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Meghan Trainor is Confident, Powerful, Sassy on “Title;” EP Review

Meghan Trainor’s blockbuster single “All About That Bass” possesses something surprisingly–and sadly–lacking from the overwhelming majority of self-empowerment speeches and compositions: power.

While most who communicate messages of empowerment, tolerance and self-respect are content to aimlessly hope, feebly wonder or passively suggest, Trainor is willing to confidently declare. She is happy, powerful, desirable and “perfect” because, not in spite, of who she is and how she looks.

She is not nervously asking male suitors to overlook the fact that she “ain’t no size two.” She is openly embracing it, and she knows that the right guy will do the same.

By personally attaching herself to the message, Trainor projects a resonant honesty. She is not offering a patronizing, hollow call for acceptance but providing a personal, vivid demonstration of the fact that one can cherish one’s deviation from the societal standard. Those who are listening, regardless of whether they are better defined by “bass” or “treble,” can be all about themselves.

That compelling and refreshing honesty enabled “All About That Bass” to burst through the ceiling that houses many an ’empowerment’ tune. It turned “Bass” into a legitimate anthem and established itself as a smash hit.

It, more importantly, serves to communicate Trainor’s unique personality and lyrical style. Instead of adapting to fit a song with an obviously appealing and commercially viable message, Trainor communicates a relatable sentiment through her own voice and with her own attitude. It assures that listeners will identify Trainor as a singer-songwriter who, among other things, is “all about that bass” rather than the “All About That Bass” girl who will eventually have to sing about other things.

It also allows her new, four-song EP “Title” to emerge as a cohesive, revelatory introduction to a sassy, confident artist with respect for the sounds of the past but also with a keen sense of contemporary sentiment.

Although jumpstarted by “All About That Bass” from a commercial standpoint, “Title” makes it clear that Meghan Trainor began and continues her songwriting journey as Meghan Trainor. Carefully crafted yet admirably organic, each of the four songs communicates the same basic theme: she is who she is, she is proud of who she is, and settling for a muted version of herself is not an option.

On “All About That Bass,” she opts not to wallow in self-pity over the fact that isn’t a ‘stick figure, silicone, Barbie doll’ but to brag about having all the right junk in all the right places. On “Title,” she opts not to accept a secondary position as a man’s booty call but to demand a starring role as his exclusive girlfriend. On “Dear Future Husband,” she opts not to desperately please her future lover but to require his contribution to the happy marriage. And on “Close Your Eyes,” she opts not to succumb to societal judgment but to declare herself beautiful independent of superficiality.

While the lattermost track drifts slightly into the realm of the cliched, the collective effort reflects an unforgettable, undeniable boldness rarely seen in this type of pop. Trainor does not hide in the comfort of the innocuous; she shines in the light of her own perfect, occasionally polarizing imperfection. What she demands might seem brash or irreverent, but it also reflects her refusal to compromise and inability to be cast aside. If one is interested in Meghan Trainor, he better be prepared for the real, unadulterated Meghan Trainor.

The attitude and confidence that drive her lyrics also help formulate her musical style. While her contemporary-soul vocal affectations and throwback grooves are nothing inherently groundbreaking, her unpredictable navigation of rhythm and melody is absolutely unique. No prisoner to the terms of any individual genre, Trainor will seamlessly shift between vintage pop, doo-wop, Soca, Motown soul, contemporary R&B and even country to craft her sound.

At any given moment in any of the four songs, one could likely trace Trainor’s sound to a specific musical inspiration. But one simply cannot reduce the totality of her effort to any singular predecessor.

The true value of Trainor’s style, however, does not come from its distance from anything else in the market. It comes from its suitability for Trainor’s personality and lyrical themes. Unlike throwback efforts that sell on the basis of being throwback efforts, Trainor’s sound always serves to underscore her message.

Faithful to herself and to the musical styles she is reintroducing, Trainor’s “Title” proves that an artist can have a gimmick without being gimmicky.

The EP is not perfect. “Close Your Eyes,” however beautiful, could benefit from lyrics of the same strength and assertiveness of the other three. “Title,” however addictive, suffers from slight melodic disjointedness in the chorus.

Little, stunning vocal patches throughout the EP, meanwhile, reveal that Trainor can do even more than is allowed by the composition on “Title.” While the savvy Trainor never allows herself to become needlessly affected or overly restrained, she should definitely seek opportunities to better spotlight her tonal purity and vocal strength on the forthcoming full-length.

Still, when one considers that Trainor managed to follow-up the breakout “All About That Bass” with three songs that are similarly assertive, catchy, sassy and endearing, one cannot deem “Title” anything other than a success.

And one cannot deem Meghan Trainor anything other than a singer-songwriter to watch.

Featuring “All About That Bass,” “Title,” “Dear Future Husband” and “Close Your Eyes,” Meghan Trainor’s four-song EP is now available on iTunes.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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