Music Review: Meghan Trainor doo-wops to death on 'Title'

AP News
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Posted: Jan 13, 2015 9:34 AM

Meghan Trainor, "Title" (Epic)

There's plenty to like about Meghan Trainor's first full-length album, "Title." The set, which includes music from a previously released EP of the same name, serves up all the doo-wop sass that hooked fans on the singer-songwriter's Grammy-nominated hit, "All About That Bass."

Jump to almost any track on "Title" and you'll find a similar juxtaposition of cheeky lyrics stamped over malt shop-inspired production. Unfortunately, therein lies the problem: by album's end, it seems Trainor and "Title" producer Kevin Kadish have beaten their brand of shooby-doo flavor to death.

Sure, the throwback vibe has worked to set Trainor, 21, apart from her radio competition, and the sound works on second single "Lips Are Movin'" and "Dear Future Husband." But too much of that good thing turns out to be bad for the singer's mainstream debut.

"Title" is still worth a listen, though doing so in one sitting is ill-advised. Trainor is the funny girl-next-door on "Walkashame"; she's an example of self-acceptance on "Close Your Eyes"; and she's admirable — refusing to be friend-zoned — on the relatable title track.

When Trainor reaches, however, the results are painful. "Had him brushing his teeth, even flossin'/ got him looking like Ryan Gosling," she raps on "Credit." The cringe-worthy lyrics are rivaled only by that on the horn-heavy "Bang Dem Sticks."

Perhaps the most refreshing song from "Title" is the subdued "Like I'm Gonna Lose You," featuring John Legend. Not only is it a nice change of pace sonically, but in a rare moment, the track gives Trainor's vocals the main stage, without a catchy hook or quirky production yanking away the spotlight.

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Follow Melanie J. Sims at twitter.com/MelanieJoySims