WHO IS SHE? The singer who became an overnight sensation back in 2014 with her irresistibly cheeky retro-pop smash All About That Bass — and is still struggling to find another tune that duplicates the song’s winning formula and lasting appeal.
WHAT IS THIS? Her third album and first release in four years — a virtual eternity in pop music — Treat Myself has apparently been in the works for more than two years. More tellingly, it was delayed from last summer, with Trainor claiming she wanted to add more songs (though rumours claimed she really meant ‘better songs,’ based on the tepid response to some early singles).
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Compromise. Nobody has (or likely will) ever accuse Trainor of being edgy, controversial or groundbreaking. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with that; pop music needs its fair share of lightweight, mass-appeal entertainers. But Trainor is so insubstantial here — musically speaking — that she’s in danger of blowing away. Few of these tracks are catchy, unique or even remotely interesting enough to bring you back for a second listen, never mind competing with the lightning-in-a-bottle kick of All About That Bass.
WHAT ARE THE MOST REVEALING LYRICS? “I’m working on it,” she explains in the song of the same name. “I work and work and work and I’ve been working on myself,” she belabours in Genetics. Seldom has so much work produced so little reward.
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Treat Yourself To A Better Album.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While vacuuming.
WHAT 10 WORDS SUM IT UP? Bland, flat, dull, safe, generic, agreeable, forgettable, tepid, repetitive, uninspired.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? More upbeat fare like No Excuses, Funk, Evil Twin and Lie to Me.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘How long do we have to do this before we just officially designate her a one-hit wonder and move on?’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO IT? Once is more than enough.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A FLAVOUR, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Vanilla lite.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? It’s not even worth stealing, but feel free to treat yourself to a free spin below.