Released: January 2015
Looking back on the Summer of 2014, there’s one song that sticks in the memory. Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass quite literally flew into the charts, catapulting the young singer – who was only twenty at the time – into the public eye. Bass was the perfect summer track, a bubblegum pop song with a catchy retro feel and a candy-floss coloured video to match.
Listeners across the globe revelled in the dee-wop sound that Trainor revived from the likes of The Andrews Sisters, but the lyrics of the song caused controversy amongst those who didn’t take kindly to the singer’s ‘skinny-bashing’. In trying to win over the more voluptuous demographic, Trainor alienated the legion of naturally slim girls taking umbrage at being called “skinny bitches”. It’s not a phrase that instantly conjures the positive, body-acceptance vibe that Trainor was trying to muster up.
Shaking off that controversy, Trainor has now released her debut album, Title, and it’s a safe and formulaic set of tracks that are neither mind blowing nor boring. Album opener The Best Part might be a mere 24 second interlude but it’s a gorgeously nostalgic acapella number that flows from one harmony to another. It certainly wouldn’t be out of place in a movie like Pitch Perfect.
Unfortunately the rest of the album feels a much more manufactured affair. That’s not always a bad thing – as is the case with All About That Bass – but it wears thin after a while. For some tracks that poppy saccharine sound continues to work; Dear Future Husband’s title may be as corny as they come but the melody – which brings to mind Olly Murs’ Dance With Me Tonight – is an instant toe-tapper.
Like I’m Gonna Lose You is a more soulful number, with a bit of an Ariana Grande vibe going on. It’s undoubtedly aided by John Legend’s capable vocals but Trainor shouldn’t need to rely on the presence of a more experienced artist to lift her music higher.
Close Your Eyes, 3am and What If I are a drag to get through, only serving as a reminder of Trainor’s immaturity as an artist. The lyrics leave a lot to be desired, catering solely for the young fans who hopped on the bass train the first time around.
Trainor has found a formula for her music that works and she sticks to it, delivering track after track of sugary pop that is boosted by the singer’s sassy attitude. Sadly there’s just not enough variety to make Title an album that you want to listen to from start to finish for any lengthy period of time. There are glimmers of good doo-wop music in there but Meghan Trainor still has a long way to go if she intends to appeal to anyone other than the teenage Bieber-loving market.