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Single Review: Meghan Trainor – ‘All About That Bass’

2 min read

It’s almost always abundantly clear whenever a song is deliberately striving to fulfil the ‘summer hit’ template. Unfortunately, ever since Robin Thicke splurged his Blurred Lines all over the charts last summer the goalposts have moved. All About That Bass, Meghan Trainor’s debut single features some fairly interesting shifts from the new paradigm (or ‘Thickeness’, as I shall insist on calling it to irritate people), but ultimately finds itself confused about what it wants to be. As such, the song is too different to be truly successful, but not interesting enough to be different.

Meghan Trainor - All About That BassAs you would expect from the title, the track is bass heavy, but here it is a swing bass motif, backed by sparse but effectively stabby guitar and piano lines that perfectly recall 1950s rock and roll. This is unimaginatively weaved around a hip-hop beat. Trainor’s voice follows the same pattern as the melody of the song itself, switching from gorgeously plaintive, to upbeat, to just downright annoying in the space of a few seconds.

The production seems focused on making the listener feel nostalgic and fresh at the same time. There are ‘doo-wop’ backing singers amongst the distorted snare, a sing-songy hip hop feel to the verses that give way to an irritatingly catchy refrain and a Blurred Lines referencing falsetto break in the beat. If this sounds bewildering it’s because it is. The song is confused in practice as well as in theory – the theme of the song revolves around Trainor expressing a refreshingly positive body attitude (‘I’m bringing booty back… every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top’). Regrettably, she then refers to woman collectively as ‘bitches’ and implies that the only reason to not lose weight is that guys find it sexy, which sort of undermines her point really.

It’s certainly not the worst song in the world, and the arrangement does seem progressive in places, but with a confused message and ethos the song doesn’t really hold up to more than two listens at most. Hardly a ‘summer hit’ then.