sun 19/05/2019

CD: Lizzo - Cuz I Love You | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Lizzo - Cuz I Love You

CD: Lizzo - Cuz I Love You

Minneapolis singer-rapper offers up the self-love album of the summer

Cuz I Love You: 'an album title hauled from the heavens via the lungs of an extraordinary pop star'

Cuz I Love You starts with a big, bold, black-and-white soul moment, an album title hauled from the heavens via the lungs of an extraordinary pop star. It’s a stunning rush of feeling from Lizzo, the Minneapolis-based singer and rapper, alone in the spotlight before a brass band kicks in. It’s also, delightfully, the closest her major label debut album gets to letting anybody else dictate her feelings.

Sure, the “you” of that opening track could be a third party – someone whom she promises, in a delicious deadpan, to “put on a plane” and “fly out to wherever I am” – but the “you” of the album’s title is Lizzo herself. She is “crazy, sexy, cool … with or without makeup”; she’s “like Chardonnay, get better over time”; she’s her “own soulmate”. Package it up with an image of the singer fully nude and you have yourself the self-love album of the summer, one that is rooted in its creator’s identity but with hooks so catchy they will bring joy to anybody who needs a pep talk.

You could argue – as some have – that late capitalism has stripped self care, body positivity and empowerment of their radical roots, like Lizzo’s “woke up feelin’ like I just might run for president” rap is focus group-spun to sell T-shirts and bath bombs. But the self-love on display in Cuz I Love You is a hard-won thing: the vulnerability of “Heaven Help Me”, on which she spits out her secret confessions between thrilling choruses, showing where she has put the work in; or the way she unapologetically hollers, "this big girl gotta cry".

Besides, who among us doesn’t see herself punching the air and screaming out the “Like a Girl” payoff at some festival this summer? Who wouldn’t develop an inadvertent spring in her step with the bouncy “Juice” in her headphones? Identity politics aside, there’s a phrase or hook on every single track that hits the spot. Missy Elliott-featuring “Tempo” is tremendous fun, drawing out Lizzo’s cheekier side, and while her other big-name collaborator Gucci Mane doesn’t quite work the same magic who could blame him?

Lisa-Marie Ferla's website

Below: listen to Lizzo's "Juice"



There’s a phrase or hook on every single track that hits the spot

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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