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Title (EP)

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Title
A facial portrait of a young blonde woman smiling. Her hair is tied back with a section of her fringe covering the far left-side of her face. The portrait is triangulated and colored in turquoise and gray-scale patterns with a flower in the backdrop. At the bottom of the portrait in white capital font stands the name, Meghan Trainor, and in a larger and bolder font the title, "Title".
EP by Meghan Trainor
Released September 9, 2014
Recorded 2013–14; The Carriage House
(Nolensville, Tennessee)
Genre
Length 12:45
Label Epic
Producer
Meghan Trainor chronology
Only 17
(2011)Only 172011
Title (EP)
(2014)
Title
(2015)Title2015
Singles from Title
  1. "All About That Bass"
    Released: June 30, 2014

Title is the debut EP by American singer and songwriter Meghan Trainor. It was released by Epic Records on September 9, 2014. On music provider iTunes, it was later replaced by her 2015 studio album of the same name. The album was produced by Kevin Kadish with all of the music and lyrics written by Trainor and Kadish.

Musically, the album has a throwback style sound with its 1950s doo wop-inspired songs straddling the line between modern R&B and melodic pop. Its lyrical composition contemplates 21st century womanhood. Title produced one single, "All About That Bass", released on June 30, 2014. It became Trainor's breakthrough into mainstream success, topping the national charts of 58 countries worldwide and selling over 15 million copies.

The EP garnered mixed reviews from contemporary music critics who commended the record's production and Trainor's vocal ability, but criticized its lyrical content. The songs "All About That Bass" and "Title" were the subject of controversy among several critics who accused both songs of anti-feminism. Title debuted at number 15 on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 21,000 units, and peaked at number 17 on the Canadian Albums Chart. Furthermore, it peaked at number 35 on the Danish Albums Chart. Trainor promoted Title with a series of public appearances and televised live performances of "All About That Bass".

Writing and inspiration[edit]

"They're the songs that I wish I had before I went into high school. Like, love yourself more, respect yourself more. I hope little girls, like my little cousin, I hope she's goes into high school knowing these songs and how cool she is. There are girl empowerment songs – like 'I love myself I'm beautiful' - but there are also 'I deserve a good man, I deserve a good boyfriend, man, you should take me out.' That'd be awesome (to hear as a kid). I wish I had that before."

—Trainor speaking to Jim Sullivan of the Cape Cod Times about the EP's lyrical content.[1]

Title was entirely written and composed by Meghan Trainor and Kevin Kadish, and produced by Kadish. The pair recorded the EP at The Carriage House in Nolensville, Tennessee. It was mastered by Dave Kutch at The Mastering Palace in New York City, New York. Besides writing and composing the record, Trainor was also responsible for its drum programming, percussion instrumentation, clapping and ukulele melodies, as well as handling the EP's executive production with Kadish. Title was developed using a wide range of other instrumentation; drums, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and bass—all produced by Kadish. David Baron and Jim Hoke were the only two other musicians involved in the EP's production, and were responsible for the record's piano, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone and hammond organ instrumentation.[2] In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, Kadish spoke of the record's conception, "We were like, 'Let's do a '50s EP and see if anybody likes it, just for fun.'"[3] Regarding the title of the EP, Trainor told Popjustice, "So I've called the EP Title. Cos obviously everyone was going, 'what's the title', and I was like, 'hey, I'm clever, I'm gonna make it this'."[4] The name was deemed "creative" by Idolator's Mike Wass.[5] Dear Future Husband" was inspired by a joke Trainor made with her father, where she would say that her future husband "is out there somewhere, chilling".[6] Trainor described the EP as having a "doo-wop feel" reminiscent of "All About That Bass," but being different lyrically.[7] Trainor noted that Title takes on themes that "not a lot of people think about," such as commitment and staying true to one's self.[6] The EP was Epic Records' idea to prove that Trainor was not a one-hit wonder, following the success of her debut single, "All About That Bass".[8] In an interview with James Sullivan of The Boston Globe, the singer said that Title focuses on "an awkward 19-, 20-year-old, when you're pretty sure you're an adult but you're not, yet."[9] She went on to add, "All the songs sound very similar—very personal, girl power anthems."[9] Trainor felt the EP's album tracks showcased her better than what "All About That Bass" did.[10]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Musically, Title comprises throwback style sound, 1950s doo wop-inspired songs that straddle the line between modern R&B and melodic pop.[11] The EP's opening track, "All About That Bass" is a bubblegum pop,[12] doo-wop song which serves as a throwback to 1950s and 1960s music,[5][13] and contains elements from a complex mix of several genres; R&B,[14] hip hop,[13] tropical,[14] country and rock and roll.[15] Sonically, "All About That Bass" comprises an earworm hook,[12] early 1960s soul-pop groove,[16] scatting tempo and shimmying melody.[17] Lyrically, "All About That Bass" serves as a callout to embrace one's appearance and promote a positive body image.[12] The song metaphorically refers to the appearance of a woman's bottom.[14] Larger women are described as "bass" and thinner women as "treble", which Trainor implies as a joke about "thick and thin".[18] The lyric "I'm bringing booty back" references Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" (2006).[19] In the song, she also calls out the fashion industry for creating unreachable standards of beauty: "I see the magazines working that Photoshop / We know that shit ain't real, c'mon make it stop / You know I won't be no stick-figure Barbie doll."[20]

The title track is a soca-pop song, and blends horns and background vocals with ukulele folk-pop and island percussion morphed into a programmed beat. It contains handclaps and subtle modern sound effects. Trainor uses an assertive throwback aural tone on the song.[21] The rap verse in "Title" was compared to the works of Australian rapper Iggy Azalea and American duo Karmin.[19] The song's lyrics see Trainor demanding her lover to put a name on their relationship status.[22] It was described by the singer as "call me your girlfriend, I'm sick of being your boo thing, so call me your girlfriend and give me that title".[4] Musically, Trainor felt the song showcased what her artistic style was about, and said, "I loved that 'Title' showed a little Caribbean drum before the chorus and then, like, a rap bridge that was, like…[a] totally different sound."[23] Christina Garibaldi of MTV News wrote that the song serves a lesson for women not to settle for a friends-with-benefits relationship.[24]

"Dear Future Husband" is a doo-wop song,[23] and lyrically comprises a list of factors Trainor's love interests should be aware of before proposing to her.[4] Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone dubbed the song "a YA dream that's no pastel-colored fantasy," and opined, "[Trainor] imagines marriage as contract between equals who work and don't cook".[22] The melody in "Dear Future Husband" was likened to American singer Dion's "Runaround Sue" (1961),[22] and sonically the song comprises a series of slick production slap-beats, a rock-inspired drum track, zippy piano and ebullient brass instrumentation.[19][21] The EP's final track, "Close Your Eyes" is a modern slow dance ballad about ignoring negativity and loving yourself on your own terms.[11][21] Backed by an acoustic guitar, Trainor solicits a nuanced, soulful, fluttery vocal performance afront pitch-shifted background vocals on the track.[19]

Release and promotion[edit]

A young blonde woman singing into a microphone onstage, sporting a black skirt and black Bad Gal jacket. Blue stage lights shine upon her, while the logo of iHeart Radio serves as her backdrop.
Trainor performing "Close Your Eyes" during the Jingle Ball Tour on December 10, 2014.

Trainor premiered the EP's third track, "Dear Future Husband", on August 10, 2014, at a promotional gig in Kansas City, and the EP's track listing was announced on August 14, 2014.[15] MTV premiered the full version of the title track online on September 5, 2014.[24] Trainor revealed in an interview with Teen Vogue that her fans researched the EP's songs and were familiar with each lyric before the EP was released.[7] Title was released on CD and digital download formats on September 9, 2014.[25][26] An "All About That Bass" EP identical to Title was released in Austria,[27] Germany and Switzerland on October 3, 2014.[28][29] Title was replaced on the iTunes Store on October 20, 2014, with a pre-order of Trainor's 2015 studio album of the same name. The album included all four tracks featured on the EP.[30] However, the EP was not replaced on CD formats.[26]

Trainor promoted Title with a series of public appearances and televised live performances. She first performed "All About That Bass" live in Nashville at an Emily West show in July 2014,[31] and on Live! with Kelly and Michael on August 7, 2014.[32] Trainor performed an acoustic version of "All About That Bass" on the ukulele for Entertainment Tonight on September 2, 2014.[33] Trainor, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots performed "All About That Bass" together on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on September 4, 2014, using classroom instruments.[34] The rendition was deemed "light," "fun", and "the perfect kicky antidote to your Friday blues" by Kevin O'Keeffe of The Wire.[34] Billboard journalist Gary Trust wrote that the performance helped stir publicity for the song and aided its 2-1 climb on the Billboard Hot 100 the following week.[35] On September 11, 2014, Trainor performed "All About That Bass" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.[36] She made her Australian television debut on September 15, 2014, performing "All About That Bass" on The X Factor Australia.[37] On October 6, 2014, Trainor performed "Title" live for MTV.[23] She also promoted Title in a session for the National Post on October 14, 2014.[38]

Singles[edit]

"All About That Bass" was released as the EP's only single on June 30, 2014.[39] It was acclaimed by music critics and was tipped it as a contender for 2014's "Song of the Summer".[7][40] "All About That Bass" was recognized with one People's Choice Award nomination for Favorite Song,[41] one MTV Europe Music Award nomination for Best Song with a Social Message,[42] and nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.[43] It became Trainor's breakthrough into mainstream success and one of the best-selling singles of the year, selling over 11 million copies.[44] It topped the national charts of 58 countries,[45] of which included eight weeks at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and four weeks atop the UK Singles Chart.[46] The song was certified sextuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[47][48] Despite not being released as singles, "Title" and "Dear Future Husband" managed to appear on several national charts, fueled by strong digital sales of the EP. The former peaked at number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 87 in Canada and number 27 in New Zealand. The former spent one week with position 100 as its peak, while the later has currently peaked at 26 on the chart.[49] While the latter became Trainor's second consecutive top ten hit in New Zealand where it peaked at number nine,[50] and was certified gold by Recorded Music NZ (RMNZ) for sales of 7,500 units.[51]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[11]
Knoxville News Sentinel3/5 stars[21]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[22]
StereogumPositive[19]

Title garnered mixed reviews from contemporary music critics. Rolling Stone writer Jon Dolan observed, "[Like 'All About That Bass'], the EP hooks similar trickle-down Beyoncé empowerment themes to sugary doo-wop and girl-group melodies."[22] AllMusic's Matt Collar lauded Trainor's vocal ability as "soulful" and "highly resonant" on the record.[11] Christina Garibaldi of MTV News felt that the title track showcased Trainor's "impressive" rapping skills.[24] Stereogum's Chris DeVille wrote, "Title suggests she might have a shot at outlasting 'All About That Bass' if only she finds some new subject matter to sing about."[19] DeVille, however, commended the EP's production, opining, "[Trainor understands] how to craft a hit, both in terms of punchy major-key music and cheeky, meme-able lyrical turns," and went on to conclude that Trainor is a "very capable singer" and is able to "project lots of character and emotion within a relatively limited range".[19] In a mixed review, a writer for the Knoxville News Sentinel commented, "After 'Bass,' Title loses its element of surprise and leaves even appreciative listeners to wonder what else Trainor's got to offer".[21]

Anti-feminism claims[edit]

The lyrics of "All About That Bass" became a subject of controversy among several music critics who felt that the song did not promote a positive body image as Trainor intended.[18] The singer was accused of anti-feminism and shaming thin women in the song, namely in the lyrics "bringing booty back / Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that," and "Yeah my mama she told me don't worry about your size / She says, 'Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.'"[18] The former lyric was however developed by Kadish and not Trainor.[22] In a publication by The Daily Telegraph, Olivia O'Niell analyzed, "If the song's 908,000 likes on YouTube and Meghan's 90,000 followers on Twitter are anything to go by, it would seem that the message most people are taking away from the hit is a positive one".[52] However, O'Niell went on to highlight that the lyrics "have outraged some listeners, with YouTube comments criticizing Trainor for her 'thinly veiled hypocrisy'".[52] Trainor's song "Title" also became the subject of the same controversy, and was dubbed "just as anti-feminist" as "All About That Bass". L.V. Anderson of Slate wrote that "Title" perpetuated a retrograde belief about relationships and deemed Trainor a poor role model, and opined, "Once again she is sending the message that a woman's worth is defined by men".[53] Sean Michaels of The Guardian highlighted the lyrics, "You gotta treat me like a trophy / Put me on the shelf / You gotta show me off," as controversial.[54]

Commercial performance[edit]

Title debuted at number 15 on the Billboard 200 issued for September 27, 2014,[55] with first week sales of 21,000 units.[56] The EP spent its first three weeks within the chart's top 25, and has sold 171,000 copies in the US as of January 2015.[57] The record's release also assisted Trainor in reaching the top of the Billboard Artist 100 for the first time.[58] Title has since spent a total of 14 weeks on the Billboard 200.[59] The EP entered the Canadian Albums Chart at number 17 and went on to accumulate a total of five weeks on the chart.[60] While in Denmark, Title bowed at number 35 the Danish Albums Chart on November 21, 2014, and dropped off the chart the following week.[61]

Track listing[edit]

All songs were written by Meghan Trainor and Kevin Kadish, and produced by the latter.[2]

No.TitleLength
1."All About That Bass"3:07
2."Title"2:54
3."Dear Future Husband"3:04
4."Close Your Eyes"3:40
Total length:12:45

Credits and personnel[edit]

Locations
Personnel

Credits adapted from EP liner notes.[2]

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United States[25][26] September 9, 2014 Epic
Australia[64] Digital download
Ireland[65]
Germany[66] CD
Australia[67] September 12, 2014

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c Title (CD). Meghan Trainor. Epic Records. 2014. 
  3. ^ Case, Wesley (October 27, 2014). "'All About That Bass' co-writer took '15 years to become an overnight success'". The Baltimore Sun. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Robinson, Peter (August 18, 2014). "Meghan Trainor interview: 'I didn't realise the world would be calling me within five weeks'". Popjustice. Peter Robinson. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Daw, Robbie (June 10, 2014). "Meghan Trainor's 'All About That Bass' Video: Idolator". Idolator. SpinMedia. Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Cave, Anthony (September 19, 2014). "Meghan Trainor is more than that 'bass'". The Miami Herald. The McClatchy Company. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Firman, Tehrene (September 2014). "Meghan Trainor, All About That Bass and Title EP Interview". Teen Vogue. Condé Nast. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ Blair, Rudy (October 3, 2014). "Video: Meghan Trainor discusses upcoming album in Toronto". CFTR (AM). Rogers Media. 
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