Friday, 20 March 2015

We have reached peak Meghan Trainor

I know, we all had the same hope. We all thought "here was someone to break the treadmill of pop cliches and do Modern Woman Pop". We all thought the sad old, worn out tropes of pop cliche would be removed by someone with a bit of sass and an average body type. But no, it's just the same "ladies, you're perfect if your man will fuck you" bullshit we've seen a million times before. And no, it isn't all about that bass, no matter how much you decide to rip off Lou Bega.

Dear Future Husband, her latest single, has a couple of modernistic tropes in it. For example it acknowledges that women are also now a part of the work force and... erm...  No, that's about it. Skip beyond that starling revelation and it boils down (in order) to; put up with me when I'm being 'crazy', flatter my ego to get sex, admit you're wrong even if I was in error, never leave me alone or get on with your own thing, buy me things, and a chorus. That isn't a recipe for a good, positive, modern relationship. At worst it's a call to arms for the benefits of Stockholm Syndrome and at best it's all the pressures and social prejudices of the doo-wop era with a very minor backline beef-up added into the mix.

For someone who's stock-in-trade is being outside of the current pop norms Meghan is surprisingly and safely within everything that has happened before, an Empress in slightly baggy clothing. All she is doing is trading on feminist rhetoric, without actually putting any of the concepts into her lyrics or the body of her work. It's a shame, a disappointment, and stealing the spotlight from artists who actually have something to say on the subject of bringing grown up concepts of equality and respect into love songs, (Looking at you; Adele, Florence, Lorde, and a thousand other equally talented but gimmick missing performers). That she has a sound that gets rolled out ever 10 years or so (think Jive Bunny with a proclaimed adoration of pie, yet suspiciously tailored jeans) only adds to the conceit, a well crafted revolution that is playing on nostalgia without having the guts to be as revolutionary as the Shangri-Las or even the bloody Spice Girls. Which is what leads to the main emotion here: disappointment, and anger at her devolvement into an also-ran. As with only a few lyrical tweaks, and a slight step away from the pop-nagging blueprint of 'empowered moaning', we could have had something truly wonderful on our hands.
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