Her third full-length album is the chronicle of a woman who loves herself like it's a sport, who dances and desires and hurts and cries and heals and dances again.
Lizzo is celebration personified.
On the heels of her powerhouse performance at the first weekend of Coachella, her third studio album Cuz I Love You has arrived, and it is, in no uncertain terms, a gift. Lizzo's potent cocktail of soul, rap, and funk anchor her odes to independence—eleven tracks spelling out her vision of love and empowerment while riding an effortlessly effervescent vibe. From the throwback-brass explosion of the title track onward, the album embodies a genuine vulnerability around love and worth, a powerful salve for barbs of self-doubt over an infectious sound.
The album's lustrous production constructs the perfect space for Lizzo to fill with her always-dazzling—often hilarious—songwriting. Lizzo purposefully centers Cuz I Love You around the idea of feminine acceptance, with the songs "Like A Girl" and "Soulmate" serving as anthemic road maps to manifesting self-love. She evenly examines self-image, sexuality, and love as sources of both delight and pain in her life, most acutely on "Crybaby," "Heaven Help Me," and on the soulful ex-boyfriend dismissal that is "Jerome." (It's unclear whether Jerome is a metaphorical bundle of inconsequential men or just one guy, but if there is a singular Jerome, Lord help him.) Lizzo and Gucci Mane have the time of their lives trading bars on "Exactly How I Feel." "Tempo" remains as rhythmically imperious as it was when it first dropped as a single, with Lizzo's sotto verses perfectly complemented by Missy Elliot's blessing of a feature. But as much as Cuz I Love You manages to be delirious, multifaceted fun—especially the album closer, "Lingerie," a song so dangerously sultry that it should probably come with some kind of warning label—Lizzo never loses sight of her point: this album is a celebration of her and her body and the love and beauty she's built for herself. That's what's really being shared on this album and what makes it impossible to ignore.
There's an effusive sense of joy to everything Lizzo does, and Cuz I Love You revels in that truth. At the core of the album's breakup salvos, irresistible dance breaks, and self-confidence bops is Lizzo's unmistakable light, spilling from every verse she spits and every vocal run she nails. Cuz I Love You is the chronicle of a woman who loves herself like it's a sport, who dances and desires and hurts and cries and heals and dances again, irrepressible and undistracted in her mission. Lizzo's is a joy with a profound wisdom behind it, a joy that praises the trials of self-love and the flute-twerking to be had along the way—Cuz I Love You is her greatest sermon yet.
Cuz I Love You
Matthew Apadula is a writer and music critic from New York. His work has previously appeared onGIGsoup Music and in Drunk in a Midnight Choir. Find him on Twitter @imdoingmybest.
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Animation is lame and live-action is awesome.
Everybody loves Disney live-action remakes.
In a world plagued by racism, disease, and a seemingly endless bounty of spiraling misfortune, at least we can all agree that Disney knocks it out of the park every time they dredge up an old, animated movie for a live-action makeover because cartoons are for babies.
Sure, some of us thought the original Beauty and the Beast was fine, but could lame, 2D Belle ever hold a candle to 3D Emma Watson? And yeah, the original Lion King was okay, I guess, but there's nobody in the world who preferred cartoon Scar's rendition of "Be Prepared" to the incredible feat of getting a real lion to sing it in the live-action remake.
Being a Disney fan can be hard sometimes, as you have fond memories of beloved childhood movies but also don't want people to make fun of you for liking cartoons. That's why, out of all the corporations in the world, Disney is undoubtedly the most selfless, willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to bring their old, outdated movies into the modern age—all for the fans.
After Halle Berry walked back her consideration of playing a transgender character, we look back at how Hollywood has repeatedly fumbled trans representation.
Halle Berry has made headlines this week after turning down a role in which, had she gone through with production, would have represented a transgender man.
Berry, an Academy Award-winning actress known for roles in films like Monster's Ball, Catwoman, and Gothika, took to Twitter Monday night to apologize for considering the role. "Over the weekend I had the opportunity to discuss my consideration of an upcoming role as a transgender man, and I"d like to apologize for those remarks," Berry wrote. "As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I should not have considered this role, and that the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories."
The post continued: "I am grateful for the guidance and critical conversation over the past few days and I will continue to listen, educate and learn from this mistake. I vow to be an ally in using my voice to promote better representation on-screen, both in front of and behind the camera."