‘All About That Bass’ is the song heard around the world.
It has scored dozens of Top Ten positions across the globe, and made Meghan Trainor all but a household name. If one where to compare her to a modern day contemporary, she’s the new Carly Rae Jepsen — a promising starlet whose viral and global hit single, brimming with sugary bubblegum pop, made them the media darling of the month.
However, Trainor clearly intends on making the most of her platform, releasing fun follow-up single ‘Lips Are Movin” and her new album, Title, effectively striking while the musical iron is still very hot indeed.
To its credit, Title (sharing its name with an earlier EP), is a fairly well-judged collection of pop songs that dip into other influences, most notably the 60s-evoking, doo-wop and gospel sound that made the careers of artists such as The Supremes and The Crystals.
Meghan’s blend of mixing 60s pop with some of the more modern R&B and rap influences that are common in the Top 40 is admirable — in ‘No Good For You’, Megan advises girls to avoid a cruising playboy she has prior experience with, and in the catchy ‘Title’ (ironically, the title track — good one, Trainor), she employs one of her own raps, which, while far from the standard of auteurs such as Nicki Minaj, are pleasant and harmless enough.
Trainor’s strengths however, lie in her embrace of the nostalgia-thrown pop sound she has built for herself — ‘Dear Future Husband’ is made all the more charming by its ’60s-brass-infused-pop which evokes The Crystals at their most endearing — and in her knack for writing a solid pop song. ‘Bang Dem Sticks’ is full of effervescent bounce, ‘Walkashame’, a vibrant sex-positivity anthem is fun as hell, and bonus track ‘Mr Almost’ is a surprisingly catchy break-up tune.
Several of the tracks fall to the trap of attempting to slow the vibe of the album down too much — ‘Close Your Eyes’ is probably the best ballad of the bunch, managing to be slow and evocative balladry without slipping too much into saccharine schmaltz, although others fail at this. Album closer ‘Credit’ also deserves praise for finely straddling the line between bittersweet and maudlin, giving the largely upbeat album a positive if downplayed way to end.
By and large, Title is a worthy effort for Trainor as she tries to make her mark and niche in the global pop stage. She’s certainly not up their with her bigger contemporaries – not yet anyway. She might not get the viral smash hit of a song like ‘All About That Bass’ again, but to count her out as a one-hit wonder is far from accurate, and we suspect she has something bigger even planned for the future.