When Lizzo’s album came out, I had to take a moment of silence because I knew the moment I listened to the album everything would change — and it did. “Special,” the new album by Lizzo is about loving yourself unequivocally and allowing others to love you as well. The 12 songs in the album are a gorgeous mix of pop, R&B and hip hop and invite the listeners on a journey of discovering yourself, and loving that self. With such a massive debut of “Truth Hurts,” Lizzo had a high bar to live up to and she did just that.
The album starts off with the twerk anthem of “The Sign” a funky, groovy song in which Lizzo asks the listener, “Did you miss me?” and explains her break from music as her time preparing for this album and working on herself (as well as, you know, a pandemic). Then the next album is the 80’s-esque song “About Damn Time,” a fun song about how it's finally time to do what you need to do and be a bad bitch. “Grrrls” is the re-released song about supporting your BFFs and having each other's backs. One of my favorite songs on the album and the song that really struck a chord with me is “2 Be Loved (Am I Ready).” This song is an anthem to all the people who never felt they were ready to be loved by someone. Lizzo sings, “How am I supposed to love somebody else when I don’t like myself?” It is a powerful song that forces the listener to recognize that we all deserve love. Lizzo’s album ends with her song, “Coldplay” which is an homage to Coldplay’s song “Yellow.” It is a beautiful and literal song which portrays her musicality.
The two most specialsongs on the album for me are “I Love You B**ch” and “Special.” “I Love You B**ch” is Lizzo’s song to herself as she recognizes how amazing she is regardless of the hate, while “Special” is Lizzo’s song to us as she tells us how fabulous we are regardless of how we feel. These two songs are warm, vibrant, touching and vulnerable in a way a lot of music is not. It touches our hearts and makes us feel good.
Lizzo’s album means a lot to not just her fans, but anyone who has felt inadequate or has a hard time loving themselves. For me, Lizzo is my inspiration and someone I look up to. I have loved her since freshman year of high school. She has motivated me through difficult times and brought so much joy into my life. As a bigger girl myself, I never really saw myself in pop culture very much, especially big girls who were not the butt of the joke or the sidekick. For the first time, Lizzo embraced the fullness of herself and lifted up other big girls with her. She is the main character and will never be the end of someone’s joke. I also love that she doesn't shy away from describing the struggles of self-love and letting others love you. She is genuine, resilient and an icon. We all deserve to love ourselves no matter who and what we are. As Lizzo sings, “In case nobody told you today, you’re special.”
Label: Atlantic Records
Favorite tracks: “2 Be Loved,” “I Love You B**ch,” “Special”
If you like: Chloe x Halle, Tinashe, Janelle Monáe, Normani
Shamrocks: 5 out of 5