In 2014, an extremely catchy throwback to the doo-wop days called “All About That Bass” came out. The track was so refreshing when I first heard it. I remember seeing Meghan Trainor in the pastel-filled music video with some simple choreography and a message for women to embrace every inch of their body and be confident. Not only did I hear the meaning behind Trainor’s playful lyrics, the extremely catchy song spread like wildfire when it hit the radio topping national charts from over 50 countries internationally. Even though Trainor is only 22 (20 when “All About That Bass” came out) and new to being on the performing side of the music biz, her ability to craft songs that will sway what’s popular in music, makes her an artist to watch. On January 13th, 2015 Meghan Trainor released her debut album Title to the world, and if you weren’t all about that bass, I have a feeling one of the many potential singles on this record made you a fan (or as Megan likes to call her fans, “Megatrons”).
Meghan Trainor gets things started singing a Capella, using her voice in the background and harmonies. “Intro/The Best Part” is a great teaser for what’s to come as Trainor sings, “But the best part of being a singer at all / is singing to the world my songs,” which leads to her biggest single to date “All About That Bass”. There’s not much to say about the body-empowering anthem that most haven’t already said since it came out last year. I went from loving it, to being slightly annoyed when I couldn’t avoid hearing it everywhere, and finally accepting the pop tune as a big moment of 2014 that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. “Dear Future Husband,” a track that can be heard on Trainor’s Title EP, is still one of my favorite records from her. The production sounds like it came straight out of a soda parlor in the 50s with some playful quips to give it a modern twist. The infectious track reminds me of when Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” was huge. Hearing lines like, “I never learned to cook, but I can write a hook,” tells me that Trainor knows the brilliance of a great pop record. People tend to dislike pop music, but those people usually take it too seriously – enjoy the simplicity.
Slowing things down a little bit, Trainor is aiming to swoon you on “Close Your Eyes.” The chorus is a definite highlight of the track: “So I want you to close your eyes / sing to the world tonight / and show them what’s beautiful.” Between this track and the honest “3am” that plays like the regrettable call you make to your ex on those nights where you had too much to drink and need to get some things off your chest, I’m already hooked and in my feelings. I love the simplicity of “Close Your Eyes” and “3am” because the lyrics speak volumes and there doesn’t need to be a ton of production to make these tracks emotional.
“Like I’m Gonna Lose You” is next and this track surprised me because of who is featured on it. I wasn’t looking at the track listing when playing Title, so when I heard John Legend’s soulful pipes, it was a collaboration I never knew I wanted to hear. With artists like Sam Smith, K. Michelle and Hozier dominating the radio with authentic, soulful records, I really hope “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” gets the single treatment. Trainor has an amazing voice and that might not be obvious if you’re only aware of the singles released so far.
By the middle of Title Trainor is tired of confessing her feelings and wants a moment to turn up. “Bang Dem Sticks” hits a lot harder than “All About That Bass,” and Trainor is really flexing her rap muscles on this one. The track reminds me of Karmin and while it’s not anything new, “Bang Dem Sticks” is a fun record to add to your party playlist. Trainor even calls herself “M-Train” to solidify her rap persona; I’m always on board for hearing some bars from Megan. The next track “Walkashame” is exactly what the title suggests – a bouncy record about doing the walk of shame with absolutely no shame. I swear, Trainor’s songwriting skills keep a track like this from sounding generic and I’m always eager to see how she is going to tell her next story.
The title track is a combination of pop and Caribbean music with some memorable lines like, “If it ain’t no thang / I won’t be hanging around / but don’t blow up my shit at 3 am saying / how you need me now.” From the feisty lyrics to the lively beat, I’m digging the track. As the standard version of Title comes to a close, Trainor gives us a track perfect for slow dancing with that special someone. “What If I” gives me Melanie Fiona vibes, an underrated artist who also had a 60s Motown influence on her debut album The Bridge (definitely give it a listen if you’re not familiar). Trainor’s second single “Lips Are Movin‘” closes Title and I like that the standard version ends on an upbeat note. Out of all the tracks on the album, “Lips Are Movin’” has to be the weakest record, but it fits the throwback vibe that can be found on each track.
If you decided to spend a few more dollars for the deluxe version of the album, four songs were waiting for you. The four tracks are solid and should be heard if you’re a fan of Trainor or liked most of Title. “Mr. Almost” has a clever feel to it with Trainor singing about a guy that could’ve been the one and features a verse from Shy Carter (Fun Fact: Carter attended the college I’m currently attending, Grand Valley State University). “My Selfish Heart” is my favorite bonus track out of the four. Trainor’s voice is borderline addictive on this one and I already want to play it on a loop. The final track “Credit” is a fun listen as well, not a track I would go back to after a while. I won’t lie, the rap on the bridge is pretty dope though.
Meghan Trainor’s debut album Title in a few words is honest, catchy, amazing and refreshing. I’m calling it now, the nay-sayers who think Trainor is a one-hit wonder will have a change of heart if they give Title a chance. When artists this young can create music so reflective of who they are and represent or empower the masses, then you know they’re here to say. I don’t see Trainor’s career going anywhere but up from here.