Dislikes: Dance Like Your Daddy, Mom
Overall: Cutesy, but Trainor's unconvincing as a 2016 pop-diva
Meghan Trainor shot for multifarious pop for her second album, Thank You, presumably to demonstrate flexibility and avoid being typecast as the millennium doo-wop girl, but she wound up making her face just another in the crowd and relinquished any trademark quality she had before. If the lyrics aren't fatuous (ex. "I ain't saying I'm the besteses, but I got nice curves, nice breasteses") and nursery-rhymed (ex. "You might have a mom, she might be the bomb"), they're extremely corny and cliché passages straight from the bible of girl-power anthems. This causes Trainor to sound stock and unconvincing as she poorly imitates late 90's-early 2000's pop/R&B (was "No" a Destiny's Child reject or nah?) and 2016 popstress; Caribbean notes (ex. "Better), dance specks (ex. "Champagne Problems,"), rap features and all. "Champagne" takes home the "Most Ludicrous" award. I thought it was going to be like Kelly Rowland's "Turn it Up:" up-tempo, but surprisingly solemn in nature. Here I was, figuring Trainor would be singing about the hardships that drive people to drink, and she's complaining about a crappy internet signal and her iPhone dying. More like first-world, my-life-is-totally-manageable problems. Unless of course...that was her point. If so, it wasn't rendered well. Of the tracks with a modern tone, the orchestral-pop "Kindly Calm Me Down" feels the most natural (it also the best-written song on the album). "Hopeless Romantic" is the least campy, daft and useless of the songs that have her freshman style (which includes "Dance Like Yo' Daddy"), but it may be too similar to the single "Like I'm Gonna' Lose You" (with John Legend) for some. Between the sound switch, image change (tight, shiny fabrics, sharper heels and big hair) and writer/producer additions (it went from Trainor and Kevin Kadish, to everyone else), one could posit that record-label interference is at work here. No matter what's at the root of these modifications, if it aint' broke, don't fix it; especially if you seemed more unique and sincere in the beginning. Artists can try different things--it's necessary for growth--but it's pertinent that it's their take on a variety, and not an impersonation. Some of the cuts are catchy and cute, but not enough to gloss over the ineffectuality. I'm sorry, but no thank you. I respectfully decline.