Lately, it’s hard to flip through the radio without hearing Meghan Trainor’s sweet and soulful pipes — and for good reason. The 21-year-old Nantucket native is Epic Records’ latest breakout pop star as she’s catching eyes and ears with her retro-pop style and her colourful music videos.
She’s been nominated for AMAs, EMAs, Grammys and performed with some of the best in the business. She dropped Title EP to critical and commercial success in 2014,announced the dates for her “That Bass” North American tour—which includes three Canadian dates—and is set to release her full length album (also called Title) as well as the deluxe version on Tuesday.
She may be all about that bass but let’s see if I’m all about her album:
The Best Part (Interlude)
The interlude is the perfect introduction to the album’s retro-pop feel. It’s a 25-second taste of Meghan’s vocal chops, and she ends it with the perfect lyrics: “But the best part of being a singer at all, is singing to the world my songs.”
All About That Bass
We all know this song; it’s the one that catapulted Meghan to the top of the charts and onto our iPods. There was no escaping this anthem, and for good reasons. The unique drumming rhythms and retro-infused sound make this song one of the most innovative we’ve heard from pop stars in recent years. Not to mention the body-positive messages because, after all, “every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.”
Dear Future Husband
I’m obsessed with the opening to this song. It sounds like it’s being played from an old record player, but then it quickly switches gears to a faster, up-tempo beat that’s perfect for the dance floor, or your bedroom with your best friends. The song is cute, and stays with the 50s and 60s-esque vibes we’ve heard so far. Lyrically it feels very old fashioned, much like the melody itself. But I give props to Meghan for knowing how she wants her man to treat her.
Close Your Eyes
With only an acoustic guitar in the background, it’s nice to have Meghan’s voice as the focus. The violins come in and it adds to the sweetness of the melody. I’m not sure I like the male voice that goes “that was beautiful” after the chorus. I would’ve preferred to hear only Meghan’s but it’s still a sweet ballad and a welcomed break from the up-tempo tracks. And once again I have to applaud her for the self-positive lyrics. This song is simple and beautiful; it doesn’t need any bells and whistles.
This song is a slight departure from the retro-vibes the other songs have given off. It still has a touch of vintage, but this time there’s more of an R&B influence. Meghan understands how to write relatable lyrics. This song is about wanting to call a guy late at night, because she can’t get him out of her head. And I can’t get enough of the sound of the phone being dialed towards the end of the song.
Like I’m Gonna Lose You (feat. John Legend)
This song reminds me of Ariana Grande’s “Tattoed Heart,” which, in my book, is definitely a compliment. Here, Meghan’s soft vocals keep the song delicate and romantic and the R&B influence is easy to hear. This song also has some of my favourite lyrics from the entire album: “We’ll never know it, when we run out of time. So I’m gonna love you like I’m gonna lose you.” What I didn’t expect was the beautiful vocals of John Legend — that surprise appearance catapulted this song to radio-single status and makes this the only vocal collaboration on the entire album.
Bang Dem Sticks
This is one of my favourite tracks, hands down. It opens with beautiful trumpets and Meghan’s voice is punchy and sassy. Her rapping is full of attitude and the lyrics are too much fun. Simply put, this song deserves to be on full volume. Perfect for your party playlists.
This song opens right away with bounce. Even though the retro-aspects are present in all her songs, they never blend together. “Walkashame” is a fun song about doing a walk of shame…with no shame. And there’s even another rap from Meghan. It’s all about the sass with this track.
The album’s “title” track, literally, is within the Meghan Trainor wheelhouse and offers some fun lyrics about wanting the right kind of commitment from a certain guy. The chorus is the catchiest part of the song, and again there’s a rap from Meghan just before the last chorus. It’s not my favourite track but it’s nothing short of cute and catchy.
Meghan gets extra points for knowing how to craft a beautiful vintage-inspired ballad. Vocally she shines, going back and forth between delicate and powerful. The song is dreamy and sultry. Her ballads seem to be the shining stars of the album so far.
Lips Are Movin
You’ve probably heard this song more than a few times on the radio. While it doesn’t hold the same oomph as “All About The Bass,” it’s not dismissible and fits with the theme of the record. It works well as an upbeat end to the album.
No Good For You
Now we’ve moved onto the deluxe tracks. “No Good For You” opens with a light guitar strum, but the best part comes after each chorus, with the stop-and-go rhythm with the trumpets.
Mr. Almost (Feat. Shy Carter)
We’ve all belted out those songs about the guy that could’ve been the one. This song is easy to dance to, much like the others on Title, and the finger-snapping and clapping throughout the song keep it light and bouncy. I can’t get enough of how perfectly “you were so close my Mr. Almost” fits into the melody. The track also features a rap from Shy Carter. If only Meghan added in her own rhymes.
My Selfish Heart
I’m obsessed with the vocal “shoos” that introduce this bonus track but that might be the only part of the song I will obsess over. It’s a decently cute song but I can’t seem to pinpoint anything particular memorable about this one. Meghan’s vocals are good and the song’s chorus has a touch of bounce. Meghan’s rapping takes it up a notch, but the song still manages to fall shy of frontrunners like “Close Your Eyes” and “Bang Dem Sticks.”
The last song off the deluxe album is only okay. “Credit” is a fine song, but it seems to fall into the “listen a few times and then forget” box. We’ve already heard that this girl can step it up. The tempo is breezy and sweet, but I can’t say it’s going to be stuck in my head anytime soon.
Verdict: 3.5 basses out of 5 (but no trebles)
There’s no way you can call Meghan Trainor “untalented” or a “one-hit wonder.” This girl is a breath of fresh air when it comes to pop music. Title brings retro flavours and mixes in a bit of rap and R&B to create a little bit of spice to go with the sugar. She exudes confidence and boss-status in her lyrics. Clearly Meghan has promise and has already proven she has what it takes to have longevity in the music business. While a few of the songs didn’t reach their full potential, I’m eager to see where her career and her sound go from here.
I’m all about the bass. I’m all about Meghan Trainor.