Lizzo may not want this review but, here it is anyways. Fresh off of powering through two weekends of sound difficulties at Coachella, the genre-bending, singer, rapper, musician released her highly anticipated third studio album, “Cuz I Love You” on Apr. 19. The role out of the entire album has been impeccable. Between the perfect spacing of singles to the timing of the drop coinciding with her recent viral video of her playing the flute during a live performance, Lizzo does not disappoint with this album.
The 11 song LP, is jam packed with genre-blending bangers for all. This cheeky blend of genres has helped to generate the traction that Lizzo deserves after years of doing the work. The album sounds more like a collection of singles that she hopes will stick but, it works. With singles like “Juice” propelling her up the charts the album only confirms what we already know, Lizzo is a powerhouse. What gives Lizzo the license to serve this type of album is that, not only does she have a distinct voice but also her personality.
She serves the girls cute club pop dance songs, some incredibly hard-hitting rap tropes that are permeating the charts currently and hints of disco and soul. The standout cut on this album is the pure rap with track “Tempo” which, includes a spectacular verse from one of her influences Missy Elliot. Her cadence on this track is a soft, almost whisper tone voice which, allows the bass line to hit as hard as it can. She raps, “slow songs, they for skinny hoes. I’m a thick bitch I need tempo,” -okay sis, we see you- this line alone could sum up the feels this project brings. This is only a glimpse into Lizzo embracing her size and beauty all throughout this album.
What makes Lizzo special is that she caters to her audience perfectly, and with her musicianship there’s no denying her talent or potential impact on the game. The pop, soul cut “Soulmate” -another standout track- shows Lizzo’s culmination of years of loving herself consistently. Though this track’s production is very tight and clean, it cuts into the theme of loving yourself, flaws and all, it’s a bit over produced. That is the only -very subjective- blemish this LP presents. Lizzo shows her vocal range on the title track and other cuts like “Jerome.” She’s managed to combine all the best elements from different genres and created her own sub-genre, we’ll call it “that Lizzo shit.” She even gets a feature from legendary rapper Gucci Mane on the disco, rap track “How I feel.” It isn’t surprising that Gucci does his thing but, what makes this collaboration great is that it is nothing like Gucci Mane’s past collaborations.
Lizzo ends the project with a mellow, guitar heavy track “Lingerie” which, gives a cool down period after we’ve danced the entire way through this album. The cut provides for a cute closure to the album but it doesn’t mean its lacking at all. Lizzo gives one of her best pure vocal performances here and makes us feel like everything is coming to an, unfortunate but necessary end.
Recently, Lizzo tweeted that she didn’t want music journalists to review albums if they had not made music before, which is very snarky and, seems to hint that she did not like criticisms she’s received since dropping her project. However, criticism doesn’t mean reviewers don’t understand the work it takes to make a song or album. Regardless of her feelings towards reviews, this album did what needed to be done. Lizzo gave us all the vibes we will need for her tour and gave a beautiful infusion of genres that don’t seem forced or too much for the ears.
Lizzo is simply changing how music is made. Every song on this album goes as hard as it possibly can without getting annoying or too repetitive. The lane she has created for herself is one that no one else can ride without seeming like a carbon copy of her. Lizzo is repping for the thick girls and doing it in a way that gives the tempo we need.