Lizzo - Cuz I Love You - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Lizzo - Cuz I Love You

by Tim Sentz Rating:8 Release Date:2019-04-19
Lizzo - Cuz I Love You
Lizzo - Cuz I Love You

The story of the Houston-born, Minneapolis based rapper and flautist Lizzo is the stuff of fairy tales. Spending a lot of her time in Texas clubs throughout her early days, she rose through the ranks. I missed an opportunity to see her in 2015, opening for Sleater-Kinney on their reunion tour in Omaha, and I regret that decision now. With the release of her third studio album Cuz I Love You, Lizzo is set for world domination: a tour across the United States is selling like crazy, and her stock has risen even higher as her pro-body image approach speaks to just about anyone who has ever been shamed. On top of that, she’s insanely talented.

 “Juice” was the first single and biggest commercial hit for Lizzo since her debut in 2010 on a handful of collaborative tracks with other rappers. The dancey vibe, the briskness, calls to mind the highlights of Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer – which is fitting as just this passed weekend Lizzo rubbed shoulders with the pansexual icon at Coachella – but this is no rip-off. Lizzo navigates the beats with confidence, and her biggest assets are on display: she can rap, she can sing, and she can read her audience. She speaks to the youth of the nation, not just empty words on paper. Some may take this more commercial approach as fluff, but Lizzo’s still just as clever as she’s always been, like on “Soulmate” where instead of fawning over her supposed “soulmate” she takes it the opposite direction. It’s primed for airwaves, but it’s not vapid or soulless like a lot of it is these days.

Coupling witty bars, with bombastic, larger-than-life production including horn sections, gospel vocals, and even a tiny bit of grunge music in there, Lizzo is the answer to decades of skinny white girls dominating airwaves. Dubbed the “indie Missy Elliot,” Lizzo tackles her path in life with hilarity and sincerity. On the opening title track “what the fuck are feelings yo,” Lizzo speaks to the post-2016 election women, who feel jaded by the dating world, and the expectations put on young women. The disappointments, the hardships, she rolls them all into a cosmic array of stellar vocal range and poignant heartache. This is an artist at the top of her game.

Speaking of Missy Elliot, the one-of-a-kind rapper makes a guest spot on “Tempo” as the two share a bond like no other. Cuz I Love You drips with charisma and glow, and it’s accentuated beautifully by her vocal range like on “Jerome” as she belts out his name like the classic soul singers of yesterday like Aretha Franklin. Lizzo is the answer to those who felt put off by other prideful singers like Cupcakke, who takes the raunchier approach. Lizzo’s honest, and she’s a show-woman from every aspect of her approach. Her music videos have drag queens, bright colors, and it’s not sugar cane glam, it’s directness that makes her so much fun.

Everything about Cuz I Love You works. It’s an experiment in cross-over accessibility. Here’s a woman who has no shame, putting herself in your face, and you can like it, love it, or hate it. She does not care, and that’s how it should be. The classically trained flautist has made a name for herself over the years, with a cult following on Instagram, and a live show that puts other higher paid artists to shame, but Cuz I Love You is her greatest star-making performance to date.

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