. Trainor’s POV toggles between themes of insecurity (Close Your Eyes, 3am) and assertive independence (Lips Are Movin, Walkashame) – sometimes in the same track, as in Title.
Despite some weaknesses, the wins outweigh the misses on this album, which is about the best a debut artist can ask for. If Trainor can translate her authenticity to a larger audience, she may find herself digging her kitten heels into a long career.
Title was released on 13th January 2015, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Lips Are Movin here: