Recordings | Sept. 25, 2014
By Cait Brennan, Sept. 25, 2014.
Meghan Trainor | Title | Epic Records |
“Fancy” schmancy, Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” was the real song of the summer, and it’s the reigning Billboard and iTunes #1 smash with over 52 million YouTube and Vevo views, too. While her full-length album a few months off, this four-tack EP will keep fans shake-shaking it in the meantime.
The 20-year-old from Nantucket, who got her first songwriting deal at 18, draws on influences far beyond her years, from ’50s and ’60s pop and vocals to the Soca sounds of Trinidad, and you’ll hear them all on Title. “Bass” is here in all its glory, plus three choice new songs.
The “Title” track (sorry, couldn’t resist) is brilliant, with hand-claps, uke and charm to spare, all that sweetness contrasting with Trainor’s adorably tough lyrics: “Baby, don’t call me your friend, If I hear that word again, you might never get a chance to see me naked in your bed … consider this an invitation to kiss my ass goodbye.” Seriously, don’t friendzone that bass, bro!
“Dear Future Husband” lays down the law with a list of dos and don’ts spelled out in ’60s-girl-group style that would do any diva proud. “Close Your Eyes” is an Xtina-worthy ballad with an inspirational message: “Show the world the you inside/Raise your voice and close your eyes/’Cause you’re beautiful.” Title is a beautiful and very fun interlude from an artist on the way to even greater things.
For fans of: Cher Lloyd and Charli XCX
U2 | Songs Of Innocence | Island Records |
If you have iTunes, the new U2 album magically appeared in your account as a free gift from Apple. But after 13 albums and 35 years, is U2 even relevant? The answer is a resounding yes: this is U2’s best album since their ’80s heyday.
As the William Blake title suggests, Songs Of Innocence finds Bono and company reflecting on growing up in Dublin, and the family, friends and musical heroes that shaped their lives. Produced by Danger Mouse, with Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence and the Machine) and others, the album harnesses U2’s arena sound and gives it a contemporary makeover.
The opener, “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone),” lionizes the late, great punk rock frontman and carries a potent message about musical inspiration. And they do sound inspired, as on “Volcano” and “Raised By Wolves,” there’s a sense of urgency that’s been long absent from their studio work.
There’s no whitewashing the past here; “Cedarwood Road” revisits Bono’s old home street and finds it a war zone, while “Sleep Like A Baby Tonight” takes aim at the Catholic Church child abuse scandal.
The album ends with “The Troubles,” a murky, emotionally complex ballad featuring guest vocals from Lykke Li. If it feels like a story ending in the middle, it is: the band promises a follow-up, Songs Of Experience, is on the way.
For fans of: OneRepublic, The Killers and Maroon 5