Look, I know this is not for me. Meghan Trainor did not make this album for people like me who did not like her previous work and would be viewing this through a critical lens. I almost did not bother writing a review for this, but I decided that I had enough to say here to make a decent enough review.
After listening to this, all I can say is this is probably on the same level of her debut Title. There is nothing as offensive as “Dear Future Husband” but there is also absolutely nothing that stands out as being above average on here. Once I heard the opening track “Watch Me Do,” I feared for the worst. If the lackluster production was not enough, the horrible lyrics were just too much to ignore. When your album starts off with “I’m the shhh, be quiet/I’ve been on a low-hater diet” you know what you are about to get. I just cannot take Meghan Trainor’s brand of bragging as it comes across as just cheap and insincere. In a time span of less than three minutes she is able to make me cringe with lyrics like “I ain’t saying I’m the besteses/But I got nice curves, nice breasteses” and “head spinning like an exorcist.” If you are going to reference a movie, at least make your reference accurate, simple stuff please.
This one song perfectly explains the problem I have with Trainor. She seems to want to use her music as a way to empower young girls to be confident with themselves and to not rely on a man to be happy. If these are truly her intentions, great, inspire people to be independent. I just get the feeling that Trainor does not know how to do this.
Just look at a song like “Me Too” where she is singing about how if she were you she would “want to be me too.” That is not self-empowering, that is arrogance. It is telling your listeners they are not as good as you and if you were even in their position all you would want would be to be yourself. It is not even like your average person can put themselves in the song since she talks about all the gold and money she has. On a side note, that beat is an atrocious excuse for a “Gangnam Style” clone.
After this we get “Better” where Trainor continues to explore how great she is, letting us know she was in a bad relationship and now the guy deserves to be alone and she deserves better. If the relationship was truly that bad, I would understand why she would feel this way, but she offers no insight into the relationship itself and just assumes we are on her side. Then we get a terrible verse from Yo Gotti where he just lets her know that he will not be friends with her friends or try and act like her fake friend because he just hates friends.
Even LunchMoney Lewis, who I like, is not able to save “I Love Me.” On the bare surface, you can see this as a generic self-empowering anthem but then once you look a little deeper it just comes across as another shallow statement from Trainor. She says that her haters are just jealous because of her fame, but she is happy the way she is, money and all. I do not even understand how her fans can appreciate it when she straight up tells them “I love all y’all but I love me the most” just letting them know who this music really is for.
Even a song like “NO” which you can make a stronger argument is directed towards other people, still frames the narrative from her perspective and is just common sense. When a guy you do not like asks you to dance, say no. Except she takes it a step further to insult any guy who has the nerve to step up and talk to her. Even “Woman Up” does not send a particularly positive message, as her idea of “womaning up” is putting on heels, makeup, lipstick, essentially hiding yourself to look good. So instead of loving themselves, she tells people to have fun by hiding who they really are.
And after all this we get to songs like “Hopeless Romantic” where Trainor ditches all this confidence and wonders why the man she likes will not call her and make the first move. Well considering how you felt about the guys approaching you on “NO” I cannot also feel you bad for you when you are not taking the initiative to talk to this guy. The messages really do begin to get mixed here. The same goes for “Just a Friend to You” which on top of ripping off Twenty One Pilot’s style of ukulele playing, also shows a lack of communication between Trainor and the man in question. She loves him but he does not want to show her affection in public, meaning he probably does not feel the same way. Instead of clearly talking to him, we get the feeling Trainor is just letting this happen which is just not an empowering way to handle this.
The last two songs on here are just the final nails in the coffin. “Dance Like Yo Daddy” will get on your nerves quickly. I do not get what Trainor thinks is sexy or appealing about dancing like your daddy, which she describes as doing a shoulder roll and an “old man overbite.” Very attractive. The only good thing here is she challenges the listener to “try not to dance too much” and I won since I sat completely still while listening to this. Then we get “Champagne Problems,” not related to the Nick Jonas song, which is an ode to white people problems, like having an Uber that is late, having bad Wi-Fi, etc. I do not know if this is supposed to be played as funny but it does not work at all.
At best, songs like “Kindly Calm Me Down” and “I Won’t Let You Down” are inoffensive but on most records would serve as forgettable filler, not highlights. I wish I could enjoy at least a little but there is nothing here for me and I get mad that this is what is going to be on the charts all month. When the most praise I can give an album is that it goes by quickly, you know something is wrong. Even if you truly believe this sends positive messages, which I can assure you it does not, you still have artists like Beyoncé who do empowerment so much more effectively. There is no need for this and the title of this album and the lead single work together to state my feelings about this perfectly. No, Thank You.
Best Tracks: Kindly Calm Me Down, I Won’t Let You Down
Worst Tracks (I have to pick more than one): Watch Me Do, Me Too, NO, Woman Up