Unless you get the deluxe edition, you won’t understand why Meghan Trainor called her second major-label studio album Thank You, because in most of the songs she sounds more smug than grateful. The three bonus tracks, dedicated to her mother (Mom), friends (Friends) and fans (Thank You, featuring R. City) are all bubbly notes of appreciation, but like her previous album Title, this one is mainly about female empowerment.
Trainor’s signature 50s retro style, that made Title a major success and earned her a Grammy for Best New Artist, takes a back seat here as the singer songwriter dabbles with a broader range of genres. In hit single No , she harks back to the Britney Spears era of 90s pop, spurning unwanted advances over slick beats. She attempts a pseudo-rap verse in opener Watch Me Do, and goes K-Pop style in Me Too .
The tunes are catchy, the lyrics are fun, but Trainor provides no edge. In trying to be everything, she seems to have lost her own voice, and half-hearted dance number Champagne Problems is forgettable.
It’s when she goes back to her usual musical terrain in I Love Me (featuring Lunchmoney Lewis) and dance track Dance Like Yo Daddy that the album is the most enjoyable.
The ballads, kept simple and sweet, are also great. Trainor waits impatiently for love in the acoustic guitar-led Hopeless Romantic and her vocals shine as she sings about a heartbreak in ukulele piece Just a Friend to You. Sometimes a solid voice and a catchy melody is all you need.