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Meghan Trainor: Thank You

Meghan Trainor: Thank You

Trainor doesn’t ignore what the world says about her.

Meghan Trainor: Thank You

2.5 / 5

I’m the shhh…/ Be quiet/ I’ve been on a low-hater diet.

Meghan Trainor starts Thank You with these provocative words. She acknowledges that her debut record Title spurred controversy with its antiquated lyrics. “All About That Bass” had its share of body-shaming issues, while “Dear Future Husband” positioned Trainor as a housewife who admired her duties. It hadn’t helped her case that she poked fun at eating disorders. Those who were angry about her anti-feminist ideals had every right to be. Those aren’t necessarily the haters she sings about.

It would be petty for Trainor to mock the feminists she now sides with. When she mocks haters, she talks about those jealous of the fame she’s received. Thank You thus becomes the album to shrug off the negative opinions targeting her. Trainor knows that people make fun of her name and her weight. The record allows Trainor to put a spin on these remarks, making them comedic and self-aware in tone. When she sings about not being able to touch her toes on “Dance Like Yo Daddy,” she welcomes listeners to laugh with her, not at her. The musician isn’t mean-spirited, yet she isn’t complex either.

Structure is an issue within Thank You, despite its catchy beats. While it’s normal to have a verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus format in pop, there’s nothing dynamic to catch listeners off guard. Trainor’s vocal textures lose their impact with each following track, making them deadened and non-genuine (“Champagne Problems,” “Kindly Calm Me Down,” “I Won’t Let You Down”). However, her choice of instrumentation shows that she’s capable of infusing some variety. “Just a Friend to You” utilizes a violin to enhance its feelings of sadness. While brass smothers “Woman Up,” it works perfectly on the Macklemore-inspired “Dance Like Yo Daddy.” What distracts listeners from a constant structure is Trainor’s vocals.

Despite her tame pseudo-rap, she is able to create a catchy hook that overshadows verses. “Nuh/ To the uh/To the no, no, no” is said with a finger-wag to harassers and misogynists. Though Jezebel won’t get behind her – they think that she’s only hitching onto feminism – there are those who will change their minds with “No,” the best case of her explosiveness in action. “Woman Up” and “Me Too” also showcase her pop abilities. The former takes on a fierce, ready to fight sound, while the latter’s bass wants to groove.

The weakest songs on Thank You are those without ferocity. “Better” (featuring Yo Gotti) reflects on relationships without going into why one deserves better. The beach tones soak the track in a languor more typical of a Selena Gomez ballad. Instead of reflecting on DMs and Snapchats like he’s most comfortable with (“Down In the DM”), Yo Gotti doesn’t bring his A-game. His uninspired lyrics leave a bad taste. “Hopeless Romantic” dully reflects on why life isn’t like how it is in the movies. It has nothing that isn’t found on Katy Perry’s “Like the Movies” or Taylor Swift’s “If This Was a Movie.”

Trainor has a charm that separates herself from other artists. “I Love Me” (with LunchMoney Lewis) does sound like the long-lost twin of Pharell Williams’ “Happy.” However, the former is a much better song. It knows when to stop and how to be flexible with its vocals. LunchMoney Lewis and Trainor really do have chemistry, showing that Trainor does much better when she’s fast, self-loving and fierce.

Thank You is more than a thank you to fans. It shows that Trainor doesn’t ignore what the world says about her. They said she was anti-feminist, so she wanted to show how that’s not true. It’s redemption that she wants; it’s something she’ll have to keep proving, even when her tracks seldom break thresholds of interest. But that’s her charm: she’s a fighter willing to prove to the world that she’s not only a one-hit wonder.

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