May 16, 2016 Meghan Trainor – Thank You (Album Review)
Since her introduction to the music scene, Grammy Award-winning Artist Meghan Trainor has exuded confidence. Her combination of retro sounds mixed with modern feminist-tinged lyrics proved that she would not fit into any cookie-cutter mold that an industry so heavily reliant on image would persuade her to follow. On her second studio album, Thank You, released May 13, 2016, Trainor takes her confidence to the next level and expands as well as experiments with her sound, along with an updated look, to show she is not a one-trick pony.
There is almost a Lady Gaga or Beyonce vibe to Trainor’s sophomore effort, a girl-power anthem quality, or more specifically, a self-empowerment that permeates the album. She incorporates Soul, Funk, Hip-Hop, Doo-Wop, Dance, Reggae, and Pop sounds, showing her versatility and proving she has only scratched the surface of her talent. Red is a good color on Trainor. It seems like a natural transition as she elevates her sexiness and sass to a new level on Thank You.
The album opener, “Watch Me Do,” is all about getting your James Brown on. Trainor infuses the track with some ‘70s Funk, in a Bruno Mars fashion, and as she dismisses “haters.” The cheeky lyrics and slick groove of the tune are instantly infectious, making anyone want to bounce along to the beat. Giving Demi Lovato a run for her money, Trainor continues to exude confidence on the track “Me Too,” with the singer letting us all know, “If I was you, I’d wanna be me too.” The song, a fun and different sound for Trainor, brings with it a ‘90s club vibe to accompany her soulful vocals.
Trainor gives us a little Destiny’s Child with the album’s first single, “No,” a strong girl-power anthem that quickly elicits a ‘90s Pop feel. The song, with its staccato beats and “no fucks given” attitude, is catchy as hell. Her kinship to empowered women continues with “Better,” a Reggae-tinged track that is reminiscent of Rihanna. Here, Trainor, once again, sings of her self-worth in a more laid-back, softer style.
“Hopeless Romantic,” a sentimental and soulful ballad, strips things down with heartfelt lyrics, channeling the sounds of the past with contemporary Pop vocal stylings. Her knack for meshing retro and modern is further explored in the track “I Love Me.” With the help of Lunchmoney Lewis and strategic handclaps, Trainor gives us a fun, funky tune. Moving away, for a moment, from the brazen songs that make up the majority of Thank You, Trainor offers a beautiful piano ballad in “Kindly Calm Me Down.” The song allows the singer to show her vocal range as the song crescendos toward the end, but never quite delivers the emotional impact we want it to.
On “Woman Up,” Trainor changes the mood with an upbeat and catchy Dance track. Yet, with another girl-power themed anthem, the album seems to be oversaturated with the same message, and we start to wonder if some streamlining should have been applied. As soon as that thought comes to mind, Trainor gives us a simple song that includes strings, a ukulele, and sweet vocals in “Just A Friend To You.” She incorporates Caribbean rhythms in a refreshing way on the track “I Won’t Let You Down,” the upbeat nature of the melody coinciding with Trainor’s optimistic lyrics.
Perhaps no other song encompasses the Doo-Wop sound we fell in love with on Trainor’s debut album as much as “Dance Like Your Daddy.” Forget the hand jive, “Can you overbite, can you old-man overbite,” Trainor asks in this throwback tune. It is an addictive, dance-inducing track that fully entertains. Unfortunately, the song is followed by “Champagne Problems,” which feels out of place and unnecessary. The track has an Omi feel with its tropical Dance vibe, but falls short with redundant and silly lyrics.
Trainor’s final tracks are shout-outs to the people who have helped the singer gain the abundance of confidence she has been able to exude, which, in turn, has made her a success. Her mother, friends, and fans are all represented on the aptly titled tracks, “Mom,” “Friends,” and “Thank You.” It is a heartfelt way to end an album that shows Trainor’s strength in staying true to who she is and doing things her way. While not every track works, Trainor proves she has got a lot to offer. CrypticRock gives Thank You 3.5 out of 5 stars.