Meghan Trainor’s ‘Thank You’: Album Review

The summer of 2014 belonged to Meghan Trainor. When “All About That Bass” arrived at the start of the season, it added a much-needed dimension to pop music: girl power, body image acceptance, self-love. These were all timely and relevant concepts that Trainor managed to infuse into one tiny, gargantuan single, and later her entire debut album Title in 2015. As Trainor delivers her follow-up project Thank You today (), can lightning strike twice? Perhaps.

In the 18 or so months in between Trainor’s first album and her second, so much has changed in pop music. Artists are jumping back on the self-love bandwagon that she helped repopularize, so while Thank You‘s first single “No” is dynamic in its ability to convey that sarcastically sweet “I don’t give a fuckness” that Trainor has been known for, it feels wedged in between a slew of other songs that serve up attitude from arguably more prominent artists. Still, Thank You brings other dimensions to Trainor’s brand that can carry her the way that bass did.

The opener “Watch Me Do” places Trainor in a female Bruno Mars outfit, using her strong vocals to bring cheeky quips like “I’ve been on a low-hater diet” while offering up sounds that are a cross between The Pointer Sisters‘ “Jump (For My Love)” and Christina Aguilera‘s part on “Lady Marmalade.” It’s kitschy, yet a comfortable fit for Trainor, who carries those qualities into most of the album’s tracks like “I Love Me” and the Doo-wop tinged “Dance Like Yo Daddy.”

Meanwhile, songs like “I Won’t Let You Down” and “Hopeless Romantic” are a slight departure from that upbeat, finger-snappy vibe, still leaning on the singer’s knack for infallible melodies while simultaneously channeling days past. Then of course there’s an ill-fitting Yo Gotti cameo on “Better,” which will get Gotti more pop cred than Trainor street cred in the long haul.

Meghan Trainor is one artist who is certainly aware of her strengths, so any diversion from that can qualify as an automatic weakness. Sure, there are moments where the project canoes into cornier waters, but that’s been Trainor’s thing since day one: gum-snapping sarcasm mixed with great singing. And yes, we have Ariana Grande for that as well, but there’s room for Meghan Trainor, too. It doesn’t sound like solely her domain anymore, but it still sounds good.

Score: 3.5/5

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