Treat Yourself To Meghan Trainor’s Last Shot At Relevance With 2019’s TREAT MYSELF
It’s not always easy to pick yourself back up after a devastating loss, especially when it comes to being a Popstar in today’s industry, but sometimes all it takes is a quick dye-job & a drastic stylistic shift to regain the trust of all those fans you’d disappointed in the last round, knowing audiences are fickle & are eager to consume whatever noise you can put out to help them disassociate from the relative darkness we call life. This was Meghan Trainor’s basic path when she created TREAT MYSELF, pulling a Bruno Mars & moving a step ahead of industry trends by overshooting the whole eighties-inspired New Wave Synth Pop revival entirely for more of an early-nineties Freestyle & Dance Funk aesthetic that felt totally unique at its time of release, announcing to the world that she’d learned from her past mistakes & was ready to become the radiantly-shining Pop idol she was destined to be all those years ago had she not squandered the faith her followers had supplied – With such heightened expectations, one would assume TREAT MYSELF was a massive improvement over the artist’s prior works, which it certainly shows signs of being at times, but it’d come with its own range of missteps & poor performance choices that’d only serve to prove why no one should support Trainor as an artist in the first place, the first issues arriving even before the album was even live when she moved the original August 2018 release date to January 2019 which itself has yet to be met. Time & time again Trainor has shown she has no interest in growing a backbone throughout her career & I for one am getting tired of feigning interest in what she has to offer, as I’m always let down by the promise of each new song’s instrumentation the moment she opens her mouth & begins singing.
At The Very Least, Let’s Kick Things Off With A Fucking Bang
Meghan Trainor comes out swinging on TREAT MYSELF with the unreleased-album’s lead-single “No Excuses,” returning to the feisty Bubblegum Pop melodies that made her famous in the first place with an underlying instrumental track that finally figured out how to appropriately appropriate Funk & R&B culture correctly; It does away with the blatantly-insincere feminism & uncharacteristically-mature sassiness of the last album’s most successful songs, instead opting for a delightful arrangement of bright Funk guitar riffs, exhilarating basslines & punchy vocals you can actually groove to, all whilst boasting an empowering narrative that stuck way more than tunes like “Me Too” ever did – Did the accompanying music video rely far too much on an awkward recreation of Destiny’s Child-like dance moves, wardrobe & filming techniques? Yes. Did the visual & narrative elements of the song portray the exact sort of industry-groomed unrealistic expectation of femininity Trainor railed against in every one of her prior albums? Oh hell yes, but it just goes to show how inauthentic she is as an artist, totally willing to shapeshift to whatever the label tells her to become so long as it sells records & keeps her elevated at Ariana Grande levels of mainstream appeal – Luckily, it’s enough of an undeniable jam to warrant multiple playthroughs, convincing listeners TREATY MYSELF might actually be the record we’ve wanted from Trainor all along, though as luck would have it, this is yet-again a tease of a future that could’ve been, as the remaining handful of published tracks fail to inspire as much spectacle or whimsy as we’d hoped.
Is Anyone Even Proofreading These Songs Anymore?
Hot on the tails of the astoundingly-upbeat “No Excuses,” Meghan Trainor’s next single “Let You Be Right” took all the lessons learned & put them into an even more spectacular Pop arrangement that was far & away more sonically-unique than 90% of her contemporaries, the only other modern artist really tackling Nu-Disco jams being her frequent collaborator Charlie Puth, who’s arguably the most authentic performer of the bunch. This jaunty number had listeners strapping on a pair of roller-skates & strolling down to the rink for a good ol’ round of roll-bounce on a Saturday night, delivering fantastic Daft Punk-esque Funk basslines & celebratory Diva vocals that made you want to sing along long after the song had ended, turning out to be an astonishingly captivating tune when all was said & done, at least until you hit the lyrics & found – as always – that Trainor has no concept of reality whatsoever – Taking the painful journey into misguided-feminism yet again, this song & so many others on the album is plagued with monotony, trying its best to put the power back in women’s hands by creating a firm & assertive persona who’s unafraid of speaking her mind only to perpetuate anachronistic gender norms in a damaging way instead, championing the sort of self-absorbed bratty mentality of old Synth Wave performers who wanted a white-picket fence & a nuclear family rather than trying to tackle true emotional & material equality in a relationship as a more educated feminist would, ruining what was easily the best song on the album. I don’t know if she’s just unaware of how misguided her narratives are or if her ghost-writers are intentionally steering her lyrics in this direction as some sort of anti-feminist conspiracy, but somehow every track Trainor creates just makes her & her fans look like a bunch of idiots – Sorry, not sorry.
Is It Time To Throw In The Towel?
For all we know, Meghan Trainor’s much-delayed contemporary album TREAT YOURSELF could turn out to be a massive success once it finally drops in its entirety somewhere down the road; It’s currently unfinished, with Trainor stating she had tons of new material she wanted to include on its mainstream release & certainly could wind up being completely different than the unbalanced production we’ve been presented with thus far, learning from criticisms such as my own to produce something we can all be proud of purchasing or at least illegally downloading one day, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you. While songs like “All The Ways” create a surprisingly bubbly Pop atmosphere that makes perfect use of Trainor’s previous style & character, continuing on songs like the titular “TREAT MYSELF” that plunges headlong into the anthemic cheeriness of mid-noughties Radio Disney acts like the Jonas Brothers, there’s no guarantee the next batch of tunes won’t suddenly start dropping the N-word or shouting some ‘MAGA’ nonsense in the subtext of each song – Hey, it wouldn’t be outside the realm of reason given the basket of curveballs we’ve received on the last two albums, right? I’ve tried everything in my power to keep my head held high throughout Trainor’s career, believing there had to be a reason so many listeners continued to purchase her music despite all its inherent problems, but at this point I’ve given up even bothering to hide my disdain, as there’s nothing even remotely redeemable to be found in her music short of removing her entirely from the fantastic studio productions she sings over & giving them to a different artist altogether.
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- Meghan Trainor