Review Summary: All about that hook, no substance.
Meghan Trainor rose to fame as the Carly Rae Jepsen of 2014, with her smash-hit “All About That Bass” rising to #1 in 58 different countries – if you haven’t heard it by now, you’ve been living under a rock. Unlike Carly, however, what Meghan managed to do was follow up, as her sophomore single “Lips Are Movin” achieved a commendable level of success as well. Because I somewhat enjoyed those two singles, as well as “Dear Future Husband”, which was included on her late-2014 Title EP
, I decided to check out this album. This was despite my fears that all songs would have the same doo-wop meets bubblegum-pop sound, because, let’s face it, those three songs I mentioned sound pretty similar. And hey, the album is cute, but didn’t do much to quell those initial doubts I had.
First off, I have to commend Meghan for her songwriting ability, and she shares credit for all 11 songs on the album’s standard edition. She clearly knows the sound she’s trying to achieve and has a knack for melody – the chorus of “Close Your Eyes” evokes the best moments of Ariana Grande’s 2013 debut Yours Truly
, an album I greatly enjoyed. Of course, Trainor is a weaker vocalist, but she plays to her strengths and never stretches her voice, sounding sweet and affable on the simple but super-catchy “3am” and playing off John Legend nicely on centrepiece ballad “Like I’m Gonna Lose You”.
However, there are some glaring negatives present on Title
. “Bang Dem Sticks” is truly atrocious, both sonically and in subject matter – and the less said about Meghan’s attempts at rapping, the better. It also raises the general issue of the album’s lyrics. Trainor has been accused of being anti-feminist, and rightfully so – “All About That Bass” promotes the idea that it doesn’t matter how women look as long as boys like them, and on “Title” she sends the message that women should aspire to be trophy-wife types, existing solely to be shown off by men. Meghan admitted to Billboard that she’s not a feminist, but this album proves she’s no lyricist either. Fortunately for her, that’s not necessarily the most important thing on a mainstream pop album in 2015. Also luckily, at 32 minutes, Title
is short enough to not be too bogged down by its same-sounding vibe. It’s all about that hook, no substance – forgettable fun.