Meghan Trainor was a pleasant surprise in 2015. Her debut album “Title” received an 8 out of 10 rating right here at GeeSteelio.com also (and probably more importantly…) she was the recipient of a Grammy award and two Billboard Awards. “Title” had four top twenty singles including her smash hit “All About That Bass,” and she was popping up everywhere on television.
Trainor and her team have decided to strike while the iron is still hot and put together the “Thank You” project.
The appeal of “Title” was the fun tempo and production headed by Kevin Kadish who gave Trainor a modern day doo-wop feel that was successful and in my opinion – needed for today’s music industry.
Trainor’s production was mostly handled by Ricky Reed, who has worked with pop stars such as Pitbull, Jason DeRulo and Robin Thicke. Reed’s skill set varies from Kadish’s in that, it’s very bass-drum-minded and much more like today’s “general” pop sound. This is evident on tracks like “Woman Up” which has a Beyoncé kind of feel to it, except our girl M-Train is definitely no Beyoncé. She handles the track well though, sounding soulful over a funk guitar riff during the verses and handles the Caribbean-like-transition on the bridge.
It’s a catchy enough song and easy listen that can work if marketed correctly.
“Better” is a track that works with Trainor’s skill set as well. Her pen went to work on this one:
“Finally blew up in my face/Crash and burnt to pieces/You got what you want from me/I gave you what you needed/I was warned but fooled by charm/And you deserve to be alone.” She flexes perfectly on that fine line of every breakup where you’re hurt but know you have to move on with your life. Yo Gotti makes an appearance on this song, for some odd reason, and it was just awkward and didn’t work.
If not for Gotti, this is was another song that could’ve worked perfectly for Trainor.
There are some points where Meghan Trainor’s quirkiness, which was a strong point in her campaign last year – kind of works against her and just comes off as corny. On “Me Too” her flow sounds like a track Britney Spears put on the back burner years ago and aside from a cool dub-step like break before the second verse, this song comes off as “trying too hard” or just flat our annoying. But nothing is more annoying than “NO” which sounds like a cheap Destiny’s Child song.
Her verses aren’t terrible but the breaks and chorus are just unoriginal and lazy:
“My name is NO, my sign is NO/my number is NO, you need to let it go, you need to let it go, Need to let it go/ Nah to the ah to the no, no, no.”
This album is more of a copycat album than anything else – which is further proven by the Pharrell sounding “I Love Me.” This is a song that probably would’ve worked if Pharrell himself was on it, but LunchMoney Lewis must’ve been all that the budget on this album could afford so it comes off like a total jack-move. . .
The last three tracks make the ending to the “Thank You” album one of the sappiest and cheesiest endings to an album you’ll ever hear.
“Mom,” “Friends” and “Thank You” are the epitome of song-writing 101 and we’ve come to expect more from Trainor (yes, already.) “Mom” is heartfelt and you can feel the love for her mother but with lyrics like “You might have a mom, she might be the bomb/But ain’t nobody got a mom like mine/Her love’s ’til the end, she’s my best friend.” Calm down there, M-Train. . . “Friends” is terrible as one would assume as she tells the listener that “No one is gonna love me like they do.”
When “Title” producer Kevin Kadish finally makes an appearance on the album it’s a luke-warm reception. He definitely brings the production that was missed on the “Thank You” project and it is more likened to the sound that made Meghan famous on the “Title” album. But with a title to a song like “Dance Like Yo Daddy” one isn’t going to expect (nor receive) Mozart. . .
“Kindly Calm Me Down” is the song that could potentially save this album’s campaign from being a complete disaster. The echoing piano track accompanied later by the rolling drums and impressively aggressive snare work well with Trainor’s vulnerability:
When my heart’s not pure/Would you kill my disease?/And when there’s no cure
You are just what I need/When I lose my mind/Would you still remind me?/When I’m feeling lost/Would you come and find me?”
This is the best she has ever sounded vocally, and she really attacks the beat at the end with emotionally charged intent.
All in all, this album should’ve never happened. It seems like a rushed project, that there was no need for. There are a lot of unoriginal sounds, melodies and ideas that just don’t flow together well for a complete sound on “Thank You.” If the folks at Epic for some stupid reason DO NOT release “Kindly Calm Me Down” as a single – this album will be a huge disappointment for an artist that saw such a meteoric rise just a year ago.
I’m still in Meghan’s corner, but better decisions have to be made in her future regarding music.
Rating 4.5 out of 10