Music Review: Meghan Trainor - "Thank You"

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The most difficult thing about listening to Meghan Trainor's new album four times is figuring out which track humanity will use to exterminate the martians in the sequel to Mars Attacks!

You read that correctly: four full spins. It doesn't take that long to get the gist, but we left no stone unturned. The listening session was kind of like Into The Wild: a fearless journey of endurance and self-discovery. Except, sadly, I did not die at the end.

Miss Trainor's angle is rooted in female empowerment, from having a positive body image to encouraging independence among jilted teenage lovers. Her message has captured a large enough market that it's a big deal when she appears on Ellen.

The resulting work, however noble, is a toxic mix of songs ranging from "Men...who needs 'em?" to "Yeah, girl!" and the less-frequent "Fine. Boys are okay sometimes."

This is not an exaggeration. There are literally three categories of Meghan Trainor songs. I made a diagram.

God help us all if she hits that sweet spot in the middle.

“Watch Me Do”

Meghan's "low-hater diet," clearly intended to be a Thing, raises more questions than it answers. What's her threshold for haters? Why not eliminate them entirely? If it's a diet, surely one day it will end. Do she plan on going back to a full serving of haters after like, six weeks?

Also of note: references to a phrase made popular by Rich Homie Quan and comparisons to James Brown.

“Me Too”

If this song sounds familiar, it's because there's a good chance the beat was ripped straight from a Kidz Bop: Pitbull's Greatest Hits!!! album. If that's not it, then it's probably from a dressing room montage in a movie where all the girls are getting ready for the big bachelorette party.

"NO"

Let's set the scene: You and your male pals are having a casual night out. You notice a beautiful woman across the room. Confident, relaxed, radiant. You mention her to your friends, and they encourage you to overcome your nervousness and talk to her. After all, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

You: Hi there, my name is Steve. I was wondering--
Meghan Trainor: NO.
You: Oh, I, uh...I don't mean to bother you, I just...
Meghan Trainor: NO.
You: ...was wondering your name.
Meghan Trainor: My name? It's NO.
You: I assure you, I'm not running game.
Meghan Trainor: NO.
You: Okay, I get it. I was just taken aback by your beauty, and--
Meghan Trainor: I'm actually in my zone right now, so NO.
You: I'm very sorry, I'll be on my way. Have a nice night.
Meghan Trainor: (Licks lips, swings hips) NO NO NO.

This situation is number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Better" ft. Yo Gotti

Three songs into the album, one begins to wonder if Miss Trainor's standards are simply too high. If the venerable Yo Gotti isn't good enough, what shot do any of us have?

Speaking of Yo, his verse sounds like a bunch of lines she would have roundly rejected in the previous song.

"Hopeless Romantic"

Tough to find your soulmate when every potential suitor is turned away before their opener. Just my take.

“I Love Me” ft. LunchMoney Lewis

This is actually a fun song and features this guy, who seems fun. Expect to hear it on a Pepsi ad where a dude in a bow tie is skipping around clinking glass bottles with strangers on the street.

"Kindly Calm Me Down"

Do you like your be-my-shelter-in-the-storm ballads to have a light dusting of Evanescence? Pull up a chair.

"Woman Up"

Featured lyric: "This one's for all my girls / My girls who woman up, woman up / All my girls raise your hand"

The WNBA marketing department would probably balk at using this song for playoff promos. Too much girl power for the general public.

"Just A Friend To You"

Major bummer song whose mood can't be saved, even by a ukulele. 

"I Won't Let You Down"

This is fine. I guess I'm just more of a Natasha Beddingfield guy.

"Dance Like Your Daddy"

Situations during which this song will be played:

"Champagne Problems"

Champagne is apparently the solution for Miss Trainor's many First World problems. A more practical approach? Plug in your phone, wear shoes that fit, and reset your wifi. Also: Uber is never late.

"Mom" ft. Kelli Trainor

Mom song power rankings:
1) Boyz II Men
2) Tupac Shakur
3) Kanye West
...
NR) This song.

Grease diner pop returns for this track about moms, "featuring" Meghan's actual mother (potentially the first person ever to be named "Kelli") in the most cringe-worthy recorded conversation since the release of Making a Murderer.

"Friends"

Any maid of honor worth her salt will have this playing in the background of the bachelorette party e-vite/memories slideshow email. (Two birds, one stone type of deal.)

"Thank You" ft. R. City

Until recently, I was under the impression R. City was the eldest son of R. Kelly. Turns out it's actually a duo from the Virgin Islands. Though I suppose that doesn't preclude them from also being the spawn of Kells. |ES|