Meghan Trainor Finds Her Groove On ‘Thank You’
Everyone needs to give Meghan Trainor a break. You can try to knock her down, but she won’t back down…especially when you divert your attention to her solid sophomore album ‘Thank You’.
Sophomore albums are notoriously hard to make. After an era filled with three top tens (one #1 single) and a GRAMMY for Best New Artist, the pressure on Meghan to deliver with her new record must have felt like the weight of the world. Luckily, the now red-headed beauty didn’t buckle and give in. Instead, she found her sound and honed in on her strengths to deliver what could do down as one of the most fun pop albums of 2016.
On ‘Title’, Meghan was sort forced to run with the sound of ‘All About That Bass’. There was very little wiggle room to detach form the #1 winning formula. Instead of giving everyone what they’ve already heard, Meghan ditches the doo-wop flare for something more authentic – an urban pop sound that takes elements from the 50s, 2000s, and today to give her something she can finally stand on confidently.
And really that’s what it all comes back to, confidence. A great deal, if not, all of ‘Thank You’ is devoted to empowering Meghan’s fans with the self-esteem they need to love and appreciate themselves.
Meghan released a great deal of promo singles before the record, but we promise you everything sounds better in sequence. Kicking things off with her new sound, the first four tracks come at you like a bat out of hell. The bass is thumping and the horns are blaring on ‘Watch Me Do’, Meghan keeps her tongue in her cheek on the dance-heavy ‘Me Too’, she stands strong on the lead single ‘No’, and reflects for a moment on the tropical-tinged ‘Better’. You couldn’t ask for a better way to set the tone for a record.
Elsewhere on the record, the R&B influences keep flowing but fail to miss the hot streak of the album’s opening sequence. The heavy-on-the-handclaps ‘I Love Me’ and the Cupid Shuffle rip-off ‘Dance Like Yo’ Daddy’ serve us corny with a side of extra cheese. For those that have their guns locked and loaded on Meghan, avoid these tracks at all times.
Still, there’s plenty of other moments on this album that set a foundation for something that could be great further down the road.
Being a girl’s girl, Meghan salutes the idea of squads with the reggae influenced ‘Woman Up’ (which by the way packs the album’s strongest pre-chorus) and soars to new heights on sunny and bouncy ‘Won’t Let You Down’ (we dare you to get that hook out of you head – pure pop ear candy).
Throughout the record, she plays up her fondness for the ukulele and inadvertently rounds out a trilogy to ‘Like I’m Gonna Lose You’ with sweet ballads like ‘Hopeless Romantic’ and ‘Just A Friend’. She even experiments with a tropical house sound on ‘Champagne Problems’ – a song that (while terribly cheesy at times and dating itself with Uber references) could be a future hit from this record.
But what happens to be the most defining moment on ‘Thank You’ is the One Republic-esque piano ballad ‘Calm You Down’. It’s very different from what you’re used to hearing from the girl who calls herself M-Train. It’s strong, it’s vulnerable, and really provides a future for her sound. Being cutesy won’t last forever – if she takes the chance and really creates more songs like this one, she should have no problem having a last career as an artist.
Meghan Trainor isn’t all that bad. Genre-defining? No. Leading force in pop music? Hardly. But she’s here to stay! What ‘Thank You’ does is present Meghan Trainor as an official pop star. At all times is it authentic? It’s hard to say. The sounds coming from this record seem like they were effortlessly crafted in the studio. But the image…we’ll have to get back to you on that one. What can you do about it? You can either hop on the M-Train Express or get off the track. When you toss away your snobbery and your preconceived notions and accept ‘Thank You’ for what it is, you’ll be bopping along to it like the rest of us.
Download ‘Thank You’ on iTunes.