Thursday, January 8, 2015

Title | Meghan Trainor


★★★★☆

Meghan Trainor, the fresh-faced overnight sensation who came out of left field last summer, is gearing up for a 2015 that was just as busy as her 2014 as she preps the release of her major-label debut studio album, Title. It comes after Trainor's two breakthrough singles and an extended play that was discontinued after this album absorbed the four songs that were on it. The extended play (which somehow shared the same name as this new release) gave us a strong taste of Trainor's infusion of modern pop and 1950s-era doo-wop, but this full-length set also gives us sparks and flares of contemporary singer-songwriter styles, R&B, and light rap. Meghan Trainor had a lot to prove on this album to be seen as more than '2014's Carly Rae Jepsen,' and she may have used enough quirky charm to do just that.

Innocent songwriting and running vocal harmonies are Trainor's specialty. Title's variety of offerings orbit around the teenage fantasy of a perfect husband ("Dear Future Husband," "Title"), cheating and lying boyfriends ("Lips Are Movin'"), accidental one-night stands ("Walkashame"), and M. Train's attraction towards drummers ("Bang Dem Sticks"). Lyrically, she's sufficiently cute with her own set of romantic idiosyncrasies, but her musicality keeps listeners interested for the whole album. While many pop artists save the extensive backing vocals to add depth to choruses, almost every track on this record features simple yet effective harmonies in both verses and choruses to stay true to her doo-wop tendencies. Even the double Grammy-nominated "All About That Bass," as simplistic as people want to make it out to be, hides more aural goodies than an average pop song.

With Title, Trainor effortlessly throws listeners back to the 1950s with her bouncy tracks led by hand claps, jazzy brass blows, and heavy booms of drums while she manages to simultaneously appeal to a modern audience by toying with raps and sexing up some lyrics. (Just imagine the music of Grease being replaced with "Title," though. It would actually fit quite well.) While some are still angry with some of the lyrics of "That Bass" and continually slam her popularity, many listeners have learned to accept Trainor for what she is: a pop singer. She writes primarily to make catchy music, not to promote social justice or to offend others. Whether she's singing smooth doo-wops over a ukulele stem or playfully rapping over some strong drum beats, Meghan Trainor has proved that she does deserve the Title of a starry-eyed chanteuse.

Title will be released January 13, 2015 under Epic Records.

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