After the mega-selling All About That Bass, Meghan Trainor’s second major-label album is supposedly influenced by Elvis, Aretha Franklin and, er, Olly Murs. One can imagine the King purring the acoustic Just a Friend in one of his bad films, but there’s lots of trademark Trainor: butt-wobbling, retro R&B and ostensible female-empowerment anthems that on closer inspection pander to the male gaze. In Woman Up – a reworking of Ashley Roberts’ 2014 flop, by the same writing-production team – the 22-year-old suggests, “Put your favourite heels on, ’cos they make you feel strong.” On her recent hit No she rebuts unwanted male advances with a swing of her hips. Contradictions abound as dance pop hurtles into Caribbean flavours and romantic mush. The funky I Love Me is a bit self-help-manual-with-beats, but Trainor sounds joyously empowered. Ultimately, much of Thank You is a bit of a hotchpotch, after her initial efforts were rejected and main producer Ricky Reed called on to conjure up some hits.
Meghan Trainor: Thank You review – dance pop hurtles into romantic mush
Dave Simpson is a Guardian music critic and author