Meghan Trainor’s Treat Myself is a moreish pop album with some decent tunes and original songwriting.
As an artist, Trainor has had an interesting journey. In 2014, she rose to fame with her pop banger “All About That Bass.” Singing about body positivity branded her a young feminist and since then, she has been facing an uphill battle to be the kind of feminist the music industry decided she would be.
In her new album, Trainor occasionally sings about makeup, femininity, and female empowerment. But she has achieved a level of authenticity that was perhaps absent from her previous album. This time around, it sounds like Trainor is singing about the things that she wants to sing about and not the things that she is expected to sing about.
What’s more, the tunes have evolved in fresh ways. There is a more urban feel to the album and Trainor collaborates with other artists to inject new life into her ordinarily samey pop songs. “Nice To Meet Ya” features Nicki Minaj and is miles away from the “All About That Bass” goody-two-shoes feel. The power-women sing “I don’t know you, but I’m just what I wanna be.” It’s a song about self-acceptance only there is an edge to it that is typically missing from Trainor’s music.
“Genetics” featuring the Pussycat Dolls is also an album highlight. Trainor sings: “Beauty queen since seventeen / At least to me, I was born with it /
Maybelline is good to me / But I believe I was born with it.” Here, she wittily subverts Maybelline’s tagline, triumphing self-love. This track should not be mistaken as a celebration of exclusively natural beauty. She also sings: “I ain’t ashamed to say one day I might upgrade.”
When “All About That Bass” was released, Trainor was accused of skinny-shaming and celebrating just one type of beauty. Now, Trainor is essentially telling fans that it’s OK to be natural, and it’s OK to wear makeup. It doesn’t matter what shape your body is or what you do with it. What matters is enjoying your body for what it is and celebrating it in every way you can.
Overall, Treat Myself is hardly a masterpiece. There are several samey tunes and Trainor has taken no bold risks with the record. Still, there is a freshness to the album and Trainor has raised the game when it comes to her lyrics. The “All About That Bass” singer has proved herself to be relevant and prominent in 2020 and overall, Treat Myself is a promising start to the decade.