Title is Meghan Trainor's debut studio album that was released on January 9, 2015 by Epic Records.
- The Best Part (Interlude) 0:25
- All About That Bass 3:11
- Dear Future Husband 3:04
- Close Your Eyes 3:42
- 3AM 3:07
- Like I'm Gonna Lose You (featuring John Legend) 3:46
- Bang Dem Sticks 3:01
- Walkashame 2:59
- Title 2:55
- What If I 3:20
- Lips Are Movin 3:02
- No Good For You 3:37
- Mr. Almost 3:16
- My Selfish Heart 3:47
- Credit 2:51
Meghan Trainor initially released three albums: "Meghan Trainor" (in 2009), "I'll Sing with You" (in 2011) and "Only 17" (in 2011); they were all deleted in the build-up to the release of her debut album.
In July of 2014, Trainor said that she planned to complete the album by early fall. By mid-August, the album was thought to be completed, but Trainor told USA Today that a song that was written in 8 minutes was to be recorded for the album on the same day.
On August 30, 2014, Trainor told Jim Sullivan of the Cape Cod Times Title would be released in November or December 2014.
In an interview with Billboard on September 21, 2014, however, Trainor stated that the album was "pretty much done" and that she had one more song left to complete. She also said, "I'm saving huge singles for [Title]."
In October 2014, after Trainor took a two-month break because polyps were developing on her vocal cords, Kevin Kadish used demo vocal takes Trainor had recorded as guides. Trainor felt discouraged after her break; she told USA Today, "Kevin would calm me down, we'd dim the lights, so I wouldn't get frustrated".
Some of the album's material was recorded while Trainor laid on a bed Kadish made in the studio.
In an interview with Stacy Lambe of Out, Trainor said, "First album, you show them what you can do and then the second album, you can do whatever you want. And that's what I'm gonna do."
On October 14, 2014, she announced that the album contains a country song with production consisting entirely of her ukulele melody and that she was searching for a country artist to feature on the track.
According to Trainor, "Title" was developed as a "very honest" album for all ages and its writing reflects on the changes in her life and artistic process.
She intended the album to be a source of empowerment for young people; she wished she had written some of the songs before she attended high school.
The album's sound was inspired by Trainor's love for throwback style records, and the music of the 1950s and 1960s eras in music.
Trainor created the album's sound by combining different musical genres, including: Caribbean, doo-wop, hip hop, soca and pop. The record was influenced by music group, the Fugees.
Trainor composed "All About That Bass" when she was an independent recording artist. She "shopped" the song around at various record labels and offered it to numerous artists (including Beyoncé) all of whom rejected it.
However, Trainor was signed to Epic Records by chairman L.A. Reid after she performed the song for him in February 2014. Reid suggested the song's demo should remain as the final version after additional audio mastering.
"All About That Bass" was inspired by Bruno Mars' song "Just the Way You Are" and The Chordettes' song, "Lollipop."
When Time's Nolan Feeney asked Trainor what she wanted listeners to hear on Title, Trainor said, "I want to help myself. I want to make sure guys take me on a date and treat me right because I didn't do that in the past. I want to love my body more. I just hope younger girls love themselves more, and younger people in general ..."
"Dear Future Husband" was inspired by Trainor's love of harmonies and a joke she made with her father, in which she said her future husband "is out there somewhere, chilling".
With the track, Trainor wanted to convey that women should be treated better by their partners.
"Like I'm Gonna Lose You" was a demo Trainor composed and recorded "years ago" that was excluded from the album's initial track listing. However, her uncle insisted her management listen to the track.
Upon hearing it, Trainor's manager started crying and said it had to appear on the album. She then developed and produced the final version of "Like I'm Gonna Lose You" with a friend and sent it to American singer John Legend, who had the same management as Trainor.
Legend replied, "I love this, I want to be a part of it", and later appeared on the track as a featured artist.
Trainor felt the album's title track showcased her artistic style and said, "I loved that 'Title' showed a little Caribbean drum before the chorus and then, like, a rap bridge that was, like … [a] totally different sound."
Trainor described it as "call me your girlfriend, I'm sick of being your boo thing, so call me your girlfriend and give me that title."
"Lips Are Movin" was written in eight minutes; it was inspired by a situation in which she caught one of her label colleagues lying and American singer Sara Bareilles' "Love Song."
She altered the song's subject to infidelity so that her listeners could relate to it more. At the time of the track's development, Trainor reflected on her previous romantic relationship in which she was cheated on and her then-boyfriend's dismissal of her aspirations to become a pop star.
The album opens with a 24-second interlude called "The Best Part" which is about Trainor's love of songwriter. Carl Wilson of Billboard wrote that it's reminiscent of The Chordettes' song, "Mr. Sandman."
A bubblegum-pop and doo-wop song, "All About That Bass" contains elements of R&B, hip hop, tropical, country and rock & roll music. It has an earworm hook, an early 1960s soul-pop groove. According to Chris Molanphy of Slate, the song also has a "scatting tempo and shimmying melody."
Trainor's vocals on the track were likened to the works of 1960s singers Betty Everett, Doris Day, Eydie Gormé and Rosemary Clooney.
Lyrically, "All About That Bass" serves as a callout for the audience to embrace their inner beauty, and to promote positive body imagery and self-acceptance. The words "treble" and "bass" in the song act as metaphors for women's body mass and the lyric "I'm bringing booty back" references Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack."
"Dear Future Husband" is a doo-wop song and a throwback to "boyfriend-obsessed" 1960s bubblegum pop. It features a series of production slap-beats, a rock-inspired drum track, piano and brass instrumentation.
The song's lyrics include a list of factors Trainor's love interests should be aware of before proposing to her. It has a melody similar to those of 1961 songs "Runaround Sue" by Dion and "Quarter to Three" by Gary U.S. Bonds.
The album's fourth track "Close Your Eyes" is a modern, slow, dance ballad and delivers a "cornier take" on the alternative-beauty theme of "All About That Bass" reinforcing her body image insecurities from the latter.
The song is backed by an acoustic guitar and violin, which shift focus to Trainor's nuanced, soulful vocals.
Vocals by Kadish singing the lyric "Sh-sh-show them what's beautiful" are included after each chorus. The track's style is reminiscent of the works of Italian-American duo Santo & Johnny.
"3am" is a "honey-voiced", heartfelt ballad that serves as a drunk dialing come-on which Trainor later regrets.
While most of the album portrays Trainor as confident, "3am" is afflicted with insecurity and its lyrics imply she succumbs to an ex-boyfriend despite her independent woman morale.
According to Marc Hirsh of The Boston Globe, "3am" is a "quieter and more vulnerable, racked with self-doubt that can't just be sung away with a good pep talk in the mirror".
Piet Levy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the track is "a rare departure into serious, sad territory" for Trainor.
"Like I'm Gonna Lose You" is a duet between Trainor and John Legend. It is a subdued, Motown boilerplate ballad and "tender love song" that serves as a change of tempo from the album's preceding tracks.
The song is about loving someone out of fear of losing them. Sims wrote that the track gives "Trainor's vocals the main stage" while John Legend's vocal tone was described as "sincere." Rolling Stone compared the song to duets by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.
"Bang Dem Sticks" is a raucous and suggestive song that contains a more ribald theme than the preceding tracks. The song's lyrics describe Trainor's attraction to drummers. The song has a simple percussion rhythm, a combination of horn & drum instrumentation and features Trainor rapping in a Southern American patois. Capadonna wrote that "Bang Dem Sticks" has "the pushiest message" on the album.
"Walkashame" thematically ties in with the album's fifth song "3am", both of which describe romantic missteps and self-awareness. It is a comical track that includes a verse rapped by Trainor and deals with the subject of hangovers.
The track's lyrics portray Trainor expressing embarrassment while defending a story about someone going home nonchalantly after an unintended one-night stand. Melanie J. Sims of Associated Press wrote that the track portrayed Trainor as "the funny girl-next-door".
The record's title track is an upbeat song that blends horns and background vocals with ukulele folk-pop and island percussion morphed into a programmed beat. It contains a ska-influenced bridge, handclaps and subtle, modern effects.
Trainor uses an assertive throwback aural tone on the song whose lyrics depict her demanding her lover name the status of relationship.
Christina Garibaldi of MTV News wrote that the song serves as a lesson for women to disregard friends-with-benefits relationships.
"What If I", a "dreamy", 1950s-style, string-arranged ballad mulls over the dangers of first-date sex and echoes the personal sentiment of the 1960 song "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" by The Shirelles. The track's string arrangement was compared to the works of Etta James and The Skyliners' song "Since I Don't Have You."
The standard edition's closing track "Lips Are Movin" is a bubblegum pop, doo-wop song[ that contains influences of Motown bounce, music of 1945 and hip hop. It has a half-sung, half-rapped format, a retro-soul melody and beat, and a percussion-heavy arrangement.
Lyrically, the song rebukes an unfaithful, dissembling lover while asserting Trainor's physical assets. It shares the relationship-misstep themes of previous tracks "3am" and "Walkashame".
Musically, the song is reminiscent of the album's second track "All About That Bass", which it references in its lyrics. Erlewine wrote that it recalls "Amy Winehouse's snazzy new-millennial revival."
"No Good for You" contains elements of ska, which Billboard said recall the works of Lily Allen.
Like the deluxe edition's final track "Credit", the song is about Trainor's opinions of a troublesome man.
The tracks "Mr. Almost" and "My Selfish Heart" are about being in an unhealthy romantic relationship.
In "Credit", Trainor questions an ex-lover's new girlfriend about her boyfriend's positive traits and asks his new girlfriend to give "credit where it's due".
Garibaldi wrote that in the song Trainor speaks of how she made her ex-boyfriend "cool" and "gave him swag".
"I'll Be Home", a seasonal ballad that she wrote and produced alone, appeared on the Japanese edition of the album.
"Title" debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with 238,000 album-equivalent units during its first week, replacing Taylor Swift's album, "1989" at the top of the chart.
Trainor became the first female music act to top the Billboard 200 with her debut album since Ariana Grande's 2013 debut album, "Yours Truly."
Keith Caufield of Billboard wrote that Title's debut-week tally included 195,000 in "pure sales" and that it was "an impressive figure, considering January is traditionally a sleepy month for big new releases."
"Title" received mixed reviews from critics.
In a positive review, Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly stated that the album "will endear [Trainor] equally to grandmas and the vintage-loving kids who borrow their cardigans" and called it "real-girl pop with massive charm". Maerz also wrote that the record would boost Trainor's popularity as an artist.
Rolling Stone reviewer Chuck Arnold called the album "charmingly old-fashioned" and commended Trainor for co-writing each of its tracks.
Carl Wilson of Billboard stated that the messages in the album's songs "[are what] Trainor's fans want and need to hear, but they get repetitive, and the retro musical framing sometimes threatens to make her healthy-values emphasis seem dully quaint and cloying".
He added, "Aside from an understandable naïveté, Trainor's weaknesses are her stylistic cherry-picking and her compulsion to appear adorably relatable and socially correct ... her career will live well beyond her breakout year if she can mature into the originality and messiness of her humanity with the same vivaciousness".
In a mixed review, Marc Hirsh of The Boston Globe wrote that the album was "for better or for worse, more of the same" as "All About That Bass". Hirsh commended the album's sass and "infectiousness" but felt it was "secondhand" and dismissed Trainor as a "plunderer first and foremost".
New York Daily News journalist Jim Farber complimented Trainor's "large" voice and "witty" writing style on the album; however, Farber said that "over the course of the album she crosses the line from confident to smug", adding, "The fact that she often harmonizes with herself only emphasizes the image of self-containment".
The Daily Telegraph's Helen Brown called Title "relentlessly cute" and felt it showcased "plenty of wit, and watertight tunes"; however, Brown went on to comment that with the album Trainor offers "as many empty calories as the most vacuous TV talent show contestant", and opined that "she needs to read more self-help than she spouts".
Slant Magazine's Alexa Camp opined that the album's "blue-eyed soul is ultimately just pale" and commented: "It's unclear how Trainor's otherwise retro shtick is sustainable, as evidenced by similar artists like Duffy seeing their careers quickly wane. After all, Trainor is no Amy Winehouse, lacking both that singer's raw emotive talent and Back to Black's ability to infuse her period sound with a distinctly 21st-century sonic and lyrical sophistication."
Spin writer Dan Weiss said, "If Title ends up being a gateway for body-conscious adolescents [...], more power to it", adding, "But if she was actually as clever as her press release and titled the album It Girl With Staying Power, she might actually have staying power".
In a negative review, Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times wrote that Title is "cheerful, crafty, yet vexing", and that it "basically offers a dozen variations on 'All About That Bass'".
Wood went on to criticize the record's opposing themes as "unexamined" and said Trainor's use of certain vocal patterns are "typically associated with black singers".
Tshepo Mokoena of The Guardian said the album is "full of lyrical contradictions" and lacks consistency. Mokoena also wrote, "Come for catchy hooks sung in an affected Southern accent, not for insightful and, intimate songwriting."