fri 23/08/2019

CD: Meghan Trainor - Thank You | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Meghan Trainor - Thank You

CD: Meghan Trainor - Thank You

Second album from "All About That Bass" hit-maker moves things up a notch

Consciously giving it sass rather than girl-next-door

When US singer Meghan Trainor broke through a couple of years back with the massive hit “All About That Bass”, it seemed a clear-cut case of a woman’s response to lollipop-headed, bulimic mainstream media images of her sex. No argument, right? But no, a backlash quickly arrived, saying that Trainor was anti-feminist and the song was “skinny-shaming”. What a load of bollocks. In a culture where women are consistently, ruinously, continually portrayed as pneumatic bikini babes, or with the bodies of adolescent boys, Trainor was a breath of fresh air.

She still is, and Thank You’s standout statement track is “No”, wherein pesky guys who harass women, coming on too strong, are told where to get off via a grinding, chewy electro-lite groove. Will we now have message boards full of wounded wooing gentlemen protesting their case, calling Trainor out? Let’s hope not.

The other good news is she’s moved on from her retro doo-wop style and, with the help of ubiquitous US pop don Ricky Reed, gathered together 12 tracks, at least half of which have memorable snap. That’s a good ratio for a contemporary mainstream pop album. Now 22 years old, Trainor has embraced sassy dance-pop, stylistically midway between Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” and Britney Spears’s greatest hits. It’s no bad place to be.

The opening “Watch Me Do”, wherein Trainor “feels so good, like James Brown in his day”, is inarguably funky as hell, followed directly by the loping, looping bassline groove of “Me Too”, and then on into “No”. It’s a 24-carat start, then there’s also a return to the doo-wop tweeness of yore, including a dash of stadium empowerment and high school-friendly balladry. In fact, a song in the latter vein, the ukulele’n’strings paean to unacknowledged love, “Just a Friend to You”, has real melancholic sweetness. In any case, she’s soon back to the likes of the brilliantly bouncy, bluesy duet “I Love Me”, featuring hip hop MC LunchMoney Lewis. Trainor’s girl-next-door charm is often laid on candy-cute, but on Thank You she demonstrates real dance-pop agility. Some of these songs will be moving feet for a good while to come.

Trainor has embraced sassy dance-pop, midway between Mark Ronson’s 'Uptown Funk' and Britney Spears's greatest hits

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

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