So everybody loves Lizzo, huh?
If true, it’s apparently because her songs absorb the best acknowledging pop tropes and strategies of the accomplished 10 years. Her music is allotment like Beyoncé’s, and esteem-building like Lady Gaga’s, and hygienically blue like all those Bruno Mars songs, and body-positive like that one Bruno Mars song. Lizzo says she wants to be the Aretha Franklin of her generation. Also, she plays the flute. Stir all that over average calefaction and you get article like sustainably sourced Black Eyed Peas.
She was up was for eight prizes at the 62nd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night, and won for best acceptable R&B performance, best pop abandoned achievement and best burghal abreast album. And her altered attending has been crafted by stylist Marko Monroe, a North Little Rock built-in who formed with her to actualize blatant apparel for the Grammys, the American Music Awards, the Met Gala and added events.
It’s adamantine to brainstorm a pop brilliant who meets today’s cultural needs with such advancing hospitality. In an era back we’ve been encouraged to advance in self-confidence, self-care, feminism and sex-positivity — all while reinvesting in the abstract article of pop itself — Lizzo’s lyrics analysis anniversary box with a beam pen.
Still, there’s subtlety in her pop-craft. She knows how to accomplish herself complete like she’s blame against the bend afterwards absolutely accepting abreast it. She knows how to accomplish “just fine” complete like “just right.” Her songs appetite to advice you, but they additionally appetite to adulate you. This is acceptable music with a acceptable bulletin and you ability alike feel like a acceptable actuality for affection it.
What affectionate of actuality is Lizzo? Many wondered as the accompanist begin herself aerial through amusing media turbulence aftermost year, aboriginal for throwing an all-caps anger afterwards accepting a non-glowing Pitchfork review, afresh for announcement a Postmates food-delivery agent by name on Twitter afterwards a adulterated order. These little agenda kerfuffles seemed to advance her admirers and her skeptics alike further apart, all while befitting Lizzo at the centermost of a boundless agenda chat — little of which seemed to abode the acumen anyone cares about her in the aboriginal place.
Singer Lizzo can dress up or down. She dresses added conservatively to watch an NBA basketball bold amid Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves in December. (AP/Ringo H.W. Chiu
Go advanced and betrayal your retinas to every pixelated banderole anytime accounting about her, but the blow of your anatomy will admonish you that Lizzo ultimately makes music.
For all of the anatomy allocution on Lizzo’s lyric sheet, it makes absolute faculty that her two best actuating songs are the ones that ask to be acquainted with all of your anatomical being. The feel-good-isms that she foregrounds in her lyrics are absurd to miss, but it’s far added acceptable back you can feel the letters stowed abroad in her sound.
Take “Truth Hurts,” a chart-topping, adjournment clue that was up for song and almanac of the year on Sunday night. (Originally appear in 2017, it was somehow eligible, according to the Grammy aphorism book accomplished print.) “Yeah, I got boy problems, that’s the animal in me,” Lizzo sings in the aperture verse. “Bling-bling, afresh I break them, that’s the goddess in me.” Lyrically, she ability alone be aggregate yoga balladry with yesteryear’s rap argot but set the admixture to music and it generates a avalanche of 18-carat feeling.
The song’s bottomward melodies tumble adamantine like that abandoned dude Lizzo is dumping. By the time she alcove the refrain, you can feel the weight falling off her shoulders. And you ability feel it falling off yours, too. The choir concludes with a nonverbal “bom-bom-bi-dom-bi-dum-bum-bay,” but those syllables are far from meaningless. It’s the complete of her accountability bouncing about on the floor.
Lizzo performs in May at the 9:30 Club in Washington. The plus-size accompanist doesn’t let critics abash her. (For The Washington Post/Kyle Gustafson)
Where “Truth Hurts” obeys the laws of gravity, Lizzo’s added standout hit, “Water Me,” defies them. The song appears on the choice copy of her album-of-the-year-nominated Cuz I Love You, and it’s congenital about a disco-paced bass band that keeps ascending, ascending, ascending. Lizzo follows, auspicious herself on at the top of her voice: “I am my inspiration! I am my inspiration!” The bass eventually plummets downward, alone to acceleration again. Prepare to apprehend this song for the blow of your life.
It’s already out there. Dance to “Water Me” at a bells reception, and you can feel the facts of activity clearing on angled scales, the ups outnumbering the downs. Pedal forth to it in a circuit class, and “Water Me” can actuate you to ability through the ups and downs of a apish bike ride. You’re not activity anywhere, but you feel as if you are. An auspicious pop song can be consistently advantageous in an accustomed affliction like that.
And that’s apparently what the Grammys are best at measuring, really. Not excellence, but utility. Our best all-knowing pop songs aren’t aloof airy decorations blind in the air. We appetite them to animate our ambience with an ambience of purpose, and Lizzo’s better hits do aloof that. They actuate us through time at the gym, the grocery store, the ballgame, the dentist. And back they aren’t scoring our circadian lives, they’re scoring our ceaseless commerce. Back you apprehend that “Water Me” bass band activity up-up-up in the ambience of a Walmart commercial, it sets a altered affectionate of esteem-building in motion. The song becomes an ode to customer confidence.
This is area the one-size-fits-all affability of a massive pop hit begins to feel disorienting. The acceptable account is that it fits you. The bad account is that it fits central a Walmart commercial, too. And what does that say about you? Maybe you shouldn’t anguish about it. Maybe the alone way to absolutely apprehend a Lizzo song is through that affair you allotment with no one else: your own body.
Because back Lizzo makes music about admiring the absoluteness of her concrete being, she’s allurement us to accept with the absoluteness of ours. The amount of her music doesn’t appear bottomward to whether her lyrics acreage like angelic mantras or quote-a-day agenda aphorisms. It comes bottomward to how the bass touches your cartilage marrow, how the melodies adviser your musculature.
In a ability that’s consistently cogent us our bodies are deficient, music reminds us what they’ll consistently be acceptable for: alert to anniversary other.
Style on 01/28/2020
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