[17 July 2014]
PopMatters Interviews Editor
Meghan Trainor has been working as a songwriter for some time, and if you look at her YouTube channel, you’ll see her doing video covers of songs along with a few originals, which has proven to be a tired-and-true formula for young stars trying to get exposure for their music: do enough high-quality covers of known hits first, build up your audience, hit ‘em with an original, and then you’re off.
Thus, a lot of people were taken back when “All About the Bass” dropped last month. It’s a doo-wop single through and through, with a fun, upbeat vibe surrounding its standup bass work and numerous background vocals. Yet while the video is fun and buoyant, it’s the lyrics that are getting her all the attention.
It’s a body-positive song that highlights how her shape is her favorite part of her, the opening verse going “Yeah, it’s pretty clear / I ain’t no Size 2 / But I can shake it shake it / Like I’m supposed to do.” She doesn’t mind being a bit vulgar at times, but it only adds to her powerful personality, already fully formed and on display in just a little over three minutes.
There has been some message board grumbling already about how she’s not “fat enough” to sing convincingly from this angle and that she uses her black background dancers as mere set dressing—an issue which also dogged Lily Allen‘s similarly-themed “Hard Out Here” clip. In truth, such sniping ultimately amounts to splitting hairs. This song is so positive, so energetic, and so universal— it’s something people of all shapes and sizes can get behind. Whether or not it will get the kind of radio support it needs to go toe-to-toe with the likes if Iggy Azalea remains to be scene. For now, we’re just enjoying this breezy hit for what it really is: absolutely delightful.