At only 20 years of age, American pop songstress, Meghan Trainor, has taken the world by storm with Title, her first EP since being signed to Epic Records at the beginning of the year. Trainor exploded into the public consciousness with the success of single, All About That Bass, which reached #1 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and also topped charts in Australia, Canada, Denmark and New Zealand. Almost instantaneously gaining a passionate fan-base and with extensive radio play of the single, the release of this EP has been highly-anticipated.
The EP opens with the unmistakably catchy pop single, All About That Bass. Written alongside Grammy nominated producer, Kevin Kadish, this tune immediately demonstrates Trainor’s distinctive, slightly nasal vocals, which have been compared to the likes of Amy Winehouse. Though this flattering comparison isn’t quite justified on the EP, Trainor does have a powerful voice with a strong range and, carried on the back of a simple, yet very effective bass-line, this track proves difficult to ignore.
On top of being one of the catchiest tunes of the year, All About That Bass, has been applauded for its empowering body positivity. Megan Trainor aimed to build confidence in her audience, reminding us that it’s ok to not be a “stick figure silicone Barbie doll,” but while the intentions are clearly good, her lyrics occasionally miss the mark.
One line that stands out as problematic, and has been the centre of controversy says: “Go ahead and tell them skinny b******s that, no I’m just playing. I know you think you’re fat, but I’m here to tell you every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.” Trainor’s main argument here is that every woman, regardless of her size, has doubts about her weight and doesn’t know how beautiful she is. While this is clearly a positive statement, the derogatory language makes it very easy to confuse the meaning of her lyrics to a point where they could be misinterpreted as intolerance of thin women. There’s little point in creating a song to uplift one group of people, if it tears down another, and while this most likely wasn’t Meghan’s intention, the lyrics often come across this way.
Nevertheless, All About That Bass has earned its success, having all the makings of a successful pop song and, whether you like the song or not, is sure to get stuck in your head for days.
The EP’s second track, Title, boasts a ukulele and twinkly piano combo that is unapologetically upbeat. This tune isn’t the best display of her voice and after the first minute it begins to wear the nerves a little, but two minutes in the song takes an unexpected turn and Meghan begins rapping. Surprisingly, her voice is well suited to the rap and it makes the overall tune far easier to digest.
The next song follows down a similar path – ridiculously cheerful, with a simple beat, horn section and sing-along vocals and problematic lyrics. Titled Dear Future Husband, the whole premise for the song, with lines like: “If you treat me right, I’ll be the perfect wife, buying groceries, buying what you need,” seems dated.
Thankfully the final track, Close Your Eyes, gives a reprise from the incessantly upbeat, quirky pop of the previous songs. Far slower and stripped back, it relies almost entirely on the strength of her vocals. Far more mature in delivery, Close Your Eyes gives an insight perhaps into what we can expect from Meghan Trainor in the future
While her music is certainly not to everyone’s taste, there’s no denying that Meghan Trainor knows how to write a catchy hit and has the voice to carry it. It will be interesting to see which direction the young singer heads from this point on.