Saturday, September 27, 2014

Smart, But Way Too Short, Meghan Trainor’s Title Succeeds For What It Is!

The Good: Some great lyrics, Musically fun
The Bad: Very short, Erratic, Mixed quality on the vocals/production
The Basics: More than just an impressive single, Title makes Meghan Trainor into a household name . . . and makes us wish for more!

While on my recent vacation, I had a chance to listen to new music on the radio. While I came home eager to find the new album by a Canadian artist whose work has not quite broken here in the States, the other piece of music that truly moved me on my trip was the (now) #1 single from Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass.” Learning about a hit single after it has already reached number one is very much like arriving to the party late, but after buying Meghan Trainor’s EP Title, I’m convinced that “All About The Bass” will not be the only hit off the album.

Title is an unfortunately short album that illustrates that Meghan Trainor is a talented singer-songwriter who is near the start of a very promising career. Title is the third album by Trainor and it is fun and clever in a way that I have not heard since Merril Bainbridge’s The Garden (reviewed here!). Unfortunately, the duration and lighter quality of Trainor’s EP make it a bit harder to recommend. Title has decent social messages and a narrative voice of female empowerment, but there is something of a feeling of diminishing returns after the single “Title;” the two singles that follow drop drastically in quality compared to “All About The Bass” and “Title.”

With only four songs clocking out at 12:45, Title is very much a collaborative work between Meghan Trainor and Kevin Kadish. Trainor and Kadish co-wrote all of the songs and co-executive produced Title. Trainor provides all of the lead vocals on Title and a few instrumental aspects on the album (claps, ukulele, and drum programming on two of the songs), while Kadish provides the other instrumental programming. The four tracks are enough to establish that Trainor and Kadish have something to say and a pretty solid method of musically delivering their message.

On “All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor rails against the unhealthy body image portrayed in the media by celebrating the joys of being a curvy woman. Like a do-wop version of “Baby Got Back” from a woman’s perspective, Trainor celebrates the joys of being a curvy woman. She makes wonderful transitions from the confrontational to the empowered when she sings “I’m bringing booty back / Go ‘head and tell them skinny bitches 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 . . . . You know I won’t be no stick figure, silicone Barbie doll / So if that’s what you’re into, then go ‘head and move along” (“All About That Bass”). The song is fun, catchy, and smarter than virtually any pop song in the last half-decade!

“All About That Bass” is followed by “Title” on the EP. “Title” is such a wonderful song that it is shocking that with the release of Title, it was not the second single released from the short album. Like “All About That Bass,” “Title” has a message of female empowerment and an enthusiastic, catchy, tune. Putting her boyfriend on notice, the female protagonist of “Title” demands, “Baby, don’t call me a friend / If I hear that word again / You might never get a chance to see me naked in your bed / And I know girls ain’t hard to find / But if you think you wanna try / Then consider this an invitation to kiss my ass goodbye.” The song is as strong as “All About The Bass” and has a very universal appeal to women who are tired of being strung-along as second tier date material and it’s about time there was an anthem for those women!

Surprisingly, the second single off Title is “Dear Future Husband.” “Dear Future Husband” is like a second take on “Title” where the female protagonist is talking to her prospective husband about what she wants out of her marriage. The song is not as catchy as the prior two singles, but it is a decent pop song that continues the quality of voice on the prior two tracks, without having quite the bouncy or compelling tune.

The final song on Title is “Close Your Eyes.” “Close Your Eyes” is an entirely forgettable pop ballad. Trainor sings high and slower with a very basic ballad that closes the album in a very mediocre way.

The result is that Title is well-written, sung in a fun manner and a decent collection of pop songs that are enough to make Meghan Trainor a household name, but it is not enough to make us want to play over and over and over again and have a prized place on the shelf; we are left wanting more.

For other newer works, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Shine On - Sarah McLachlan
Lights Out - Ingrid Michaelson
Louder - Lea Michele


For other movie reviews, please check out my Film Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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