What happened to Meghan Trainor? That’s the first question everyone will have when listening to Thank You. Trainor is no longer the sunny quirky 50s-pop throwback of Title. Some time during the making of her latest album, her record label convinced her she should become a 1990s R&B/hip hop club girl with a little bit of 2000s Britney Spears for good measure. The result is a good album albeit a generic one that strips Trainor of her naturally bubbly personality. Girl’s frontin.’
At times, Thank You is extremely awkward (like the above phrase). It changes between being enjoyably bland and forgettable to bad, but catchy. The first song on the album, “Watch Me Do,” sounds like something Gwen Stefani would write during a misguided attempt to channel circa-2000 Britney Spears. “Me Too” ups the uncomfortableness with a chorus that borrows the cringeworthy Russian accent from Right Said Fred’s “I’m too Sexy” with none of the humor.
The next two songs on the album, “No” and “Better,” are pastiches of Britney Spears and Rihanna respectively. They aren’t terrible songs by any means. However, at this point in the album, it’s clear that someone needs to tell Meghan Trainor to stop embarrassing herself.
Of course, Trainor has no self-awareness and bursts into another song about how awesome she is. Then she decides to show off her pipes on “Kindly Calm Me Down.” Halfway through the album and we finally get to the hidden gem that is “Woman Up,” a song that would have been at home on Christina Aguilera’s Stripped had the song not placed so much emphasis on looking good. Then the album hits a lull with “Just a Friend to You” and “I Won’t Let You Down.” The former shows Trainor doesn’t need heavy production to sound good. The latter sounds like an above-average Disney song.
The next song, “Dance Like Yo Daddy,” is an ode to dancing awkwardly in public and a disposable pop song. You’ll love it for no good reason or hate it because it’s a disposable pop song with little redeeming value. The second best song on the record is the enjoyably catchy “Champagne Problems,” which is a vapid Katy Perry inspired pop song. Enjoy it because the last three songs are train wrecks.
“Mom” sounds like classic Trainor. It’s a sweet song dedicated to her mom, who is better than your mom just like how everything Meghan Trainor is more awesome than your life. This is only an acceptable thing to say when you’re 4, making an otherwise pleasing tune off-putting due to the lyrics.
“Friends” sounds like a song Miley Cyrus would write at 3 in the morning while high. In that context, it’s actually pretty good because that bar is set very low. Unfortunately, Trainor is trying too hard and it’s sad.
The closing track, “Thank You,” appropriately ends the album with a song that contains all of its eponymous albums turn-of-the-21st-century hip-hop vibes. As a whole, Thank You is a disappointing Meghan Trainor album, yet at the same time a satisfying throwback album to a different era than the one that made Trainor famous.
Rating: 6 out of 10