As debut albums go, Meghan Trainor’s album Title is a confident and commanding first release, that displays a variety of talents indicating that Trainor could create a piece of work that will be amazing. Unfortunately, that piece of work is not this debut album, which although has moments of quality, suffers from many problems and I doubt will be a memorable release this year.
Following on from the sass that appears to have defined Trainor through ‘All About That Bass’ and ‘Lips Are Movin‘, this tends to come and go throughout the album, creating a contrast between this and a more vulnerable side that is displayed in tracks such as ‘Like I’m Gonna Lose You’. This makes the album interesting to listen to, and it feels as though we are getting some insight into her personal life. This is a brave move by Trainor in her debut album, as for a new artist, it must be questioned exactly how many people would care about her life story, as she is only just coming into the public consciousness. Fortunately, love and heartbreak is a common theme in music, and surely will not do any harm to the album’s sales.
The biggest problem facing this album however, is the overproduction and use of autotune. Trainor’s vocals are not bad, and in many songs, such as ‘3am’, these are shown. This makes it disappointing that some tracks rely on auto tuning her voice, creating sounds that are clearly unnatural and are a disservice to her and the great songs that are on the album. Songs such as ‘Bang Dem Sticks’ could be dramatically improved simply by reducing the amount of extra work they have had done. That is not to say that they need to be completely stripped back, as some of the production on Title is great, with the lead single ‘All About That Bass’ showing that there is the capability of mixing vocals and production well.
Another problem that Title is that the many genres Trainor uses are mixed and confused, and as a result, not many songs stand out or are particularly memorable. It is clear that Trainor has been influenced by many different genres, for these all come through; Doo Wop, Pop, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Country are all featured in one way or another in the album. Unfortunately, this creates something of a confused sound for the album as whole, and shows an area where Trainor needs to be grow as an artist so that she can master this tricky interweaving of genres on an album.
The album is certainly not bad though, and some tracks stand out because they are simply great. In particular, ‘Dear Future Husband’ and ‘What If I’ . These tracks demonstrate all the potential that Trainor has, and shows that she can easily transfer from an upbeat pop song (which actually is almost identical to Olly Murs’ ‘Dance With Me Tonight’), to a melodic ballad, and still create outstanding music. However, whilst these songs do stand out, it means that most of her other tracks simply fade from memory.
Overall Title is a confident debut, that is certainly worth a listen. If you listen expecting something entirely original and edgy, then this is not the album for you, however, do not let that put you off. Mixing some great tracks with terribly catchy lyrics and common themes results in an album that is enjoyable and easy to listen to. Despite some problems with production and autotuning, this is a solid and generally confident debut.
Title will be released on January 26th in the UK, via Epic records.
Despite some problems with production and autotuning, this is a solid and generally confident debut.