Perhaps there are some albums that you should listen to with a black and white backdrop. I mean full throwback mode going to the big hair, diner shakes, and roller skates. Meghan Trainor‘s debut album Title is more of a tribute of those times where doo wop and three and four part harmonies ruled the AM airwaves. It’s an album that shows her vocal ability under styles of music that came out more than twenty years before she was born. It serves as a tribute to that time period and also seems like a personal victory lap for Trainor’s journey to be a pop star. While during the recording of this record, Trainor expressed that she was going for an “anthem-y” feel, it’s where some of the album can lose its muster.
Let’s address the elephant in the room right now. The Grammy nominated “All About That Bass” is an infectious, bass driven song that served for people to be fine with whatever body type they are. “Close Your Eyes” is along the same lyrical lines of venturing out for what you desire because when you close your eyes, it doesn’t matter what you look like. There’s a weird slight of hand because while you have that message, you have songs like “Walkashame” that describes a wild night when you have too many. Title is an album that carries a good message, but also teeters the line of not taking itself too seriously with fun, upbeat tracks like “3 AM”. One might get confused of the mixed messages.
There is a tip of the hat to the slight of hand lyrical style in some songs. In “Dear Future Husband”, which is a ragtime jam of wishes for that lucky guy. “Open some doors for me and you might get some…kisses”. Also, in “Bang Dem Sticks” in the heavily percussive groove, those with minds that linger can get the iteration. “I like it when it’s big/”double stroke”. You get a sense of real fun on this album. There are serious points with “Like I’m Going To Lose You”, a duet with John Legend that plays like the ballad during those old time school dances.
I think that together with the epic sound that Trainor was going for mixed with the influences that she wanted to bring was very liberating to her given the opposition she faced upcoming in her early career. Title seems like a celebration at the finish line, but sometimes seemed a little too similar. It was a reach to make every song some massive and it could benefit from some pacing. There is definitely talent here – I just feel that there needs to be a little bit more structure to tweak it in the right direction. You can only gain those things with experience. Title, although a bit too neatly tied together, is a fun listen that hints at further potential.