Album Review: Lizzo - Cuz I Love You
Reviewed by: Sam Carliner
Self love isn’t anything new to hear from Lizzo. In fact for those who follow her even a little bit, it’s a staple of what makes her so great. The alternative hip-hop/pop-star is a fierce advocate for confidence and body positivity in just about everything she does.
It could’ve been easy for Lizzo to rely on her typical message to cary her album and call it a day. But on her third studio album, “Cuz I Love You,” she ups the anti.
Kicking things off with the title track, she powerfully belts out “I’M CRYING, CUZ I LOVE YOU,” and maintains that energy for the next 33 minutes.
The title track, which had been released as a single previously, is an energetic and theatrical song about Lizzo’s inconvenient obsession with a crush. Despite kicking off the album with this concept, she quickly rejects the idea presented, as every song to follow is about loving herself first.
Just a few seconds into Like A Girl and Lizzo is rapping like she never has before in a praise of femininity
“Woke up feelin’ like I just might run for president
Even if there ain’t no precedent, switchin’ up the messaging
I’m about to add a little estrogen
Buy my whip by myself
Pay my rent by myself”
The album then goes to the funky Juice, the first single released off the album. On it’s own it’s an incredible song. A playful expression of Lizzo’s appreciation for herself. On the album, it does the best of any song to really convey the theme of Cuz I Love You. “If I’m shinin’ everybody gonna shine (Yeah I’m goals).”
Although the theme of self love is consistent, Lizzo isn’t afraid to try different ways of delivering the message. In the body positive Tempo, she, with the help of a must-hear Missy Elliot feature, embraces her body. Following that is “Exactly How I Feel,” an embrace of her emotions.
One of the most interesting ways she conveys self love is on the song “Soulmate,” in which she makes the point that she’s her own soulmate. Though she’s not the first artist to have this idea, she gives it new life with her slamming vocals and fun lyrics.
“And she never tell me to exercise
We always get extra fries
And you know the sex is fire
And I gotta testify
I get flowers every Sunday
I’ma marry me one day”
Lizzo also deserves praise for her vocal chops. Track after track, her voice is loud, soulful, and something to be envied. As she sang “Love me or hate me,” on “Exactly How I Feel,” my mind went to Aretha Franklin belting “R E S P E C T.” Few artists could do that, but Lizzo did.
Every track on this album isn’t a banger, and that’s just fine. You could slow dance to the beat on “Jerome,” and the instrumentals on “Crybaby” wouldn’t feel out of place if they’d landed on David Bowie’s “Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust.”
The album comes to an end on Lingerie, a simmering down of a mostly hype tracklist. Lizzo singing about her see-through panties over chilled instrumentals feels like the best way to stick the landing.
I’ve been jokingly saying to people that Lizzo would be releasing the best album of the year. Now that it’s out in full, I can say that more seriously.