Tamika Reviews Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You”

Tamika Reviews Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You”

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Minneapolis native Lizzo has arrived on the scene just in time with her debut album, “Cuz I Love You”. She may hail from a cold climate, but her lyrics promote messages of self-love and feminism, bringing us all out of our internal hibernation and getting us ready to blossom into Spring. Check out what Tamika thought after her first listen:

 

One fateful evening, tens-of-thousands of Twitter users were introduced to an amazingly beautiful and fierce woman playing the flute over a bumpin’ track at a club show. Our minds were sent into a frenzy as she smoothly transitioned from her solo to hitting the shoot. Not only was she amusing, but her energy was infectious. Cuz I Love You, Lizzo’s major label debut provides the answer for all those eager ears waiting to see how she finds her place in mainstream-pop.

 

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Lizzo commences the album by passionately belting “I’m crying, cuz I love you” followed by the crash of a full band carrying her into the piece. In the editor’s notes for “Cuz I Love You” on Apple Music, Lizzo explains that she starts every project with a “big, brassy orchestral moment”, setting herself precedent and commanding the attention. Each line she confesses frustration with her love interest, her voice gets stronger, with the last half of this song featuring some wickedly insane, yet beautifully controlled vocal runs. My favorite thing about this track is how it starts and ends with just Lizzo, no other instrumentation. It symbolizes the vulnerability in the song’s subject matter, while also showing us that Lizzo has the chops to expose her voice in that way.

Lizzo - Cuz I Love You (Official Video)

The next track, “Like a Girl”, is one of those in-your-face/cliché-leaning songs, though it features some clever lyrics that help separate it from other similar anthems. She shows off her comedic side with lines like “Only exes that I care about are in my fucking chromosomes/ I don’t really need you, I’m Macaulay Culkin, home alone.

The bridge of this song particularly spoke to me for several reasons.

Look, so if you fight like a girl, cry like a girl

Do your thing, run the whole damn world

If you feel like a girl, then you real like a girl

It takes the phrase “fight like a girl”, typically a way to demean people, and says “screw it, there can be strength in crying too!”. In addition, the last line of the bridge directly speaks to those who may identify as or lean more to a feminine side, but their gender assignment at birth does not match that. Despite what others may say, for Lizzo all it takes is you feeling within yourself that you are a girl.  It is my favorite line in the whole album, and I’m so thankful for people like Lizzo who support and champion the LGBTQ+ community.

 

(Source: Luke Gilford/Rolling Stone)

 

“Juice” is disco-synthy banger about Lizzo feeling herself, that will make you want to give yourself an extra dose of self-love too. Funk Rock bop “Crybaby” includes undeniable Prince influences (both Prince and Lizzo claim Minneapolis as their musical homes). Missy Elliot and Gucci Mane are featured in the songs “Tempo” and “Exactly How I Feel” respectively. They both deliver strong verses that is to be expected of rappers with the longevity that they have, but Lizzo provides performances in both tracks that remind us exactly who is the main act of the show. The transition between these two tracks are seamless, it almost plays as one 5-minute mega-hip-hop extravaganza, rather than two separate songs. The album ends in the opposite way as it started with the sultry and seductive “Lingerie”. Lizzo goes through a crazy vocal adventure consisting of three key changes before ending the album quietly, inviting her love interest to “come her way”, leaving listeners wanting more.

Lizzo - Juice (Official Video)

Lizzo is a much needed and refreshing addition to the field. In just over half an hour she masterfully takes us through so many different styles and genres. It’s almost safer to say that the genre of this is simply “Lizzo”. Whatever makes her tick musically is included here, and the production is masterful. Lyrically, “Cuz I Love You” is filled with messages of body positivity and self love, which some may find cliché, but her delivery and production provides a level of sincerity that pulls you in and makes you feel a little more confident and powerful following your first listen-through.

 

Score: a swimming pool full of self-love.

 

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