Meghan Trainor, ‘Title’ (Epic)
The playful, catchy hip-hop/doo-wop hit “All About That Bass” (cowritten by Nashville songwriter Kevin Kadish) was nearly impossible to escape (or resist) last year. The song reached No. 1 and spent many weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, disrupting the relentless trajectory of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” The song also scored Grammy nominations for record of the year and song of the year.
Despite its popularity, the single raised eyebrows because Trainor performs the proud-of-my-booty song with the affectation of a young, urban, African American woman and uses some very adult language (she and Kadish agreed to do a G-rated version for Radio Disney). But none of this slowed the song’s march up the charts.
“All About That Bass” (along with the follow-up single, “Lips Are Movin’ ”) are featured on Trainor’s major-label debut album, “Title.” Like a hot startup stock, you can bet money on this one. The deceptively innocent, retro fun of her surprise “Bass” hit continues with such songs as “Dear Future Husband,” a delightful yet self-empowering throwback to boyfriend-obsessed ’60s bubble gum; “3 a.m.,” a heartfelt, honey-voiced ballad about wee-hours texting; and “What If I Want to Kiss You Tomorrow,” a dreamy, ’50s-style ballad with lush strings. There’s even a vocal collaboration with John Legend, on the tender love song “Like I’m Going to Lose You.”
The Nantucket-bred singer-songwriter, who’s been penning ditties since she was 11 and gained her sense of rhythm from listening to (and performing) soca and ska, has created an album that her newfound fans will love, despite adult themes and occasional salty language. “I ain’t talkin’ dirty,” she sings on the raucous, suggestive “Bang Dem Sticks,” boasting that her drummer can “play all night.” And on the comical, infectious “Walkashame,” she defends an unintended sleepover with the line, “Don’t act like you haven’t been there.”
Epic Records chairman L.A. Reid signed Trainor to a recording contract after she played him “All About That Bass” on a ukulele. The bet paid off, and now Trainor is preparing for the next phase of her burgeoning career.
Other new releases
Various Artists, “Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis.’ ” (Nonesuch)
Justin Townes Earle, “Absent Fathers” (Vagrant)
Panda Bear, “Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper” (Domino)