Music

Meghan Trainor: future pop princess or one-hit wonder?

Showbiz journalist and total music lover, Jon Hornbuckle, dishes his opinions on all that Meghan Trainor hype. Did her live show live up to his expectations? Find out…

Rewind to this time last year and Meghan Trainor was a complete unknown who had only scored her first record deal two months prior.

Within just 12 months, Trainor has established her position as one of the most promising new acts in the world of pop, thanks to the monster success of All About That Bass; one of the biggest hits of the past decade that’s taken on a life of its own.

It’s easy to understand why many put Meghan Trainor down as being a one-hit wonder after All About That Bass. When a song as huge as that comes along, it’s often as much a blessing as a curse. Yes, you’ll probably be employed for the rest of your life (albeit singing the same song) but you’ll also be living in the shadow of a song that’s bigger than you are. Gloria Gaynor will turn 66 later this year and she’s still singing I Will Survive on a daily basis. See what I mean?

Can she steal Britney’s crown?

It’s also rare to have such a huge hit at the very beginning of your career. Even Beyoncé released two far lesser known solo singles before the career defining success of Crazy in Love. Can anybody name either of Madonna’s first two singles? Neither one made a dent on the top 100 and it took Rihanna a few albums to really hit her stride.
The only person I could draw comparisons to would be Britney Spears with Baby One More Time, and that single kick-started a seven year conveyor belt of constant work for Spears. Meghan’s got her work cut out if she wants that crown.

Meghan headlines O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire…

Earlier this month, I went along to Meghan’s sold out London show at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Whenever I’ve been at that venue it’s always to see a nostalgia act that’s had at least a decade in the industry. So it’s rare to see the same sort of crazed frenzy that Meghan brought with her on Monday, thanks in large to a legion of young girls who idolise her much in the same way that Taylor Swift’s fans do. It’s that whole ‘big-sister-you-wish-you-had’ shtick.

Meghan had total control and attention of the audience throughout the show, which was paced perfectly with the big singles mixed between sing-a-long ballads and funky dance breaks.

Audience interaction was spot on. Not overbearing or pretentious at any point but certainly grateful and thankful for her recent success.

There’s something unconventional about Meghan…

Some of the parents at the venue looked like they were enjoying themselves but didn’t quite get it and I’d be inclined to agree. I found the gig and accompanying album to be quite enjoyable (both would get a four star rating) but there’s something so unconventional about Meghan operating in a pop landscape of Gaga, Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, and I suspect that’s why she’s garnered such a large, loyal fanbase of young girls who care little about publicity stunts, sex jams and high-profile relationships.

For now? I’m impressed at how she’s successfully turned one huge, viral single into a full album campaign that’s only halfway through. Hopefully the second album will follow before spring 2016 and I’d think she’ll need to evolve her sound if she wants to be next in line for the pop princess throne.

Words: Jon Hornbuckle

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