Lizzo - Cuz I Love You

The Quietus

Being unapologetically yourself is the truest expression of freedom. In her third album, Cuz I Love You, Lizzo shows us what it looks and sounds like when you embrace who you are. An infectious energy, singalong after singalong and beats to get down to. The only artist right now capable of rapping, singing – and playing the flute while backing it up.

Once in a while a release comes along that makes it almost impossible to review. Not because words can’t describe it but because you’re pulled in so hard you lose yourself and keep dancing instead of writing. I did pretty much every dance imaginable. The result of ‘Cuz I Love You’, ‘Exactly How I Feel’ featuring Gucci Mane – a welcome surprise – and ‘Better In Colour’ was me pretending I was in a modern rendition of Dreamgirls, hairbrush and all. A match made in thicc heaven, ‘Tempo’ features hip hop royalty Missy Elliot, two of the most notable artists to preach self acceptance and telling negative individuals to do one while twerking. “If you see a hater, tell em quit” is something we all need to hear and practice.

With shoutouts to fellow black women, Lauryn Hill and Serena Wiliams, ‘Like A Girl’ is an anthem about doing it exactly how you’re supposed to and like no one else: ”got nothing to prove but I’m gonna show you how I do”. Continuing her message of gender fluidity, its a celebration of women and girls being more than just their physical appearance: ”If you feel like a girl, then you real like a girl, do your thing run the world”. Together with being your own boss, owning what you do and loving yourself first, “yeah I’m my own soulmate, I’m never lonely”, ‘Soulmate’ is about never reducing your standards for anyone. Fearless and witty - an incredible album from start to finish, perfect for long days and ever longer nights.

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Fri Apr 19 11:38:15 GMT 2019

Pitchfork 65

The shiny soul-pop of Lizzo’s major label debut is something of a thesis on internalized and externalized confidence—so much so that the music can feel like a means to a greater end.

Mon Apr 22 05:00:00 GMT 2019

The Guardian 60

(Nice Life/Atlantic)
Lizzo’s exhausting third album ramps up the drama to 11 with dense arrangements, squealing guitars and climactic vocals

There are albums that slowly, subtly unfold before the listener’s ears, only gradually revealing their full breadth and depth over time. And then there are albums that pretty much start as they mean to go on, a category into which you can firmly place Lizzo’s major-label debut. The first thing the listener hears on Cuz I Love You is the singer/rapper’s voice delivering the title in full-tilt testifying mode, an impassioned, gasping, raw-throated wail. It feels as if it should be emanating from a vocalist who has dropped to their knees with their head thrown back and their hands clenched into fists, the better to highlight that this is the absolute climax of their performance. It’s followed by a crashing orchestral sweep that’s equal parts grandiose 60s soul ballad and Count Dracula on the pipe organ. Much as it sounds like the music you hear immediately before the curtain falls, it turns out merely to be the prelude: the whole song proceeds along much the same lines, a pastiche of old-fashioned southern soul at its most intense, decorated with melodramatic pauses and widdly-woo guitars and a vocal that declares its love in a manner so frenzied, you feel slightly fearful for the object of her affections.

It sets the tone for the entire album, which shifts very deftly in style from synthy early 80s post-disco pop on Juice, to the Prince-ly funk rock of Cry Baby to the distorted blues influence that runs through Heaven Help Me, but seems to have been recorded with everything turned up to 11. The arrangements are dense, the choruses invariably come bolstered either by a choir or voices multi-tracked until they sound like a choir; the guitars squeal and Lizzo’s vocals proceed at a bug-eyed level of intensity.

Related: Body-positive rapper Lizzo: 'My job is to emote and communicate and bop'

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Thu Apr 18 11:00:22 GMT 2019

The Guardian 0

(Nice Life/Atlantic)
Colourful, positive and shamelessly retro, US singer and rapper Melissa Jefferson’s third album is the biggest, most focused set of her career thus far

Lizzo is a dab hand at getting people’s attention. Her third album, Cuz I Love You, opens with a holler that instantly pushes all the dials far into the red. “I’m crying…. cuz I love you!” she bellows, a cappella, on the title track before the band tumble in. On anyone else’s set, this dazzling outburst might be held back – the peak posture of the album’s most climactic tune.

For Lizzo, it’s just the opening gambit of a record that is unapologetically loud, bold and full-on, simultaneously old-fashioned (soul, doo-wop and romance figure) but immensely fresh in the bargain. Such saturated levels of volume and colour land as downright audacious when so much contemporary music, let alone hip-hop, currently comes in greige, narcotised hues. Or as Lizzo puts it mischievously on Tempo, her banging collaboration with obvious forebear Missy Elliott: “Slow songs, they for skinny hoes… I’m a thick bitch, I need tempo.”

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Sat Apr 20 13:00:24 GMT 2019