Meghan Trainor’s ‘Title’: Review Revue

Bradley Stern | January 13, 2015 7:06 am
Meghan Trainor Talks Jason Derulo Collab
Last week, Meghan Trainor stopped by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to answer patients' questions.

Few artists got our lips (and hips) movin’ more last year than Meghan Trainor, who soared to superstardom nearly overnight thanks to her infectious debut, “All About That Bass.” And, not to be relegated to one hit wonder status, the singer just as quickly found another hit in “Lips Are Movin’,” which is still going strong on top of the charts.

Today (January 13), the singer has officially dropped her long awaited debut, Title, featuring her two hit singles. The question is: What do critics think about the rest of the record? Find out what’s on everyone’s lips after the jump.

:: Entertainment Weekly found plenty to love in Trainor’s debut set, giving the record an A= and the pop star herself a glowing appraisal: “Meghan Trainor once told EW that being famous is like being in high school. If that’s true, then let Taylor Swift and Katy Perry play the prom queens, because right now, no pop star is better than this 21-year-old singer, songwriter, and producer at playing the sassy best friend.”

:: Slant, on the other hand, remained entirely unconvinced about Trainor’s talent, giving the album 2 and a half out of 5 stars: “It’s unclear how Trainor’s otherwise retro shtick is sustainable, as evidenced by similar artists like Duffy seeing their careers quickly wane. After all, Trainor is no Amy Winehouse, lacking both that singer’s raw emotive talent and Back to Black‘s ability to infuse her period sound with a distinctly 21st-century sonic and lyrical sophistication. This blue-eyed soul is ultimately just pale.”

:: Rolling Stone found that Meghan carried her own, giving the album 3 out of 5 stars: “Doo-wop is Trainor’s thing, from the girl-group bounce of ‘Dear Future Husband’ to the finger-snapping balladry of ‘Like I’m Gonna Lose You,’ where John Legend plays Marvin to her Tammi. To her credit, Trainor – whose torch-y, tangy vocals can suggest a scrubbed-up Amy Winehouse – co-wrote every tune. Baby’s got her own back.”

:: Billboard found the LP to be a mixed bag, giving the album 3 out of 5 stars and taking issue with the oft-repeated messaging: “‘Close Your Eyes,’ like many 21st-century self-esteem anthems, reassures girls they don’t have to conform to be beautiful. ‘Dear Future Husband’ and ‘Title’ set out minimum standards for suitors. Meanwhile, ‘3 am’ and ‘Walkashame’ depict romantic missteps (drunken cellphone fails, a blotto one-night stand) with wry self-awareness. These may be messages Trainor’s fans want and need to hear, but they get repetitive, and the retro musical framing sometimes threatens to make her healthy-values emphasis seem dully quaint and cloying.

:: TIME was also dubious about Meghan’s message: “As music, the album is gloppy and saccharine, with Trainor’s voice sounding digitally sweetened to the point of near-incomprehensibility. And thematically, the songs that evince an attitude of goodness, including that ballad (‘Close Your Eyes’), are smarmily obsessed with male approval; the ones that show off Trainor’s ‘bad’ side are like a preteen’s idea of rebellion.”

:: The New York Daily News gave the album 3 out of 5 stars, lamenting the lack of vulnerability: “Trainor may be talented, with a large voice and a witty writing style, but over the course of the album she crosses the line from confident to smug. The fact that she often harmonizes with herself only emphasizes the image of self-containment. It’s nice that Trainor revived, and shaded, a classic style, but the original ’60s hits should have taught her that she can cry if she wants to without losing any of her strength.”

:: And finally, The Associated Press found that the formula grew tiresome quickly: “Jump to almost any track on Title and you’ll find a similar juxtaposition of cheeky lyrics stamped over malt shop-inspired production. Unfortunately, therein lies the problem: by album’s end, it seems Trainor and Title producer Kevin Kadish have beaten their brand of shooby-doo flavor to death.”

What did you think about the album? Let us know in the comments below.