North Texas Daily

Lizzo makes listeners feel ‘Special’ in new uplifting album

Lizzo makes listeners feel ‘Special’ in new uplifting album

Lizzo makes listeners feel ‘Special’ in new uplifting album
July 23
14:00 2022

It’s about damn time for a Lizzo release. The 34-year-old singer, rapper and songwriter hasn’t dropped a new album since 2019’s “Cuz I Love You.” With breakout hits like “Juice,” “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell,” Lizzo had a lot to live up to. Luckily, the artist delivered yet another impressive tracklist sure to succeed with her newest project, “Special.”

The album’s first track, “The Sign,” quickly proves to listeners she’s “worth her weight.” The poppy opener teases more positive anthems throughout the album. Lizzo’s talent for bright, catchy tunes shines early on with the fast-paced, upbeat song. It acts as a simple, yet effective tactic to set the mood for “Special” the moment one hits play.

Previously released singles “About Damn Time” and “Grrrls” follow shortly after. The pair, while likely familiar to many through their TikTok success, still add to the tracklist experience. They do an excellent job of keeping the confident momentum going while also demonstrating Lizzo’s skill for variety across pop, disco and rap genres.

The album’s title song is found at the center of the tracklist and provides a smooth, cool self-love mantra. In the track, Lizzo goes deeper into image-positive themes she’s previously explored. While still supportive of the way her audience should view themselves as great, the artist also expresses her frustration with society’s criticism of herself and others. She makes it clear that broken or not, people should be loved for who they are both inside and out.

The closing track “Coldplay” samples its namesake and ends the album on a hopeful note, showing the audience its possible to find love in more ways than one. While most songs in “Special” focus on self-love, “Coldplay” gives details regarding the singer’s happiness with her own love interest. While not as fitting to the album’s core themes, it still acts as a sort of conclusion to the anthology.

Lizzo shows the anxieties of inner and outer love on several tracks, including “2 Be Loved (Am I Ready),” chronicling post-breakup periods. Throughout the album, she shows growth in being able to accept love from herself, as well as others. Lizzo expresses from personal experiences that in addition to learning to love oneself and their flaws, it’s also possible to find others who can lovingly accept you for who you are.

While these positive themes are nothing new to Lizzo’s discography, they are more developed. It’s clear the artist has grown in both her songwriting and self-confidence. This clearly grants her the proper skillset to form a more impactful and personal album.

Above all else, what makes the album’s overall message effective is its relatability. Aside from touching on audiences’ encompassing experiences with self-esteem issues, Lizzo incorporates her own insecurities into her tracks. Namely referring to comments made about her weight and Blackness, this personal touch adds an additional sense of truth to Lizzo’s lyrics. Her listeners can then not only relate, but also empathize, further connecting the singer and her fans.

Lizzo makes it clear that during COVID-19 lockdowns she worked on both her music and herself. Outside of “twerkin’ and making smoothies,” the artist’s listed forms of healing, she’s also taken the time to form more meaningful tracks. After connecting with many through her sound on “Cuz I Love You,” Lizzo demonstrates her commitment to being seen as a masterful, heartfelt artist. This continuous growth provides insight into how much Lizzo cares about her musical craft and where she plans to take her career next.

Though a bit late in the game, “Special” may very well be many’s new albums of the summer. Just two weeks away from Beyoncé’s upcoming “Renaissance,” which is predicted to be an upbeat, dancey project, Lizzo has further solidified herself as yet another top pop female artist. From the promise shown in “Special’s” singles alone, Lizzo has continued her trend of providing popular, funk-filled anthems. Her sense of confidence and fun carry strongly throughout her albums, assuring listeners that while she’s grown, she’s still running on her signature “Juice.”

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Samantha Thornfelt

Samantha Thornfelt

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