Her music makes you want to dance down the street completely naked, winking at astonished pedestrians. She’s a firecracker, her sparks of body positivity, self love and utter joy blessing everyone they touch.
It’s not an easy feat making music that simply makes people happy, but if anyone can do it, Lizzo can. One of the singer’s first singles, ‘Juice’ from Cuz I Love You iconically declares, “If I’m shining everybody gonna shine.” It is the ethos of her spirit; self love isn’t selfish, it’s contagious.
The album opens with the desperately beautiful howl of ‘I’m Cryin’, drawn directly into the flawless bellowing notes of ‘Cuz I Love You’. It’s a fitting opener, passion that’s impossible to withhold freed through a lion’s roar of a voice. Her range is impeccable, climbing sky high from deep throated growls, segueing from the forte to the piano with the ease of a pro. It sends chills down the spine reminiscent to that of Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’.
‘Like A Girl’ cites some of the most influential Black female role models of our time, “Lauryn Hill told me everything is everything, Serena really showed me I could win the Wimbledon.” Lyrically, Lizzo does nothing less than kick ass; “Only exes that I care about are in my fucking chromosomes”, is a line that characterises her signature wit and lyrical dexterity.
‘Jerome’ slows the beat down to a waltz, an ode to every fuckboi we’ve ever unwittingly fallen for. The beauty of this songstress is in communicating the pain that’s coupled with the dignity of turning someone away because they’re just not good enough for you.
Similar themes pervade ‘Cry Baby’ as we slowly strut along to the lines “I don’t need to apologise, cuz big girls gotta cry.” ‘Tempo’ sees Lizzo team up with Missy Elliott to form an unstoppable duo. “Slow songs are for skinny hoes… I’m a thick bitch, I need tempo” is a twerk anthem. Although Gucci Mane can’t really compare to Lizzo, he serves his purpose as her voice and vivacious personality shine on ‘Exactly How I Feel’.
‘Better In Colour’ sees backing vocals intertwined with an electric guitar to form a chorus of sound, and ‘Heaven Help Me’ references its title through a piano opening reminiscent of gospel music. The musical choices are subtle yet effective, flawlessly produced and pay homage to Lizzo’s voice without overpowering it. ‘Lingerie’ is a wonderful, brooding end to a rollercoaster of an album, harking back to classic R&B tunes, exploring intimacy and sex without ever being crass.
Cuz I Love You will go down in history, not just as a precursor to Lizzo’s Presidency (it will happen!), but as a truly honest, empowering album of advice to dance, love and live your life by.
Cuz I Love You is out now via Nice Life/Atlantic.