Thank You (Deluxe Version)
Though Meghan Trainor’s rise to stardom was fueled by her sunny, bold, and remarkably sophisticated fusions of musical genres past and present, her second album proves she’s just at home in the here and now. Better yet, she does it right from the jump. Powered by a strutting funky bassline and a crisp, Destiny’s Child-worthy vocal arrangement, "Watch Me Do" launches Thank You with a show of defiant bravado as Trainor demonstrates the benefits of being on a "no-hater diet." The energy rarely lets up in a set that sees the performer and writer add exciting new specialties to her already formidable array of sounds and styles. Trainor credits her Epic Records boss and early supporter L.A. Reid for pushing her to get out of her comfort zone. The most startling result of that challenge is the album's first single. A collaboration with Jason Derulo producer Ricky Reed, "NO" taps into her love for the most effervescent early-’00s club tracks of Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, albeit with Trainor taking the chance to express a timely message of self-pride and self-assertiveness. That same spirit fires up "Better," a dancehall-influenced standout that pairs her with Yo Gotti, and "Thank You," an infectiously upbeat match-up with Virgin Islands hip-hop team R. City. While Trainor revisits her first album’s more retro stylings for songs such as the doo-wop ballad "Hopeless Romantic" and "Mom"—an exuberant and heartfelt celebration of mothers that includes a cameo by her own mom, Kelli—pushing herself forward is clearly the biggest priority here. Thankfully, one result of that work is an abundance of feel-good dance floor fillers that demonstrate her devotion to Bruno Mars, long one of Trainor's biggest inspirations. Indeed, "Watch Me Do," "I Love Me," and "Woman Up" boast a similar eagerness to please listeners that the funk-pop superstar brings to everything he does. Even so, Trainor's got her own message, which is that the first person to please is oneself.