Give Credit Where It's Due

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I haven't been this smitten with a debut album this quickly since I first got my hands on Taylor Swift's self-titled debut album back in 2007. Not to compare this artist to Swift, but I definitely do not want to listen to anything other than Meghan Trainor's Title for a really long time. Maybe until her sophomore album breaks.

Ultimately, for a piece of art as good as this one, if I listen to it from beginning to end without skipping any songs, that is a pretty good sign. From the very beginning, Trainor's album sparks attention. Title's preface is a little acapella ditty that introduces Trainor and generally feels good in your ears. It’s sweet, knowing she is just breaking through in the music industry and breaking conventions of typical pop stars and typical sound, that she expresses that “the best part of being a singer at all / is singing to the world [her] songs” (The Best Part (Interlude)). 

Following her introduction comes a superfluity of fun, optimistic pop songs with a mixture of all the right ingredients. Trainor's harmonies and stylized vocals are stunning and melt right into your ears. Her songs make you smile in all the right moments; as a 21-year-old (and graduate of the Class of 2012...just like me!!! Hey girl!!), Trainor sings about all the perils and triumphs of being in your early twenties. As she stated in an interview, Trainor notes that these years in your life are awkward. We aren't quite adults, but we definitely aren't teenagers anymore. Finally there is an album for this exact moment in my life and I love that I can relate to it. 

Musical ingredients include clear and interesting influences. Songs like Bang Dem Sticks and Mr. Almost showcase Caribbean flair with synthesized horns and drum beats. Trainor has an uncle from Trinidad, and is apparently quite influenced by Soca and heavy-beat Caribbean music. The bouncy 1950’s doo-wop featured on tracks like the chart darling All About That Bass and my personal favorite Credit show a sophistication of musical influences and makes Trainor kind of a grown-up Andrews sister and a toned-down Amy Winehouse. Seen as a negative from some reviewers, I think Trainor’s 50’s influences on top of the reggae on top of her sassy rap verses make her sound one-of-a-kind and coincide with the artistry behind the lyrics. Take Credit, for example, the shah-do-bah-do-bah’s and rhythm take you on a journey and paint the picture that she sings about: seeing an ex with a new girl and he’s looking good because you told him to cut his hair like that, etc. Speaking of, the lyrics are modern and relevant: a bookmark in this year's culture and slang. Trainor talks like a millennial using social media speak such as “I’m all about that …” (All About That Bass) and “someone take away my phone” (3AM) and “he used to be whack” (Credit). But beyond the relatable lyrics to my generation, Trainor just has a way with words. Close Your Eyes (which according to Trainor, was the hardest to write) is lyrically smooth and gets the love-yourself-message across artistically. 

(Everybody’s born to be different / and that’s the one thing that makes us the same . . . awwwwwww) Like I’m Gonna Lose You is another lyrical gem where Trainor, accompanied by John Legend, fuses powerful melodies to lyrics like “we’ll never know when we’ll run out of time / so I’m gonna love you like I’m gonna lose you.” Beautiful.

And what makes Trainor’s lyrics all the more beautiful and poignant is the fact that she wrote or co-wrote each song on her album. And this right here, ladies and gentlemen, is the key to a fantastic album: personal relation and creation of music makes it all the more meaningful and relevant to the listener, because you are no longer connecting to a series of notes, you are connecting to a person. 

Becuase I wouldn't be a good marketer if I didn't briefly mention her social media creds, Trainor has a fun Twitter and Instagram that I've been stalking perusing and staying up-to-date with her tour and chart successes. She also has a public Snapchat you can follow and send her Snaps (full disclosure: I am her Snapchat friend.), which is interesting considering Snapchat just released new content features and reportedly wants to get musicians on board. Finally, in one of my favorite promo schemes and just great artistry, Trainor covered a variety of songs for different press tours and radio visits in her own bouncy style, accompanying herself on her ukulele. My personal favorite is her cover of 5 Seconds of Summer's Don't Stop (below), but I also love her Shake It Off and Stay With Me covers.

I can't wait to see what Trainor does next, but until then, Meghan Trainor, know you have a giant new fan. Also, if you feel like bringing your Bass Tour to Atlanta, I would be very happy. Consider it?! 

{currently listening to}

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  1. I love Megan Trainor too! She's just the cutest. Although I haven't had the chance to listen to all of her album yet, I bought her EP and had it on repeat for weeks! I'll have to get it now.